April 21, 2011, 3:22 PM

Daily deals are fun, but coupon sites are the real deal for online savings, shoppers say

Consumers frequent coupon sites for planned purchases and daily-deal sites for impulse buys.

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Consumers like getting a discount, as more than a quarter, or 27%, of consumers say they visit online coupon sites before making a purchase, and 22% frequent daily-deal or group-buying web sites, according to a recent survey.

But consumers’ intent in visiting coupon and deal sites varies, reports RetailMeNot.com, the coupon web site operator that sponsored the online survey of 2,045 adults last month. Consumers say daily-deal sites are better at spurring impulse buys than coupon sites. 68% of consumers who frequent daily-deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial say the sites are more suited for impulse purchases than planned purchases. 82% of coupon site users say those sites are better than daily-deal sites for finding savings on planned purchases. 76% of consumers who frequent both daily-deal and coupon sites say they believe they save more money in the long run with the savings they discover on coupon sites, according to the report.

Regardless of where they find a discount, consumers who use discounts appear more loyal to businesses that offer them. 97% of daily-deal site users say they’ll go back to a retailer after they’ve used a discount. 95% of coupon web site users say the same. 82% of the survey respondents say they are more loyal to businesses that offer regular discounts rather than occasional ones.

“As consumers and retailers alike discover the value of a good discount, they are ushering in a new era in online shopping and the retail experience in general,” says Cotter Cunningham, CEO of WhaleShark Media, the parent company of RetailMeNot.com.

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