September 1, 2010, 2:42 PM

More U.S. and Canadian consumers have used online coupons

But shoppers still prefer receiving coupons by mail.

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75% of U.S. consumers have used online coupons, up from 61% in 2008, suggest survey data from ICOM, a division of marketing data firm Epsilon Targeting.  In Canada, 66% of consumers have used online coupons, up from 53% in 2008.

Epsilon based its findings on February online surveys of 3,692 U.S. consumers and 3,051 Canadian consumers. The first study was conducted in February 2008.

Most online coupons came from e-mails, the report says.  Other sources include web searches and hearing about coupons from relatives or friends.


78% of U.S. consumers have ever printed an online coupon, compared with 70% of Canadian shoppers.

“In general, the Canadian marketplace has a lower coupon adoption rate, partially because a number of retailers and grocers do not accept printed coupons from online sources. This is largely due to fraud issues in the past,” the report says. “On the contrary, the U.S. marketplace is more open to online coupons yet consumers surveyed still prefer coupons by mail. A multichannel strategy that incorporates preferences and behavior will provide the best results.”

The report says that 72% of U.S. consumers and 69% of Canadian consumers prefer receiving coupons by mail. Consumers who preferred mail delivery say those coupons are ready to use right away without printing.

U.S. consumers who don’t use online coupons said the main reason was not finding worthwhile coupons. In Canada, consumers said they do not know where to look for online coupons. “There is an opportunity for better targeting and stronger customer outreach and communication by marketers,” the report says.

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