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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Brittany H.

Most people find themselves excited by people who brag about saving hundreds of dollars using coupons but with a quick look at their mounds of toothpaste and multiple boxes of baking soda I can’t help but wonder if they buy it because they need it or because they could save on it. My purchases are not dictated by coupons. Do I like to save money? Of course I do but I do not have the time to spend hours scavenging through newspapers with scissor happy fingers. If coupon providers and manufacturers are interested in grabbing the attention and purchasing dollars of consumers like myself there are a few changes that would need to be implemented such as mobile retrieval and redemption, oust the idea of next week savings and if brands are going to partner for bundles savings then it has to make sense to the consumer.

I cannot express how annoying it is to watch a lady shuffle through every pocket and purse cavity known to mankind to find a coupon. It slows down the checkout process and ruins the shopping experience. Considering how heavily we rely on mobile devices, why isn’t there a greater focus on mobile coupons? Consumer’s emails are flooded with deals and savings and it is well known that the majority of email users check their phones on their mobile device. There have been many times I have shown the cashier my coupon that is in my phone only to be told that I have to have a printed copy. Why? It is an anti-green policy that makes absolutely no sense. Utility companies and even banks have switched to mobile platforms, isn’t it time that coupons did too?

A note from us at I’m In:  The I’m In Coupon App makes it easy for you to access coupons for in store savings. The power is in the palm of your hand!

In addition to switching to mobile redemption, the number of coupon users would increase if stores would let go of the “buy next week to save” mentality. This generation is all about now. Telling a consumer that they can save next week, may entice them to buy with a cheaper brand today. Impulse buyers have a lot of purchasing power in today’s economy and I know firsthand because I am a proud member of that demographic. We buy just because it feels good so by focusing more on instant savings, stores and manufacturers can make impulse buyers feel good about their bad habits. Yes, I might spend three hundred dollars on a sewing machine that I can’t use but if I can save fifty dollars on it then I’ll feel a little better.

The third and probably most important change coupon venders can make is to bundle smarter. I have seen coupons for saving money on soda by purchasing Kraft cheese. These products have nothing to do with one another. Would I want to save money on soda by purchasing chips? Yes. Would I want to save money on cheese by purchasing lunch meat? Yes. Brands need to keep the consumer in mind. Product location should also be considered. I have seen coupons for a specific brand of cereal in the milk aisle. Dairy is usually a last stop on a grocery visit so shouldn’t the coupon be by the cereal instead? That way, people know they have to buy a particular type of milk before they pick it up.

A note from us at I’m In:  We offer lots of ways for you to save on groceries at I’m In!

As of now, what I buy is not dictated by coupons because coupons don’t fit into my lifestyle but coupon based businesses could catch my attention by switching to electronic coupons, focusing on allowing shoppers to save now and keeping the consumer in mind. I feel like any of these changes would be really hard to implement and they let the modern day impulse driven consumer know that they are important too. Instead of focusing on dictating the purchasing habits of shoppers, brands should take a strong interest in making sure their brand, marketing and coupons aligns with how their demographic lives. The modern woman is on the go and her coupons should be too.

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