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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Shelby R.

The Coupons Role in a Consumer Society

A variety of factors influence my purchasing decisions. How environmentally and socially conscious a company and their product is, the price, and item necessity all come into play. When it comes to necessity and price, coupons can easily influence my buying patterns.

I am what they call a “price conscious” or “price sensitive” consumer, meaning I keep track of a product’s cost and have a budget. I grew up in a family that used food stamps and kept track of who sells what for less. Back then, coupons were mostly found in magazines, in the paper, or on the back of your receipt. Now, online shopping and online coupons have changed how my family and I use coupons. With online shopping, coupon and discount codes are often sent to your inbox regularly – especially if you sign up for a business newsletter. This changes the way I receive coupons. I usually receive them to stores I have previously purchased something from and from stores I have already discovered on my own. Coupons are no longer used to introduce a product into my life but to better integrate a brand into my lifestyle.

An example of this could be the store Zazzle. They sell art prints that both support artists and have ecofriendly printing options. I enjoy supporting them because I believe they are creating positive change in the print-on-demand art world. I purchased one product from them – some custom postcards. The same day I received a discount code in my email to their store for free shipping and then 50% off their custom postcards. Did I need any more postcards? No. But I was sure I could find a use if I was creative enough. Today, I have started selling my own art on Through their email campaigns and use of discount codes, I know own a few art prints in my apartment and in my friend’s apartments. When someone I have recently met comes into my home, they notice the Zazzle product and the beautiful artwork almost instantly. Zazzle has now begun to become a key part of my every day social life.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you save with a variety of store coupons!

Coupons can be a great marketing tool for businesses. I think today, the role of coupons are shifting from initiating the relationship with a consumer to developing a long term relationship with a consumer. We are bombarded with thousands of products and images every day. Content marketing is becoming more and more difficult. Coupons, like most advertising, must become more targeted, hyper-local and focused in order to succeed.

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