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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Victoria P.

Coupons definitely influence the purchasing decisions of myself and my family. We tend to look for deals whenever we shop; it is important to note that everyone is attracted to a deal, no matter how large or small. Would you rather pay full price for an item when you could save a few bucks instead? By incorporating coupons and discounts into your pricing, you’re in the mindset of a shopper. People who use coupons focus on amounts in a discount promotion and draw their conclusions based on that amount, not the amount that the item costs without discount. That’s why my family tries to calculate all of our coupons prior to shopping. We often fail and end up buying more just because we see a deal, and if we have a coupon we tend to use it. There are no barriers with our coupon usage, there are so many different types of coupons and formats for said coupons that it is never an issue.

There are many different types of discounts we use. Dollar or Percentage Off is most commonly used, simply offering a reduction on the original price, such as $25 off or 20% off. Our family uses BOGO for shoe shopping. It includes, “Buy One, Get One Free” or “Buy One, Get 50% Off the Next Item.” We always look for Quantity Discounts that encourage shoppers to increase their order value to a specific threshold to receive a discount. Like, “Purchase 4 items and get the 5th free.” Rebates are rare to find, but if we seek them out where we can. It is a small amount that’s returned or refunded to customers after their initial purchase. My favorite thing in the entire world is Free Shipping; it fully removes the shipping cost associated with any order from the customers. Many merchants offer free shipping for a certain order amount. In a world that is increasingly technology based – free shipping is a huge relief.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on shoes at I’m In!

According to a study done by the University of Pittsburgh: the proper use of mobile coupons could significantly pump up unplanned grocery spending, getting shoppers to go beyond those lists they’ve brought to the store. I know that my family has spent more on our usual monthly shopping because of deals popping up on our smartphones. Did you know that about 50 percent of consumers in the U.S. owned a smartphone and used it for coupons while shopping? That’s crazy, the coupons literally mold our spending habits now. For example, if a store could send a few coupons to shoppers’ smartphones at the right moment, those customers might travel further and see other things they need. Though some shoppers got coupons for items close to their expected route, while others got promotions that required them to go much farther. Those who had BOGO or Quantity discount coupons spent more money.

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

The study found the average in unplanned spending was $13.83 for shoppers given deals near their routes, but $21.29 for those who traveled a longer distance. Online coupons are a big hit, once again, because technology has become so prevalent in our society. More than half of the consumers who used a coupon code during their last online purchase said that if they had not received the discount, they would not have bought the items that they did. That indicates that coupons can be a highly effective at making people spend more money. When asked about their online shopping experience, satisfaction was about 4% higher for consumers who used a coupon than for those who did not. Consumers who used an online coupon said they are more likely to buy from the retailer again when compared to those who did not use a coupon. So not only will coupons encourage higher order value purchases, but they also increase that consumer’s likelihood to purchase from that retailer again. That is exactly how my mother got hooked on online shopping for clothes and other goods. Statistically, more than 367 billion coupons were distributed and 3.3 billion redeemed across the nation this year. The coupons you need are all out there, you just need to connect with people and places who have them.

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