Coupon User Demographics

demographics of coupon usage

In this section we will cover the major coupon demographics of U.S. coupon users. To read about major couponing trends in other areas of the world, please visit our guide covering worldwide couponing.

 Paradigm Shift: Couponing for the Wealthy

Adapted from MainStreet.com:

“The popularity of the movement once affiliated with the budget-conscious middle class now cuts across all gender, age and socioeconomic groups. We see that the biggest adopters tend to be high income earners.  The most popular sites traffic in deals on restaurants, travel, classes and services like teeth-whitening. These aren’t exactly luxury items, but they are aimed at people with disposable income – and that’s exactly who’s buying.”[1]

Possible Explanations

Newspapers[2]

  • Better educated, higher income households regularly read newspapers more often than other households; newspapers are still the primary vehicle for coupon distribution.

Education and financial know-how

  • Better educated, more affluent consumers recognize the value of money and are better at recognizing opportunities for savings.

Post-Recession Popularity

  • Saving is now the cool thing to do.

Evidence

80/20 rule

  • 83% of units purchased with manufacturer coupons in 2009 were done so by just 22% of households.

Affluent households dominate coupon usage

With the value offered by coupons, one might think that the lowest income households would be among the heaviest users. In fact, more affluent households dominate coupon usage:[3]

  • 38% of “super heavy” users and
  • 41% of “enthusiasts” come from households with incomes greater than $70,000.
  • Households with income of $100,000 and up were the primary drivers of coupon growth in 2009.
  • The enthusiast category also attracts a disproportionate number of households with incomes between $50,000 and $69,900.

nielsen coupon affluent users demographics

Coupon User Demographics

  • Older female users (65+) make up 18% of heavy coupon users[4]
  • younger female households use more coupons than male-only households

nielsen coupon user younger demographic chart

Education, Income and couponing

  • The consumer who prints digital coupons has an average household income of $105,000, a 26 percent higher income level than the U.S average.[5]
  • 36 percent of those who use digital coupons have a college degree, compared to 28 percent of those who use newspaper coupons and 26 percent of the general populace.

NCH Survey

Percent of Consumers Who Use Coupons by Education[9]

  • High school Education/less:  92.6%
  • Some College/Graduation: 94.3%
  • Post Grad: 96.7%

Correlation between personality type and coupon usage

People who use coupons tend to be:[6]

  • smart
  • wealthy (salary of $100K-$200K)
  • socially responsible
  • interested in the environment
  • extroverts
  • imaginative

People who don’t use coupons tend to be:

  • neurotic
  • angry
  • insecure
  • careless
  • procrastinators
  • earn less than $50K annually

More specifically:[7][8]

  • People who consider the environment of utmost importance are the most likely to be coupon lovers – 37% more likely than others.
  • College-educated people are 78% more likely than the non-college educated to be coupon lovers.
  • Parents are 48% more likely than non-parents to be coupon lovers.
  • Northeasterners are 66% more likely than West Coasters to be coupon lovers.
  • The middle-aged are more likely than younger generations to have a strong opinion about online coupons.
  • Coupon lovers are 220% more likely than abstainers to highly value tradition, and 96% more likely to highly value self-direction.
  • Devoutly religious people are 31% more likely to be coupon lovers and substantially less likely to be Libertarians are 47% more likely to be online coupon users
  • Self-identified insecure, temperamental people are 33% more likely to be abstainers.
  • Detached, sophisticated, careless and procrastinating people are also each at least 20% more likely to be coupon abstainers.
  • Men are 27% more likely to be coupon abstainers.
  • Insecure, low-income men are the quintessential coupon abstainers, being 130% more likely to avoid online coupons. Those with household incomes of less than $50,000 per year are a fifth as likely to be coupon lovers.

Couponing by City[5]

For the second year in a row, Atlanta takes the top spot on the ‘Most Frugal U.S. Cities’ list, according to the 2010 Savings Index1 released by Coupons.com. On average, regular users of Coupons.com in Atlanta printed more than $1,000 dollars in coupon savings from the site in 2010. That is almost twice as much as during 2009, when they printed $531 in savings.

Top 20 Cities Redeeming Coupons in 2011

  1. Atlanta
  2. Tampa
  3. Cincinnati
  4. Saint Louis
  5. Minneapolis
  6. Charlotte
  7. Nashville
  8. Cleveland
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Raleigh
  11. Kansas City
  12. Washington DC
  13. Miami
  14. Dallas
  15. Oklahoma City
  16. Boston
  17. Denver
  18. Seattle
  19. Columbus
  20. Wichita

Top 20 Cities Redeeming Mobile Coupons

  1. Atlanta
  2. Tampa
  3. Saint Louis
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Oklahoma City
  6. Dallas
  7. Charlotte
  8. Pittsburgh
  9. Tulsa
  10. Miami
  11. Minneapolis
  12. Washington DC
  13. Nashville
  14. Raleigh
  15. Wichita
  16. Kansas City
  17. New Orleans
  18. Cleveland
  19. Denver
  20. Memphis

Coupon Use by Ethnicity / Living Area

  • While all ethnic populations use coupons, nearly 75% of coupon clippers are Caucasian.[2]
  • Heavier coupon users tend to live in affluent suburbs or comfortable open space
  • Non-coupon users tend to live in rural areas and developing urban cores

The Average Coupon User

“In summary the profile of the mostly likely coupon user is: white, female, 25-44 years old, married with no children or with younger children. They live in the suburbs, have at least some college education and make more than $50,000 a year. They have Internet access, own their home, and prefer texting to calling on their phone. Coupon users are now younger, affluent, and tech-savvy – pretty much the exact opposite of the stereotype of coupon users.” -Afullcup.com[10]

Here are some more highlights of coupon users. It is difficult to pinpoint the average coupon user because couponers span every demographic, age group, and gender. We can only point to certain statistics and say that certain groups and demographics use coupons more than another group, but you can only get the whole picture when you take in the group as a whole.

  • Women are 67% more likely than men to be coupon lovers. [8]
  • The age group that is most likely to coupon is those 35-44. [9]
  • According to NCH, Asians are the highest percentage of consumers who use coupons – 96.4%. Blacks consumers use coupons the least as a percentage – at 87.9%. [9]
  • Three-fourths of coupon users are Caucasian [2]
  • Households residing in comfortable country and suburban spreads are more likely to be heavier coupon users, while non-users are more apt to be those households living in rural areas and urban core areas. [2]

Sources:

1. mainstreet.com

2. blog.nielsen.com

3. Nielsen Chart: Affluent Households- Heaviest Coupon Users

4. Nielsen Chart:Younger and Older Female

5. Couponsinc.com 2011 press release

6. orbitalalliance.com

7. marketingpilgrim.com

8. Deals.com Survey

9. 2011 NCH Consumer Survey

10. A Full Cup – “Who is the Average Coupon User?”