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Holiday shoppers hungry for coupons: Strategies for brands

Beecher Eberhard
By: Beecher Eberhard, Senior Consumer Researcher
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As grocery shoppers head into the holiday season this year, economic uncertainty has them looking to make every dollar count. As a result, many say they’ll be turning to coupons to help their holiday budgets go further.

While food prices aren’t rising as fast as they did a few months ago, coupons continue to be highly sought-after by shoppers. In our recent holiday shopper behavior study, 84.51° surveyed Kroger customers who shopped Kroger in-store or online and asked them about their plans and perceptions heading into the season. Our research reveals that 93% of shoppers anticipate using the same number of coupons or more for their holiday purchases this year. As these shoppers focus on smart spending, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have an opportunity to help customers stretch their budgets while delivering the holiday items they need, when and where they need it.

Current economic conditions driving coupon usage

Although the rate of inflation is falling, the cost of food and many other necessary items is still higher than it has been since before the COVID-19 pandemic. According to our September Real-Time Insights Survey, shopper concern over inflation is still high, with 64% of shoppers saying they’re concerned about it. As these shoppers look for deals and discounts this holiday season, retailers and brands are ramping up holiday couponing activities around food, gifts, décor and other items.

Digital coupon opportunities

With the growing number of apps and websites that make finding and using coupons easier than ever, brands have more tools for sending relevant discounts based on insights. Digital coupons offer customers ease and convenience and can be used to steadily deliver a variety of discounts, promotions and value packs that resonate with deal-hunting shoppers – from price savings like “Buy One, Get One” offers to special offers on bundled holiday items.

Coupons encourage brand exploration

As high prices continue to impact shopping decisions, brands have an opportunity to acquire new customers with high-value coupons. To encourage trials of new products and flavors, CPGs can deliver product recommendations while at the same time offering savings on those items.

To implement this strategy, deliver coupons effectively by meeting shoppers at the channels they frequently visit, whether that’s direct mail or digital platforms. By intercepting shoppers with compelling brand messaging and exclusive offers, brands can gain a competitive edge by providing attractive savings opportunities that resonate with cost-conscious customers.

Rising demand for personalized coupons

Customers today expect personalized experiences that are relevant, meaningful and timely to them. A recent report from 84.51° found that 59% of consumers are more likely to purchase a certain brand or shop at a certain store if they receive personalized content. Those offers provide value to shoppers in the form of increased savings: Our research shows that relevant coupons delivered $190 million more in savings compared to non-personalized coupons.

When using retail data and customer insights, brands can gain the attention of consumers by tailoring coupons that meet their individual needs and expectations. To develop personalized coupon strategies, brands need to understand customer behaviors and motivations across all channels, to ensure they’re reaching shoppers how and when they prefer.

Get more insights to make the holiday season shine

As customers continue to look for ways to save in the current economic environment, brands must understand how shoppers are approaching their holiday grocery lists. We uncovered insights to help brands understand how shopper behavior is evolving, so they can develop holiday coupon marketing strategies that make the season bright for shoppers, and position themselves as trusted partners going into the season and beyond. For more insights about these changing shopper expectations and how to meet them, read our new white paper: From tradition to transformation: Examining holiday shopping trends and evolving customer habits.


Beecher Eberhard
Beecher Eberhard, Senior Consumer Researcher
Beecher Eberhard is a Senior Consumer Researcher at 84.51° working on the Commercial Consumer Research team. Beecher has a passion for insights and helps our CPG clients uncover shopper behaviors that help bridge the ...

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