Grocery shoppers swayed by coupons in stores and online

Coupons matter to grocery shoppers whether they’re in stores or online, according to the 2018 Purse String Survey from media specialist Valassis.

Of more than 6,200 consumers polled, 93% said they’re interested in finding coupons, coupon codes and deals for groceries, which Livonia, Mich.-based Valassis said makes grocery the top category for deal- and coupon-finding.

Eighty-two percent of respondents indicated they typically use coupons for their weekly grocery shopping trip. Yet the survey found that almost half of those shoppers (47%) also make use of coupons for their fill-in trips.

Valassis noted that retailers can attract more online grocery shoppers with coupons. According to the study, 48% of consumers polled — and 70% of Millennial parents — agreed they would be more apt to shop for groceries online if they could use more coupons. Similarly, 82% of respondents said they would be more interested in trying a meal kit from grocery retailers offering a coupon.

The survey also revealed that most consumers are more likely to buy from a grocery retailers that reward their loyalty with personalized offers or discounts (83%) and make them feel like a valued customer (67%).

“Consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to how they purchase groceries. Whether they shop online, in-store, use a delivery or pickup service, or prepare meal kits at home, it’s critical for grocery retailers to consider shopper preferences,” according to Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer for Valassis. “Consumers want deals, convenience and a personalized experience. Grocers who can deliver on these increasing customer demands will win them over and gain their loyalty.”

Looking at broader grocery retail trends, the survey found that 13% of respondents are buying more groceries online and using home delivery versus last year. That percentage rises for fathers (23%) and Hispanics (20%), Valassis reported.

Another 12% of those polled said they’re purchasing more grocery products online and picking them up at the store. Click-and-collect services are particularly embraced by Millennials (20%) and Millennial parents (22%), the study showed.

Brick-and-mortar stores, however, aren’t being eclipsed as a grocery shopping venue even with the growth of online grocery services. For example, 57% of consumers surveyed said grocery product availability makes them more likely to go into a physical store to shop versus online. Valassis said this may reflect shopper concerns about selection and the ability to satisfy an immediate need.

And meal kits at retail represent another opportunity. The survey found that 36% of respondents and 52% of Millennial parents would be interested in trying a meal kit if sold at a nearby store.