According to BIGresearch’s latest “Hot or Not” survey, extreme couponing is heating up. Six in 10 adults say extreme couponing is popular now, and nearly three-quarters of women and moms say they are paying attention to the trend.
Also interesting: Nearly half of consumers say they are influenced or greatly influenced by online coupons and more than two-thirds of shoppers say coupons influence their grocery-buying decisions.
Extreme couponing has become so big, retailers have had to adjust their policies, with some saying the trend may cause more harm than good. Chains are updating their policies, with some adding more restrictions and others posting rules for the first time.
“One of the reasons why retailers have been posting their rules is because there has been fraud, there has been misuse of coupons [and] they want to control that,” said Todd Hale, senior VP-consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen.
Coupons, first used most widely to sell cereal in 1909, have become a cultural phenomenon, with websites, mobile phones and social networks adding to traditional newspaper coupons. Some daily deal sites make it possible to save on all kinds of items and experiences; other mobile apps offer coupons when you’re in the vicinity of a specific retailer.
But that’s not enough for some, who find innovative techniques to combine coupons and collect them to save thousands of dollars each year. There are even businesses dedicated to the fad. The phenomenon is the subject of reality show “Extreme Couponing.”
Those who clip (and scan and text) are not just the financially strapped. Even well-to-do consumers have gotten in on the fad, according to USA Today.
Source: National Retail Federation, July 2010