Some things never change. For instance, there have always been frugal folks clipping out coupons to save on groceries. But these days it’s more and more likely that the coupons they are using are coming from their mobile devices instead of the Sunday papers.
This year, eMarketer forecasts that more than half of U.S. adult Internet users will redeem a coupon that they discovered on a cell phone or tablet. That’s 102.5 million people––an 11% increase in just one year. This is big.
More than 28% of people who own a mobile device have redeemed at least one online coupon. Nearly 70% of mobile coupon users accessed these coupons via their smartphone. These digital coupons come from a variety of sources: barcode scans, QR codes, apps or SMS. Last year, U.S. adult smartphone coupon use grew 60.6%. eMarketer projects that it will expand another 40.9%.
This is all part of a shift in who is using mobile devices. It’s no longer just those with disposable incomes. According to a recent Pew report 56% of American adults have a smartphone. This transcends incomes. Every major demographic group, except seniors, experienced significant year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013.
The online coupon is also seeing increased use on tablet devices. Some 47 million people ages 18 and above––about half of all tablet users––are forecasted to redeem a digital coupon.
It seems to be the perfect storm––an increase in the ownership mobile devices coinciding with a post-recession universe keen on pinching pennies. Best of all, no scissors required.