Digital Coupons Make Saving Money A Breeze

Coupon Strategies Before Technology Advancements
Couponing has come a long way over the past couple of decades. There was a time when deal hunters would wait for the Sunday paper and comb through it in search of coupons. Once the coupons were found, one would carefully cut it out with scissors and store it in a coupon book. These coupons would then be taken to the grocery store, scanned by the cashier and the savings would come off of the total. As the years went on, retail stores jumped on the bandwagon and began offering coupons in the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper as well. These coupons would advertise deals on shoes, clothing, dining, entertainment, and even services such as house cleaning, carpet cleaning, and automotive maintenance.

Extreme Couponing
In the early 2000s, many TV shows turned couponing into entertainment. These shows would follow the everyday lives of people who were hunting for the best deals. Often, these deal hunters would even have in-home stockpiles of shelf-stable goods. The extreme couponers would share their techniques with the camera crew and home viewers were able to learn about coupon clipping, coupon stacking, and planning shopping trips around BOGO deals and other store deals. There was an art to this style of couponing but it paid off big in the end. These savers would get hundreds of dollars off of their bills due to their diligent shopping strategies. In many cases, shoppers would map out the store, create a shopping list, list where the deals would be in the store, and then have the coupons clipped and in order so that they were sure to receive the ultimate savings.

Technology Brought Big Changes To The Couponing Lifestyle with Digital Coupons and Customer Loyalty Savings Programs
As technology advanced, many deal hunters learned of new ways they could stretch their dollar and get the best deals possible. Many stores became more eco-friendly and went paperless. The stores stopped mailing out large mailers or adding large coupon sections to the Sunday paper. Rather than wasting paper, stores began creating digital flyers. What exactly did these digital flyers mean to couponers? Well, quite a bit actually. Shoppers could easily go online via their laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone and scroll through the weekly ad. The stores also created online loyalty programs. Coupons could now be “clipped” digitally and added to the user’s online account. Talk about making life easier! Now shoppers would not have to carry a coupon book with to the grocery store. Every coupon that was saved was stored right on the user’s store account. Additionally, customers could still go directly to the manufacturer’s website and look for online digital manufacturer coupons that they could double with in-store coupons. All of these savings were easily stored and ready to use.

Technology Continued To Evolve
Within the past decade, Technology has really taken off for store savings. Many stores have gone beyond customer loyalty programs and evolved into smartphone applications. Customers can simply download each store’s app onto their device and browse the app for sales and coupons. Couponers no longer need to hunt for deals in person in the stores, curbside pickup and online shopping have turned the art of couponing into a digital game. Shoppers apply their coupons digitally and the store employees who fulfill these online orders must ensure the deals are all acquired appropriately. Extreme couponers or those simply looking to save a couple of dollars can now achieve savings from the comfort of their own couch.

So, Are Coupons A Thing of The Past?
With all of these advancements in technology, customer reward programs, store app savings, and online shopping some might wonder if coupons are a thing of the past. Well, the answer is not exactly. There are still real paper coupons that are being distributed to consumers. Many people receive weekly coupon mailers directly to their mailboxes. If you open this value-savings envelope you’ll most likely find a wide variety of coupons. Some coupons will feature deals on local dining establishments, other coupons will show sales on oil changes, tires, or other vehicle maintenance, and many coupons will include savings on gutter cleaning, carpet cleaning, roofing needs, HVAC maintenance, and other general home services. These companies understand that not everyone has jumped on board with the digital era and some people still like to have the coupons in their hand. Don’t fret though, most of these coupons will have websites and QR codes printed directly under the promotion they are featuring. These businesses are offering the best of both worlds for coupon lovers.

The Future Of Coupons
The future of coupons might be a bit unclear as technology continues to advance. Boomers and GenX have gotten into the digital era and do utilize apps and online shopping, however, they do not use these services as much as millennials and generations preceding them.

Many people born in the early 2000s pay little attention to paper coupons and look for their deals digitally. One thing to note is that these consumers may be less aware of their spending and ability to save due to their age. They are young adults and may not be living on their own yet and experiencing the depth of expenses and possibility of saving money with coupons.

There could come a time when retail coupons featuring 15%, 20%, 30% and even 40% off are sent only via emails or in-app alerts. Restaurants may have to rely more on crowdsourcing and digital marketing to promote their businesses and their nightly specials. One thing is clear, right now, people living on their own or supporting their families are looking for deals. While the economy navigates through inflation, shrink-flation, and a higher cost of living, many people are exploring money-saving techniques and utilizing both paper and digital coupons to reduce some of their spending.