While grocery lags other sectors in e-commerce, digital marketing is already making an impact in the shopping aisles as shoppers look for coupons online before and during their trip to the store. According to InMar, in 2013 redemptions topped 66 million coupons, up 141 percent year over year, and 40 percent of coupons in 2013 were redeemed on food.

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L2’s Food Insight Report: Digital Coupons shows that similar to many grocery e-commerce players, the majority of brands have yet to realign their couponing programs with the quickly shifting online and mobile reality of their growing popularity. While 36 percent of brands have coupon sections on their brand sites, only 24% were actually providing coupons during the data collection period.

Of the 8 e-commerce partners analyzed in the report, Amazon was the only partner to offer coupons for over half of the index brands. Walmart and Target, the two runners-up, provided coupons for only half the amount of index brands of Amazon. Amazon, Peapod and Fresh Direct allow coupon use during online checkout while Walmart only allowed in-store redemption during the data collection period.


As food brand sites only attract a small percentage of visits, online grocery sites and coupon aggregator applications like Coupon Queen, Cellfire, and Grocery IQ are likely to receive the majority of coupon traffic. Consequently, it is important that packaged food brands understand their coupon availability on both online grocers and mobile coupon aggregators as performance indicators.

SEM performance should also take coupons into consideration. Of the 80 packaged food brands analyzed in the Food Insight Report: Coupons, only 23% included a coupon or ‘save now’ promotion in their call-to-action, yet browsing for coupons is the second most popular digital activity for grocery shoppers (55 percent), after reading online circulars (62 percent).  Brands that invest more in display advertising with coupons are likely to see an increase in their ctr and decrease in bid amount or cpm.

There is a great opportunity for brands to increase their ROI by creating robust couponing strategies. For more information on packaged food brands digital coupons, download the Insight Report: Digital Coupons.




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