Clicking coupons in the new clipping coupons

Posted on December 10, 2008


I remember my grandma clipping coupons and taking them to the grocery store to get 10 cents off her milk.  I never thought it was strange, but always thought it was something only thrifty old people do.  Apparently, my generation had something to learn from Grandma Ginny and we're just now starting to put it into practice online and in-store.

By the time I started heading to the grocery store on my own, there were club cards and in-aisle discounts and I didn't think I needed the coupon from the newspaper anymore (who is still reading the newspaper in print, anyway??).  On the other hand, when Bed, Bath & Beyond mails me a coupon, I take it to the store and when Banana Republic or JCREW email me coupon codes, I make the effort to use them.  Only recently did my roommate point out that these stores probably hike their prices to accommodate for those coupons… (another issue entirely).

The point is: coupons are on the rise, but will they be cool again?  As this article in the Times points out, there are a slew of sites dedicated to coupon codes for almost anything you want to buy.  My guess is that they tend to cater to an older audience than Gen XYZers.  I just don't have the time to search through link upon link to get 10% off of anything unless it's really expensive.  On the other hand, some stores make it really easy by mailing or emailing their discount codes.  The first sign I would've used to declare a recession?  The 825th JCREW coupon emailed to me in the past month.

My advice for consumer marketers trying to reach GenXYZ is: don't spout off coupons as a sign of desperation.  If you start sending as many as JCREW of BB&B, I'm going to stop paying attention to you and believe my roommate (see above).  On the other hand, a little retro coupon effort that sparks images of Grandma might not be such a bad approach. 

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