The number of digital coupon events increased by 12.3 percent in 2011, as compared to 2010, across key websites tracked by Kantar Media . The number of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers that distributed digital coupons across the same key websites increased to 324 in 2011, a 2.5 percent increase versus the prior year. Of the 324 manufacturers that distributed digital coupons, 216 distributed both digital coupons and Free-Standing Insert (FSI) coupons in 2011. While there were 108 manufacturers only active in digital coupons, representing 33.3 percent of manufacturers that were active in digital in 2011.
“The increase in the number of manufacturers that are active in the digital space makes it even more important to monitor competitive promotion activity across all media,” said David Hamric, General Manager, Kantar Media Marx. “Clearly, the majority of manufacturers view digital coupons and FSI coupons as complementary promotion tactics. However, the additional one-third of manufacturers that only distribute digital coupons can impact shoppers as they develop their shopping lists and plan their shopping trips. Marx, a Kantar Media solution, continues to be the only source for census-level FSI coupon and digital coupon insights across leading network, brand and retailer websites which helps our clients see a richer, more complete picture of their competitive landscape,” said Hamric.
Non-Food Areas continued to increase their share of events to 40.5 percent in 2011 across key websites tracked by Marx. (NOTE: Sum of all Areas may be greater than 100 percent due to events which include more than one Area). This is an increase of 8.0 points over 2010, demonstrating that Non-Food is playing a more prominent role in digital coupons than in the past. Health Care had the greatest share increase at 3.7 points. Food Areas represented 60.9 percent of digital coupon events with all five of the Food Areas decreasing in share of activity. Dry Grocery had the greatest decrease, declining 4.6 points.
Retail Channel Tactics
Distinct promotion tactics are evident within the Food, Drug, and Mass retail channels across the key retailer websites tracked by Marx. With 424 manufacturers, the Food channel had nearly double the number of manufacturers distributing digital coupon events compared to the Drug channel which had 217 manufacturers distributing digital events. However, at $2.94, the Drug channel maintains a significantly higher Average Face Value than the Food or Mass channels, driven in part by high value offers promoting channel-specific products with higher retail prices. Digital coupons within the Mass channel have a comparatively longer Average Impression Life of 4.1 weeks which aligns with a lower trip frequency for shoppers within the Mass channel than either the Food or Drug channels.
Retail Channel Tactics
“The timing and duration for digital coupon promotions on retailer websites should reflect the purchase cycle of the product and the trip frequency for the channel,” stated Dan Kitrell, Vice President of Marx Account Solutions at Kantar Media. “While FSI coupons have a unique ability to deliver a brand message with a purchase incentive to about 70 million households on a specific day, digital coupons on retailer websites reach the shopper when they are actively building shopping lists and planning shopping trips.
Retail account teams need a complete picture of digital coupons on retailer websites, retailer participation in FSI coupon events, and cooperative retailer advertising campaigns to help them secure merchandising support, improve promotional lift, and drive incremental sales. Shopper marketing and retail account teams continue to seek solutions to efficiently capture integrated retailer advertising and promotion insights that can simplify account planning and improve sales results. We’ve developed a new service called DirectHEAT® Retail Insights, that addresses those needs for manufacturers at their leading retailers,” concluded Kitrell.
2011 New Product Introductions
As previously reported in the Marx 2011 FSI Trends Press Release, 291 new product introductions included FSI coupon support in 2011. Of these 291 new product introductions, 117 included digital coupon support in addition to the FSI coupon events. On average, new product introductions in digital coupons received 11.7 Event Dates per New Product (representing the number of times each week a new product received support) compared to 2.0 Event Dates per New Product for FSI coupon promotions. New products are receiving more than five times the number of Event Dates per New Product through digital coupons, which as a flexible promotional vehicle, can increase the potential exposure a shopper would have to both the offer and the new product online.
New Product Introductions
QR Codes Usage
Based on a review of digital coupon events on retailer websites monitored by Marx, we observed that Quick Response (QR) codes were being used on a limited basis by manufacturers that distributed digital coupons on retailer websites. In contrast, there were no observed occurrences of QR codes being used as part of digital coupon events on brand-specific websites monitored by Marx. “Digital coupon promotions have historically not taken full advantage of the unique advertising potential of digital media,” noted Kitrell. He emphasized, “Although QR codes are not unique to digital promotions, they may align with the demographics of a more tech-savvy coupon user. This presents a real opportunity for brands that are looking for a continued connection with the consumer by using a QR code to track and continue to engage the shopper, long after the digital offer has been redeemed.”
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