Coupon Statistics Update (2024)

Although coupons have been around for over 135 years, their popularity and primary medium have changed drastically since Coca-Cola created the first one in 1887. The rise of and acceleration of digital coupons offered tech-savvy shoppers up to $4 billion in savings last year alone. In fact, over 90% of households claimed they had used at least one coupon in the last 12 months.

Although “digital coupons” are not new, their popularity and use have changed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic and surge in online shopping altered the consumer purchasing landscape forever.

Top 2024 Coupon Statistics & Facts

  • Over 90% of households claimed they had used at least one coupon in the last 12 months.

(Source: Statista)

  • The most popular coupon searched for online in the last 12 months is “DoorDash Promo Code.”

(Source: Semrush)

  • The average discount percentage when using an online coupon in 2022 was 21.9%

(Source: CouponFollow)

  • In 2022, 80% of shoppers claimed they only sign for emails in order to get discounts.

(Source: Meetanshi)

  • Coupons seemed to be used regardless of income level. Survey results showed that 86% of households making over $200,000 a year had used a coupon in the last 12 months.

(Source: Save My Cent)

  • Facebook was the most popular social media app used for finding coupons in 2022, with 42% of shoppers searching for promo codes on Facebook before any other social media platform.

(Source: Statista)

  • In 2021, 40% of grocery shoppers used a discount or promo code through their phone when shopping in-store.

(Source: Statista)

2024 Coupon Trends & Statistics

For over 100 years, couponing has been an important driver of retail sales. Technology advancements over the last several years have allowed consumers to save through much more than regular coupon codes with the emergence of mobile savings apps, chrome extensions, loyalty programs, credit card perks, and cash-back incentives. Advancements in AI are also changing the way retailers deliver coupons to consumers. With AI, tailored digital coupons can be sent to consumers within 24 or 48 hours, vs. days or weeks with print coupons. This is expected to significantly grow the coupon market over the next 5 years. Increased competition from other online retailers and the uncertain economy means that going into 2023, coupons can be a make-or-break for online consumers completing a purchase.

Quick Coupon Stats:

40% of grocery shoppers surveyed said they had recently used an online promo code through a mobile app when shopping for groceries in-store.

(Source: Statista)

In 2022, 38% of shoppers admitted to spending more than they originally planned because they found a coupon.

(Source: Credit Donkey)

In 2022, the average American shopper belonged to over 16 loyalty programs specifically to save money and get discounts on future purchases.

(Source: Exploding Topics)

By 2023**, 80% of all coupon redemptions are projected to happen on a mobile device**.

(Source: Juniper Research)

We are increasingly doing everything on our mobile devices, and using coupons is no exception.

Not only are we leveraging our coupons on mobile devices more, we are also leveraging them for price comparisons in real-time. 93% of Millennials use their mobile device to compare prices while shopping for an item in a brick-and-mortar store.

Digital couponing also affects which brick-and-mortar stores in which consumers choose to shop: 63% of shoppers said that they choose which stores to shop in based on whether or not they offer digital coupon redemption.

(Source: Valassis)

96% of Millennial parents reported using digital coupons in 2020.

(Source: Valassis)

So where are Millennials finding digital coupons?

Data shows Millennials using a wide range of sources including store websites, social media and apps. When it comes to coupon websites, 94% of Millennial parents and 79% of Millennials as a whole reported using coupon websites to search for discounts - versus only 53% of baby boomers.

What are the Most Popular Coupon Websites?

The most popular coupon website with consumers is Retailmenot, with an estimated 5.3 million visitors per month. They are followed by Slickdeals, Coupon Cabin, CouponFollow, Dealspotr, and Don’t Pay Full who get anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of visitors per month.

(Source: Semrush)

What is the Most Popular Way Consumers Find Coupons?

In a survey done by CouponFollow, respondents said the most frequent way they found coupons was through brand emails, followed by online searches and checking coupon sites directly.

(Source: CouponFollow)

Discount mobile apps and other savings technologies have surged in popularity and are now used frequently when shopping on desktop, mobile devices and in-store. The most popular discount app in 2022 was Fetch, which had over 14 million active downloads. This was followed closely by Upside, which is a gas-specific savings app.

(Source: Statista)

How Much Do Consumers Actually Save with Coupons?

Between brand emails, newspapers, social media, chrome extensions, and mobile savings apps, consumers can leverage online coupons or promotions for nearly every purchase online and in-store. Although a $5 coupon may not seem like much in the moment, using coupons intelligently adds up throughout the year.

A study conducted by CouponFollow in 2021 shows that the average American household could save up to $1,465 per year by leveraging online coupons.

(Source: CouponFollow)

Based on internal data 39.9% of online purchases can be matched with a working coupon code that saves an average of $30 per cart. Using a chrome extension, like Cently, will automatically apply the best coupons at checkout so you can save money without worrying about searching for the best code.

What Types of Coupons Save Consumers the Most Money?

CouponFollow’s data shows that the amount you can save with a coupon varies greatly on its product category.

Below you can find an overview of average online coupon outcomes for each of the shopping categories analyzed by CouponFollow’s savings engine, Cently.

(Source: CouponFollow)

Although it's possible to find some sort of discount for nearly anything you want to buy, the amount of savings can vary widely depending on what items you're buying, and what store you are buying from.

According to recent data collected by CouponFollow, shoppers are most likely to save the most money using online coupons when shopping for alcohol, with an average savings of $37 per purchase. Automotive and household items also frequently offer great coupon deals, with average savings of $41 and $39, respectively.

On the other hand, while there are lots of working coupons for books and other reading materials the dollar amount consumers typically save in these categories is significantly less than household or grocery purchases.

In general, coupons have the highest success rate (56.6%) for smoking and tobacco products, followed by food and alcohol. Travel purchases and personal care or beauty products, meanwhile, are less likely to have coupons available year-round and typically offer discounts during select times of the year like Black Friday.

When it comes to the discount percentage offered by coupons, shoppers can expect to get the biggest discounts when using coupons for eating out (20.3%), purchasing personal or beauty products (19.4%), or buying apparel or accessories (18.8%).

Based on the below data, shoppers can clearly maximize savings by keeping seasonal trends in mind, since there are historically more coupons available in October, April, and May. However, the biggest discounts are typically available in November, thanks to Black Friday and the winter holiday shopping season.

(Source: CouponFollow)

With an average savings of $1,465 per year, it's clear that online coupons are a valuable tool for savvy shoppers. By keeping these tips in mind, staying on top of seasonal trends, and leveraging software tools to automate savings whenever you shop most families can save a full paycheck every year from discounts on everyday purchases.

Paper vs. Digital Coupons

Digital coupon usage in 2022 significantly exceeded paper coupon usage for millennials- 82% of millennial shoppers used digital coupons vs. 72% using paper coupons.

(Source: Statista)

The trend toward digitalization has brought about significant changes, including the way consumers use coupons. According to recent data from a three-month study in 2022, digital coupons are now the preferred choice among most shoppers in the United States.

82 percent of Millennial shoppers reported using digital coupons during this time frame, marking a significant shift in behavior from the more traditional paper coupons. In comparison, only 72 percent of the same age group reported using paper coupons, indicating a clear preference for digital coupons both online and in-store.

This shift towards digital coupons is not only limited to Millennials. Although not as popular with older demographics, digital coupons have become more popular with every single age group since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The convenience of accessing coupons online, and the ability to redeem them instantly via mobile or other electronic devices, is a significant factor in driving the popularity of digital coupons. Retailers are taking advantage of this trend, by offering digital discounts and promotions to constantly attract customers and boost sales.

Overall, this shift towards digital coupons represents a significant change in consumer behavior, and retailers have capitalized on it to increase their sales. As we move forward, we can expect to see more retailers embrace coupon technology to offer consumers an ever-increasing array of digital coupons, discounts and promotions via multiple platforms and devices.

(Source: Statista)

Coupons & Social Media

Outside of brand emails and online searches social media is one of the most popular places consumers look to find coupons and discounts. In 2021, Facebook was by far the most popular social media platform consumers used to find coupons, however, coupons were found on nearly every social media platform in 2021.

(Source: CouponFollow)

Coupons for Food & Grocery

One of the starkest shifts in digital couponing and shopping behavior in 2020 was in the online grocery delivery vertical. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is over in most parts of the world technology advancements in digital coupons and mobile apps have made lasting changes in the grocery industry.

When deciding on an online grocery retailer, 60% of shoppers look at online discounts before deciding on which one to order from. In contrast, only 40% of shoppers compare offers before deciding on a brick-and-mortar grocery store.

Grocery stores seemed to be some of the last vestiges of brick-and-mortar retail, but that is quickly changing. Nielsen predicts that 70% of consumers will shop for groceries online within 7 years.

In 2020 digital coupon usage in online grocery stores rose by 54% YoY.

(Source: Statista)

In 2020 (during the COVID-19 pandemic), digital coupon usage in online grocery stores rose by 54% YoY.

(Source: Valassis)

(Source: Statista)

Coupon Trends During Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic massively accelerated online coupon usage. Below is a collection of stats showcasing how the coupon market changed in 2020 due to the shift to online shopping.

96% of Millennial parents reported using digital coupons in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

92% of shoppers in 2020 searched for coupons or offers before buying online.

(Source: Statista)

60% of online shoppers reported that discounts were even more important during COVID-19.**

(Source: Statista)

86% of Millennials in 2020 reported that they could be persuaded to try a new brand if offered a discount.

(Source: Statista)

86% of Millennials in 2020 reported that they could be persuaded to try a new brand if offered a discount.

(Source: Valassis)

As competition for eyeballs in eCommerce grows fiercer, coupons can be a valuable tool in finding a new audience for your brand.

Millennials have grown up in a digital world, so it’s no surprise that they are more likely to use digital coupons than their Baby Boomer parents - in 2020, 88% of Millennials used paperless discounts, vs. only 64% of Baby Boomers.

COVID-19 changed everything for online consumers in 2020. 60% of online shoppers in 2020 reported that discounts were even more important in deciding whether or not to make a purchase after COVID-19.

In 2020 Walgreens, shifted their printed circulars to online-only and saw an 80% increase in redemptions.

History of Coupons

The first coupon was created by the founder of Coca-Cola, Asa Candler. The promotion offered a free glass of Coke (at the time priced at $0.05 a glass). Between 1894 to 1913 Coca Cola gave out 8,500,000 glasses of Coke for free and created so much brand awareness that Coca-Cola became the most popular soda in the United States.

A few years after the success of Coke’s coupon campaign, several cereal companies began leveraging coupon marketing strategies to increase sales. Once the great depression began coupons became “mainstream” for lots of food goods and household products.

During WWII, the U.S. government created “coupons” as a way to ration necessities like sugar, flour, and milk. Without an approved voucher, you would be unable to buy these basic products.

In 1957, the “Nielsen Coupon Clearing House” was founded as the first coupon-specific company. Nielsen collected data on the types of coupons that were the most popular and produced the coupons themselves, serving as an intermediary between manufacturers and retailers. By 1965 over half of American households were using coupons on a regular basis.

For several decades coupon usage continued to grow through newspapers, magazines, and shopping malls, before the birth of the internet caused the industry to grow exponentially.

When e-commerce broke out due to the birth of the internet in the late 90s, coupon and discount-specific companies like Slickdeals, Retailmenot, Coupon Cabin, and CouponFollow began aggregating online codes

The Takeaway

Coupons have been an integral part of the American shopping experience for over 100 years. Although online coupons have been around for over 20 years, the Covid-19 pandemic and surge of online shopping have created a multi-billion dollar market that thousands of companies and consumers rely on.

As we head into 2023 and beyond, digital coupons become an increasingly important tool for retailers to keep up with the changing times.


about the author

Marc Mezzacca
Founder and CEO, CouponFollow
As the Founder and CEO of CouponFollow, Marc has a passion for helping consumers save time and money while shopping online. He’s been a bargain and deal hunter since the early 2000s.