A View of Today’s Value-Seeking Shopper

By Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer, Valassis
Published Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016

A View of Today’s Value-Seeking Shopper

In a recent Valassis survey, nearly 9,000 value-seeking consumers were asked how they shop and save, and the results are clear – consumers welcome offers across a wide-variety of categories, feeling both rewarded and smart by the number of deals they receive each day.  We’ll dig into the over-arching findings in this post, and over the next several weeks, we will dive deeper into how specific consumer segments responded.

Overall, more than half of respondents are spending at least two hours each week looking for coupons, deals and savings, and that investment is paying off:  on average, 42 percent tend to save over $30 each week and over 20 percent save more than $50 a week, primarily using these weekly savings to fund basic necessities.  And if we look at this per shopping trip, the majority of respondents use at least six coupons (and nearly 30 percent use over 10 coupons) at a time.   

As consumers increasingly try to fit errands and grocery shopping into their busy days, they are looking for value across all purchases – no matter the occasion or basket size.  When asked about the types of grocery trips for which respondents used coupons, we expected that “routine” or “stock-up” trips would rank the highest (and they did, with 78 percent and 62 percent, respectively).  What we didn’t expect is that nearly half of respondents also use coupons during their “fill-in” grocery trips (for missing items or last-minute needs) and 30 percent use coupons to help with “immediate” or “instant-need” grocery purchases. These findings support that coupon usage among the value-seeking shopper is a ritual in and of itself. Especially when it comes to grocery purchases – savvy savers use coupons whenever they need to make a purchase – not just for those routine, weekly “stock-up” visits to the store.

We also discovered that consumers’ desire for savings extends beyond grocery purchases – in fact, they are interested in finding coupons, coupon codes and deals for a wide assortment of categories (top 5 selected shown below):



Dining Out/Restaurants


Cosmetics/Beauty Products




Household Items (Home Décor, Furnishings)


And corroborating findings from the Valassis 2K16 Coupon Intelligence Report, this survey also found that consumers are indeed using print and digital sources to garner these savings. In fact, when asked if they were doing specific activities more often since last year, respondents noted the below as their top three  behaviors, with both “using more print coupons” and “using more mobile coupons” showing a significantly higher response than when this question was last asked in 2014.

 Since last year, which, if any, of the following
are you doing more often? (Top 3 shown)


* Notes significantly higher than 2014 results at the 95% confidence interval

Not surprisingly, the use of mobile devices (smartphones/tablets) for savings continues to grow.  Consumers incorporate new shopping behaviors as different technologies become available.

Consider the following:

  • 55 percent of respondents have visited a store, restaurant or other business after receiving an offer on their mobile device when they were near that business location
  • 72 percent have looked for coupons or offers while in-store via their mobile device

And over the past 30 days, respondents have used their mobile devices in a variety of ways:

  • 49 percent used a savings app (vs. 36 percent in 2014)
  • 44 percent downloaded a coupon to a loyalty card (vs. 33 percent in 2014)
  • 46 percent redeemed a coupon code (vs. 33 percent in 2014) 

As you can see, today’s value-seeking shoppers are multi-faceted when it comes to savings, considering multiple categories, “trip types” and media options for where those savings can be found and used. For an infographic with this information and more please click here.

About the 2016 RedPlum Purse String Survey: For the eighth year, in conjunction with National Coupon Month in September, RedPlum has conducted a savings survey to gain insight from today's value seeking shoppers; learn more about their shopping behaviors; where they are looking for deals; what they are doing with their savings; and what influencers are driving their behaviors. The 2016 RedPlum Purse String Survey is based on insights from more than 8,880 respondents. The survey was conducted on redplum.com from May 16th to June 16th, 2016.