A View of Today’s Value- Seeking Shopper: Regional Insights

By Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer, Valassis
Published Thursday, Sep 8, 2016

A View of Today’s Value- Seeking Shopper: Regional Insights

In a recent post, we shared overall results from the latest RedPlum Purse String survey of 9,000 value-seeking shoppers, with a promise of highlighting additional insights by consumer segment over the next few weeks.  Following, is the first such view which is focused on understanding nuances in how consumers responded based on their region* of the country.

Although shopping and savings activities are fairly consistent across regions, there are a few differences in engagement level around those activities, as well as adoption of newer technologies for saving and shopping behavior.

For example, more consumers in the East South Central and West South Central regions are spending at least two hours each week looking for coupons, deals and savings (60 percent vs. 55 percent nationally). Although New Englanders spend about the same amount of time each week searching for coupons as respondents spend nationally, more of them are saving a significant amount as a result. In fact, 46 percent of New Englanders (vs. 42 percent nationally) are able to save more than $30 per week – the highest percentage of all the regions. This could be a function of the double coupon thresholds in this region.

When looking at the number of coupons consumers use per shopping trip, the East South Central region uses the most – 33 percent of respondents use over 10 coupons per shopping trip (vs. 27 percent nationally).  Other regions with heavier coupon use include the Middle Atlantic and the South Atlantic (32 percent and 31 percent of respondents use 10+ coupons per shopping trip).

Similar to how consumers responded overall, regionally, respondents still cited groceries as the top category for coupons, and for the most part, the cosmetics and dining out/restaurant categories also fell within the top three areas of interest. However, distinctions do exist:

  • New England and Pacific respondents both ranked clothing coupons as highly desired;
  • West and East North Central regions have more of a desire for pet item/service offers; and
  • East and West South Central regions expressed more of a proclivity for household item deals.

Q: Which of the following categories are you interested in finding coupons, coupon codes and deals for? (Select all that apply)


Respondents are also using a variety of savings methods to stretch their budgets and plan their shopping – across print, digital and mobile (and everything in between).  As new technologies and services become available, these consumers are adapting and engaging – no matter where they live. For example: 

  • 32 percent of Pacific and 31 percent of West North Central respondents are buying more items online for home delivery vs. last year (vs. 28 percent nationally);
  • 82 percent of West South Central respondents looked for coupons or offers while in-store via their mobile device (vs. 72 percent nationally);
  • 64 percent of West South Central respondents visited a store, restaurant or other business after receiving an offer on their mobile device while near that business (vs. 55 percent nationally);
  • Used a savings app in the past 30 days (vs. 49 percent nationally):
    • 61 percent of West South Central;
    • 55 percent of West North Central;
    • 54 percent of Pacific respondents.

However, respondents in these same regions describe using mostly print coupons, printing out digital coupons for use in stores and using print and digital coupons equally. For these consumers (and for many others), it’s not choosing one or the other when it comes to savings…it’s leveraging both:

Q: How would you describe the ways that you use coupons?  (Select all that apply; Top 3 ways shown)


So what does this all mean? Marketers need to leverage multiple consumer views and data points to uncover actionable insights, including taking a closer look at regional differences. While today’s value-seeking consumers may appear the same, by digging deeper into the data available, marketers will be able to deliver the best reach and engage consumers. 

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 shopper; learn more about their shopping behaviors; where consumers 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.


Source: US Census

*Note: regions aligned based on the US Census definition.   Specific state alignment as follows:

  • West North Central (IA, KS, MO, MN, ND, NE, SD)
  • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)
  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY)
  • New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
  • Middle Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA)
  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA)
  • South Atlantic (WV, MD, DE, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL)
  • East South Central (KY, TN, MS, AL)
  • West South Central (OK, AR, LA, TX)