Global Consumers Go Sale Searching and Coupon Clipping | Nielsen Wire

Nearly six in 10 (59%) global consumers look for sales to save on household expenses—the leading saving strategy of eight measured across all regions and most prevalent in North America (73%) and Europe (60%), according to Nielsen’s 2011 Global Online Survey of more than 25,000 Internet respondents across 51 countries. Using coupons was the second most popular saving strategy, used by nearly half (48%) of global online consumers.


Reported use of coupons is greatest in North America (65%) and Asia Pacific (55%). The United States (66%), China (67%) and Hong Kong (65%) are the three leading markets for reported coupon use as a way to save money.


“About 80 percent of U.S. households use manufacturer coupons across all retail outlets, which is up slightly from 2009 to 2010,” said Todd Hale, SVP Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen. “But coupon usage is concentrated—70 percent of 2010 manufacturer coupon purchases came from just 13 percent of coupon-using households. These coupon enthusiasts are big spenders across the total store and are young, more affluent and have large households.”

“In China, 35 percent of hypermarket sales in key cities are sold on promotion—a stable contribution over the past two years,” said Peter Gale, Managing Director Retail Sales, Nielsen Asia Pacific and Greater China. “In most Asian countries, simple price cut promotions are the main promotional vehicle supported by direct mail leaflets and newspaper advertising.”

While 38 percent of European consumers indicate using coupons to save, there is wide variation within the continent. While at least half of consumers reported coupon use in several western and southern European countries, such as Belgium and Portugal (63%), Greece (55%), France (53%), and Spain (50%), in other markets, particularly in northern and Eastern Europe, coupon use is much less prevalent. “Belgians are the record holders in terms of coupon redemption, but in countries like Germany or the Netherlands, their usage is very marginal,” said Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, Director, Retail Industry Insights, Nielsen Europe. “Many retailers in Europe are rather reluctant towards that practice.”

In Latin America and in Middle East/Africa, reported coupon use is much less common as a saving strategy. Only 25 percent of consumers in Latin America and 18 percent of respondents from Middle Eastern/African markets report using coupons. “In the Middle East, price cuts is the most popular promotional vehicle used by retailers along with volume discounts,” said Bassel Adel, Director Retail Services, Nielsen Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan. “However, consumers are gaining a greater awareness of leaflets, which are driving store visits and prompting retailers to actively advertise promotions in newspapers.”

For more detail and regional insights, download: Shopping & Saving Strategies Around the World.