"We are working with a number of our customer partners to deliver digital coupons, to ensure that Unilever delivers coupons where consumers are looking for them -- via print or online," says a Unilever spokesperson. "We are currently partnering with Kroger on a digital coupon program in which consumers can go online, register their Kroger loyalty cards and add Unilever coupons to them."
Increasingly, Americans aren't just willing to get coupons from such new sources -- they're happy about it. A new study from Scarborough Research reports that 8.6 million - or 8% -- of U.S. households currently get at least some coupons via text message and/or email. And while the Sunday newspaper is still the primary source of coupons (with 51% of households relying on them), followed by in-store coupons (35%), loyalty cards like Kroger's are a huge draw, with 21% of households drawing on them for savings.
And in an analysis back in May, comScore reported that online coupons were the top-gaining category on the Internet -- with sites like Coupons.com, which captured the No. 1 position with more than 15 million visitors, gaining 85% from the previous month. (Eversave.com ranked second with 3.8 million visitors, followed by RetailMeNot.com with 3.5 million visitors.)
Scarborough reports that the shoppers most likely to get coupons via text, email or the Internet tend to be young, affluent, educated and female, and they are 51% more likely to be college graduates or have an advanced degree. Providence, R.I. tops the list for email/text coupons with 12%, followed by Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Diego, Austin and Chicago, with 11%.
"Coupons received via text messaging are typically sent only to consumers who have opted-in to receive them," Scarborough points out in its report. "This increases the relevancy of the offer and the potential for the consumer to act on that offer. An additional benefit is the mobility of cell phones and other personal communications devices, which allow consumers to access the coupon at the point of purchase."