While mobile coupons and daily deals are
transforming some parts of the retail industry, grocery retailers still rely heavily on print circulars to achieve their sales goals, according to a survey by Valassis, which produces coupon and
Overall, 90% of grocery retailers use weekly circulars as their main promotional platform, according to Valassis, which polled leading decision makers from over 50 national and independent grocery stores and chains. In addition, 50% of grocery retailers said they realized increased sales from print circulars and 25% said they saw increased customer retention.
Print circulars dominated regardless of their delivery method: circulars delivered via newspaper were the most popular option, followed by delivery via shared mail, and in third place delivery by direct mail. These three options led other channels -- including Internet display, email, TV, radio, and mobile -- by significant margins.
In 2011, digital coupons were still just 1% of all coupons distributed in the U.S.; 89% of all coupons were distributed in free-standing insert coupon booklets, according to a separate study released earlier this year by NCH Marketing Services, which is owned by Valassis.
NCH also found considerable growth in coupon use, with the total value of savings associated with coupon redemptions increasing 12% to $4.6
billion in 2011.
Of course, grocery retailers are aware of new media habits. In the most recent Valassis survey, 65% of grocery retailers said they expect social media and the Internet in general to be their preferred media five years from now. In addition to technological change, grocery retailers are also becoming more focused on demographic shifts, with 65% executing ethnic marketing initiatives and 35% executing generation-based initiatives.