“Would you like to have our discount stamps?” – A question that accompanies many payment transactions in supermarkets. Discounted coffee beans, frying pans or diaper packs beckon as a reward for eager and disciplined collecting, sorting and gluing. A business that is apparently beneficial to the retail trade, after all it binds collecting customers to the retailer and ensures that sales end up with the retailer and not with the competition. Online retailers, restaurants or even service providers such as cleaning services also distribute vouchers – by post, e-mail or in person.

But how do coupons reach the buyer? We have surveyed their acceptance a total of three times over a period of just over 16 years. The result is a longitudinal study that is representative regarding age and sex, provides information about popular coupon types and redeemed products and certainly provides recommendations to one or the other retailer.

First of all, we wanted to know in general what the respondents think of coupons. We provided the answer options.

What is your opinion about coupons? (2018 n=1,000, 2008 n=1,000 and 2002 n=1,014 respondents)

Every second woman (52 %) rates coupons as a great idea and uses them. Men are more reserved but at least 43% of men also use coupons when shopping.

Use of coupons – men (blue) and women (pink) in comparison

When buying which goods and services do Germans collect?

Now we asked about the product groups for which Germans prefer to collect discount stamps. The usual clichés are fulfilled: women collect more coupons for food (55%, men 51%), clothing (39%, men 23%) and restaurants including fast food (30%, men 24%).

Men collect more for car accessories/fuelling (38%, women 32%) and electronics/PC/HIFI/Multimedia (26%, women 16%).

For which goods and services do Germans collect? (2018 n=1.000, 2008 n=1.000 and 2002 n=1.014 respondents, multiple answers possible

For which products do Germans redeem coupons?

And what are the coupon booklets and discount stamps finally redeemed for? The interviewees named us everyday consumer goods: coffee, drinks, drugstore articles. Interest has declined across all products since 2002.

For which products of daily use do Germans collect? (2018 n=1.000, 2008 n=1.000 and 2002 n=1.014 respondents, multiple answers possible)

Does a coupon make the purchase decision easier?

Nevertheless, even in 2018, 41% of those surveyed are still more likely to be persuaded to buy a discount voucher. A figure that can be quite convincing in the highly competitive retail sector.

Would you rather choose a product/service if you could receive or redeem a coupon? (n=1.000)

What should the value of a coupon be?

How high do you think the value of a coupon should be compared to the price of a product? (2018 n=1,000, 2008 n=1,000 and 2002 n=1,014 respondents)

The attractiveness of a coupon naturally depends on its discount value – i.e. the essential question for the customer: “What is in it for me?” This assessment varies greatly depending on the age group of the respondents. While 28% of 18-29 year olds prioritize 15-20% based on the price of a product, this opinion changes with increasing age. For 23% of the 50+ target group, the best coupon value is 5-10%.

How high do you think the value of a coupon should be compared to the price of a product? The three strongest occurrences – Split by age

Which coupons are most popular?

We already mentioned it: Coupon are collected not only at the supermarket checkout, but also in the mailbox or e-mail compartment. Which ones strike the highest chord?

It is not surprising that the E-Coupon is the absolute pioneer today which 58% of all respondents are collecting. But also the “good old” direct mailings are used, the coupon in the mailbox is still used by 40% of the participants. These are followed by brochures (34 %), coupons in stores (32 %), on product packaging (30 %) or even from magazines (23 %). The mobile coupons on the mobile phone are further behind; only one in five uses them.

What types of coupons do Germans collect? (n=736 respondents who collect coupons or can imagine collecting coupons)

Finally, we also asked how much the respondents had actually saved over the past six months.

More than half of the interviewees have saved up to 20 euros.

How high do you estimate the Euro value of the coupons you have redeemed in the last 6 months? (2018 n=736, 2008 n=795 and 2002 n=332 Respondents who collect coupons or can imagine collecting coupons)

For retailers, the central question is certainly: Is it stationary retail or (again) online retail that has the edge over customers here?

In fact, both. Every second person prefers the option of redeeming the voucher both in the shop and on the Internet.

If you receive a coupon, whether in electronic form (e.g. by e-mail) or on paper, where would you prefer to redeem it? (n=1,000 respondents)

There are differences in the target groups: the older the consumer, the more traditional points of sale and thus redemption in the shop are preferred. 38% of 50+ year olds prefer the retail store, but one in five (19%) of the young target group of 18-29 year olds (18-29 year olds) also finds redemption opportunities in stationary retail attractive.


Would you redeem a coupon at the store? (n=1,000 respondents)

The younger ones, on the other hand, prefer to redeem their coupons on the Internet.

Would you redeem a coupon on the Internet? (n=1,000 respondents)

Dialego study

In November 2018, April 2008 and January 2002, 1,000 women and 1,000 men aged 18-69 were interviewed from Germany for the longitudinal study. The study is representative by age and gender. We will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

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