Susie Ingram has been a coupon clipper all her life.
“This has saved me a lot of money over the years,” said a 62-year-old man from DeBary, Florida. I save cereal, toilet paper, coffee and snacks for my grandchildren.
But over the past two years, Ingram said trading has dwindled. This is because some of Winn-Dixie’s coupon offers have moved to online-only. At first, Ingram found it was just a few items, but now it has grown to dozens of items, including meat and produce.
Ingram made several attempts to redeem these coupons by downloading the store’s app. However, she was not tech-savvy and gave up.
She spends about $125 a week on groceries and says she can save up to $30 a week if she can redeem digital coupons. The highest inflation in decades is eating her salary.
“Unless you’re in your 20s with an expensive cell phone to do this, sorry,” she said.
Ingram’s mother, who is 82 and lives on Social Security, has trouble using her cell phone and cannot redeem these digital coupons.
Ingrams is part of a large group of shoppers with digital disabilities who cannot access online coupons.
These shoppers are being left behind as some manufacturers and stores print less weekly coupons and move more transactions online.
According to the Pew Research Center, 39% of people over the age of 65 do not own a smartphone and 25% do not use the internet. Additionally, he 24% of adults with an annual household income less than her $30,000 do not own a smartphone and 41% do not own a computer. This means millions of senior and low-income shoppers – those who rely most on coupons to make money – are being barred from deals available only to online shoppers. To do.
“This is the new hurdle for brick-and-mortar shoppers,” said consumer advocate and founder of Consumer World, Edgar Dwarsky, who chronicles the trend. “Isn’t this the worst time to pay a higher price? We’re not talking pennies.”
Dworsky checked the weekly ads of the top 50 supermarkets in June and found that two-thirds of them advertised digital-only deals. Compared to the same week a year ago, he doubled or tripled the number of digital-only deals offered.
Indeed, Winn-Dixie still offers Ingrams and other customers who are not online a way to save.
The chain mails printed coupons to customers’ homes and includes them in their receipts. We also have kiosks in our stores where customers can enter a phone number linked to a complimentary store rewards card to print a personalized coupon. You can also sign up for the rewards program by phone.
A spokeswoman for Southeastern Grocers, owner of Wynn-Dixie, said: “We are very sensitive to the pressures that today’s inflation dynamics are putting on our customers. That’s why we offer a variety of ways to save money.” Told.
But more consumers are moving online, and grocers are responding by ramping up their digital rewards.
Some companies, such as Walgreens (WBA), have stopped printing their coupon catalogs and moved their weekly ads online. CVS (CVS) has stopped printing newspapers, but some are still in stores.
In the second quarter of 2020, the number of digital coupon redemptions in the U.S. surpassed the most common type of paper coupon redemption for the first time, according to market research firm Inmar Intelligence.
Rob Wiesberg, General Manager of Incentives at Inmar, said:
For stores, personalized digital coupons delivered to customers through apps represent a more surgical option to reach customers than mass distribution through newspapers.
Businesses can also get more data about their customers when they download the app and better track whether they are responding to coupons.
Lauren Hobart, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), said, “Previously, we needed to lower the price of an eight-page item, and we had to release it six weeks before putting a blunt tool in the newspaper. I was doing it,” he said. Year.
But since the company moved coupons digitally, “we’re literally making decisions on a day-to-day basis now,” she said.