Fewer shoppers clipping, more clicking

These are interesting times for traditional retailers. eMarketer reports that shoppers are increasingly finding deals through online coupons – and with much higher redemption ratios than their old school printed counterparts. According to the report, 13% of online coupons were redeemed in 2008, versus only a 1% redemption rate for print coupons.

While the majority of consumers still get their coupons from paper sources, such as Sunday papers, receipts or in-store, the continuing decline in newspaper circulation figures presents a unique challenge for traditional retailers who have relied on traditional channels.

It’s less about clipping and more about clicking these days – with rich media banners that enable coupons to be served directly from an online ad, and sites like ShopLocal that render catalogs and flyers in online-friendly and interactive presentations with coupons printable on demand.

Some retailers already offer text messages with coupon codes, and I have handed over my iPhone in┬áBorders and had them scan the barcode in an email coupon directly – no printing needed.

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