Widespread Use of Voucher Codes Proves They’re No Longer A Social Taboo

by Jessica Ramesh Browser Media Ltd

In the past twelve months, UK adults have used an average of sixteen discount codes or vouchers each (including physical vouchers as well as online) according to new research from digital marketing agency, Browser Media

In fact, four out of five UK adults have saved money by applying at least one voucher within the past year. Women are more likely to use discount vouchers and codes than men (18 per year vs. 15), yet the research found that men believe they’re more savvy than women when it comes to getting a good deal online (44% vs 40%).

No longer a social taboo

An interesting attitudinal finding from the research is that 41% of people believe that voucher codes and discounts have become much more socially acceptable than they were previously, so their use no longer needs to be a clandestine activity.

The research also revealed some interesting findings for retailers:

28% of people say they’ll always compare prices online, even if they’re shopping in store, so retailers need to ensure they have a consistent pricing strategy so that their customers know what to expect when purchasing using different channels.

13% of people said they dislike checkout processes that only allow the voucher code to be applied at the very end – consumers are more confident if the discount is clearly visibly whilst still on the product/shopping pages, prior to checkout.

Just over one in ten (11%) are more likely to use a discount code if the retailer makes it memorable using real words or dates – random letters and numbers were less likely to be remembered or used.

The populations of Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Birmingham are the biggest and most regular users of discount and vouchers codes and surprisingly, it’s not households with the lowest income that make most use of vouchers: households with a middle income of between £28-£41k are the most frequent users.

The sectors in which voucher codes are most commonly used are:

• Supermarket shopping 63%
• Eating out / restaurants 41%
• Clothes, fashion, accessories 37%
• Going out – cinema, entertainment, attractions 30%
• Health & Beauty 25%
• Electronics 25%
• Home & Garden 24%
• Holidays & Travel 22%
• Utilities 10%
• Sports & fitness 9%

The most popular places to source voucher codes and discounts are:

• Voucher code sites such as Vouchercodes (62%)
• Discount sites such as Groupon (37%)
• Google (31%)
• Financial comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket and MoneySavingExpert (31%)
• Cashback sites like Quidco (30%)
• The company’s own website (23%).

Joe Friedlein, managing director, Browser Media said: “There is a small minority of people who appear to be voucher code junkies with four per cent of the population claiming to use over 50 per year. However this shouldn’t mean a carte blanche for all retailers to offer voucher codes the year round. There’s definitely a balance to be struck: offering good value doesn’t always have to mean offering a discount but clearly voucher codes are very much embedded into consumers’ purchasing mindset. For retailers, the challenge remains trying to develop a relationship with a one-off bargain hunter and ultimately turn them into a valuable long term customer.”

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Press release issued 2 December 2014