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Making the Most of Home: The war between digital, paper

Ann Haney • Updated Jun 5, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Old-school ways of clipping challenge smart phone coupon clippers. What do we know about these two rivals, and who is ahead of the game? 

Market research tells us that consumers love the handiness of smart phone apps but most still prefer sales ads and paper coupons. Why paper over digital? Some reasons are that digital coupons can only be applied to one item, they still don’t double, and oftentimes it’s hard to tell if the digital savings gets applied to the purchase.

Consumers know a coupon in hand is money in the pocket. However, consumers are still vastly taking advantage of digital coupons for the sake of convenience. 

A forgotten coupon at home is no longer the end of the story when it comes to saving money. Consumers can simply download the coupon needed while in their favorite store, thus enabling them to still save money. Digital couponing have definitely made couponing easier for the time conscience consumer and the coupon skeptic. 

Research shows consumers do have a tendency to use their phones for only digital coupons instead of sale ad look up or third party savings apps. Printable coupons are not even in the running with a lower percentage of consumers taking advantage of this resource. The reason is generally this concern, “Does the ink and paper equal the savings and effort?” Many consumers don’t believe it adds up. 

Overall, this is an individual decision based upon each person’s capability to access a printer. Paper coupons are definitely taking a hit but they are far from losing the war, which is good news for local newspapers whose subscriptions depend upon this resource. More than 80 percent of consumers use some form of coupon, whether it be digital, printable or paper. What does this say to retailers? The life of the coupon is still as popular as ever and consumers get the reason behind the discount.

The general public still loves to pick up the paper and check out the sales at least once a week. What reasons could be behind this old school habit? Possibly the fact that print is bigger than the screen on phones or it could simply be “old habits are hard to break.” 

What stores are among the leaders as America’s favorite to focus on? Publix still leads with cleanliness and speedy checkouts. As consumers peruse the Publix ad sales are not the only thing they find. Publix is known for offering consumers recipes and meal ideas matched to their sale items. This can be a welcome addition to their paper for the consumer who finds it difficult to plan meals.

In summary, the war continues between digital and paper and is far from the finish line. Most consumers will continue to find benefits from both of these resources for some time to come. Whether you are a digital saver or a clippable saver, the savings will continue.

Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Contact Ann at ann@annhaney.com to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.

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