Using Coupons: Motivations
Some of the most common reasons people have for using coupons are that they feel a great deal of happiness when they use a discount coupon. They feel smarter as they save money with the offer during shopping. This includes online shopping. Unfortunately, this habit of using a coupon/offer every time that people go shopping can become an addiction.
Use of Coupons and Happiness
- The feeling of happiness that people feel when they use a coupon is indeed one of the main motivators to use them. Happiness was the predominant feeling cited by a group of people in an experiment led by Dr Paul J. Zak from Claremont Graduate University.
- In Dr Zak's experiment, half of the participants were granted a $10 online coupon and the other half were not. The key finding was a visible rise of oxytocin (the hormone of happiness) up to a 38% higher level than that of people kissing.
- The reduction of stress and consequent increase in happiness was detected by measuring the reduction in respiration rate of 32% compared with people without a coupon. Heart beat rate was also reduced by 5% and hand palm-sweating was 20 times lower in people with coupons.
- In the words of Dr Zak: "These results suggest that coupons can directly impact the happiness of people, promote positive health and increase the ability to handle stressful situations, all of which is particularly valuable as we head into the holiday season when stress levels tend to be at an all-time high".
Using Coupons Make People Feel Smart
- When a person is looking for a coupon, they are looking for a deal that makes them feel that they are catching an exclusive offer and that they are going to save money in that purchase. This is a strong motivation to use them. However, the truth is that this is rarely the case.
- In the words of professor Robert C. Webb from Boston Suffolk University: "A major part of the motivation for using coupons comes from the feeling of being a thrifty and smart shopper" several investigations support this assertion.
- In a Hawk Incentives study, a Blackhawk Network business, where 2000 American adults were evaluated about their attitudes and expectations towards deal-seeking behaviors; it was found that 40% of respondents said that they feel smart when they can find the best deals such as when using coupons.
- The psychology behind coupon-use states that the consumer sees in the coupon the same "opportunity" that they see in a "sale" sign in the rack of a retail store. Almost every time these "offers" give the same price of the product in other stores. But the sale and offer words, the % sign, make people feel smarter when shopping.
The Purchase Effect of Couponing
- Two-thirds of the Americans surveyed in the Retail Me Not survey, said that they made a purchase they weren't originally planning to make solely because they found a discount coupon.
- 80% of the people surveyed answered that finding a coupon or offer encouraged them to make a first-time purchase with a new brand. Even in the online market, 74% of people surveyed said that finding a coupon is vital in choosing where to buy online.
- The motivation to find a great deal through coupons plays an important psychological role in American purchasing practices. It leads them to give the product price high importance. People even affirm that they can't complete a purchase if they do not catch a discount coupon or offer. This can trigger an unpleasant habit and become an addiction.
Your research team began the research on reliable websites like Campaign Monitor and PRNewswire; these websites provided a pattern with which to consider what motivations are considered as the most important. In Campaign Monitor, a website specialized in marketing, 5 factors that motivate people to use coupons were cited; first place in the list was "happiness". Considering that the Campaign Monitor's professionals had to select which factors are crucial to be on the list, the motivator "happiness" was considered a "top motivation". Other websites corroborated this information, such as Indoor Media and Business Wire with the article written by the respected Dr Zak. On the Indoor Media website the second motivation listed on this report was found. It was selected as "top" because the reliable information provided in this website was corroborated by a study published in the PRNewswire website; where 40% of 2000 American people answered that the use of coupons make them feel smarter. That is why it was selected as a "top motivator". Lastly, the third motivator was found in the article of the Campaign Monitor website. Again, it was also corroborated by a study found on the INC website. It is crucial to mention that some sources are more than two years old. That being said, the insights found there are not affected since this information is still reliable and was corroborated by findings from more recent sources.