Consumer spending may have gone up in August, but Internet users are still keeping the purse strings tight. RetailMeNot.com found, in a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, that Web users are planning further cuts to holiday gift spending this year, and increasing their use of coupons over 2008.
Asked about tools they use to find a good deal when shopping online, 29% of online buyers surveyed said they checked coupon Websites. The number of all online adults who said they never made a purchase without looking for online coupons increased from 8% in 2008 to 12% this year. More than one-third of respondents said they occasionally visited the coupon sites.
RetailMeNot.com reported coupon site usage was increasing most among users with the highest incomes and college educations.
Mintel also found the highest levels of online coupon usage among the affluent. In June 2009, more than one-half of US Internet users with household incomes of at least $100,000 reported using online coupons. By contrast, only 30% of users with incomes under $25,000 used coupons they found on the Web.
Newspaper coupons were still more widely used than those found on the Internet, according to the Mintel data. But respondents were more likely to have used a coupon from the Web in the past month (40%) than an e-mail sales promotion (28%).
“This finding suggests that consumers may be more excited by actively searching for deals (pull), rather than having them delivered to their inbox (push),” according to the report.
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