UA Team Leads Nationwide Survey of Coupon Usage

Established assumptions about regular coupon users are that they tend to be women of color with large families who fall into lower socioeconomic brackets, said University of Arizona researcher Anita Bhappu.

But findings from a series of investigations on coupon usage Bhappu and her team have led could serve to undermine those assumptions.

Bhappu, the UA PetSmart associate professor and division chair of retailing and consumer sciences, and her team have just completed a nationwide survey that has yielded interesting findings about who uses coupons and why.

One of the team's major findings is that high users, which the team calls "coupon divas," are the most affluent, with 24 percent reporting household incomes of at least $75,000.

"They don’t use coupons because of financial constraints but because they perceive coupons as saving them money," said Bhappu of the UA's John & Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Given the surge in coupon usage, especially in grocery stores, restaurants and retail, "getting a grasp of the social context surrounding coupon usage is important to develop a more grounded understanding of why consumers use or don’t use coupons," Bhappu said.

This is even more important as distributors move coupons increasingly to smartphones.

"We really wanted to get a sense of what people do across the nation so that we could have a representative panel of the U.S.," said Bhappu, also a research fellow in the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.

For the most recent study, Bhappu and her collaborators surveyed more than 250 people across the nation primarily responsible for household grocery shopping.

Read more from this December 6 UANews article at

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Dec 8 2011