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RedPlum Purse String Survey Reveals Greater Insight Into Millennial Purchase Behavior
Consumer Findings Provide Marketers Ways to Better Reach Shoppers

LIVONIA, Mich., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Valassis (NYSE: VCI), a leader in intelligent media delivery, announced today the results of its Sixth Annual RedPlum® Purse String Survey that provides greater insight into millennials and their shopping behaviors that rely more heavily on print than you might expect.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130911/DE77884-INFO )

With newspaper as their number one source for coupons and deals, these promotion-sensitive millennials are getting their savings the same way as all other consumers across age groups and income levels with 51 percent indicating this print source is their first choice for savings. The top five places all respondents most often get their coupons and deals from are the newspaper; emails/coupon alerts; Internet searches; mailbox; and retail circulars. For millennials, in-store exceeds their use of retail circulars by 4 percentage points to rank fifth.  From print sources, millennials get their deals:

  • 33 percent from the mail;
  • 21 percent from retail circulars; and
  • 20 percent from coupon books.

This doesn't mean, though, that this digitally-charged, on-the-go generation is walking away from digital savings. In fact, they are leading the digital trend. Over the last 12 months, 27 percent of millennials indicated they are using more mobile coupons compared to 17 percent of the overall findings. Millennials actually are using their smartphone to a greater degree than the general population:

  • 45 percent access a coupon in an email on their smartphone compared to 24 percent of all respondents;
  • 41 percent access a coupon code on their smartphone versus 24 percent;
  • 36 percent compare deals versus 20 percent; and
  • 32 percent download a coupon to a loyalty card compared to 20 percent.

"The RedPlum Purse String Survey results are somewhat counter intuitive from what you might expect based on what we know about millennials," said Lisa Reynolds, Valassis Vice President of Consumer Engagement. "While they are heavy digital users, this group also embraces tried and true methods for savings, as much as any other age group. Promotion sensitive, they are a true testament to the use of savings from both print and digital sources."

When it comes to sharing, millennials do so at the highest rate (90 percent) among all age groups. Here's how they share:

  • Word of mouth – 71 percent versus 56 percent of the general populace;
  • Social – 43 percent versus 29 percent with Facebook as their channel of choice accounting for 33 percent of their social sharing, 10 percent higher than overall findings; and
  • Text – 30 percent versus 19 percent.

So what type of items are they most interested in? Grocery dominates across all respondents but even more for millennials with 85 percent seeking grocery coupons compared to 78 percent of the overall findings followed by clothing and dining out.

Consumer Confidence 
When it comes to consumer confidence, there is a significant difference among Haves (those with an income over $60,000) versus the Have Nots (those with an income under $60,000), although interestingly, there is not a significant difference in their savings behaviors. Almost half of the Haves (48 percent) are feeling the same as last year about their family's financial situation compared to 39 percent of Have Nots. Moreover, 38 percent of the Have Nots are feeling either less confident than last year or not confident at all versus 26 percent of the Haves.

Mobile 
When looking for savings, more than half of mobile users indicated they are likely to identify an item in store but make the purchase online for clothing/shoes (61 percent); household goods (52 percent), and big ticket items (55 percent). In all instances, this behavior was driven by a better price.

"Consumers have become efficient deal-seekers and are achieving savings by clipping coupons, downloading them to their smartphones and sharing with friends in a variety of ways including across their social networks. It's a new world," Reynolds added. "The path they take to make their purchase decisions is varied and marketers are taking note to better engage and activate consumers wherever they plan, shop, buy and share."

About the Study 
For the sixth year, in conjunction with National Coupon Month in September, RedPlum has conducted a savings survey to gain insight from today's shopper; learn more about their shopping behaviors; where consumers are looking for deals; what they are doing with their savings; and what influencers are driving their behaviors. The 2013 RedPlum Purse String Survey is based on insights from more than 5,100 respondents. The survey was conducted on redplum.com from June 20 through July 21. To download an infographic on how millennials share deals, go to:  http://www.valassis.com/by-industry/general-marketing/sharing-infographic.aspx.

About Valassis
Valassis (NYSE: VCI) is a leader in intelligent media delivery, providing over 15,000 advertisers proven and innovative media solutions to influence consumers wherever they plan, shop, buy and share.  By integrating online and offline data combined with powerful insights, Valassis precisely targets its clients' most valuable shoppers, offering unparalleled reach and scale.  Valassis subsidiaries include Brand.net, a Valassis Digital Company, and NCH Marketing Services, Inc. Valassis consumer brands include RedPlum® and save.com. Its signature Have You Seen Me?® program delivers hope to missing children and their families. To learn more, visit Valassis.com.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This document contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following: price competition from our existing competitors; new competitors in any of our businesses; possible consolidation in our client base, a significant decrease in the number of stores in our in-store retailer network or a shift in client preferences for different promotional materials, strategies or coupon delivery methods, including, without limitation, as a result of declines in newspaper circulation and/or increased competition from new media formats including digital; an unforeseen increase in paper or postal costs; changes which affect the businesses of our clients and lead to reduced sales promotion spending, including, without limitation, a decrease of marketing budgets which are generally discretionary in nature and easier to reduce in the short-term than other expenses; our substantial indebtedness, and ability to refinance such indebtedness, if necessary, and our ability to incur additional indebtedness, may affect our financial health; the financial condition, including bankruptcies, of our clients, suppliers, senior secured credit facility lenders or other counterparties; certain covenants in our debt documents could adversely restrict our financial and operating flexibility; fluctuations in the amount, timing, pages, weight and kinds of advertising pieces from period to period, due to a change in our clients' promotional needs, inventories and other factors; our failure to attract and retain qualified personnel may affect our business and results of operations; a rise in interest rates could increase our borrowing costs; governmental regulation or litigation affecting aspects of our business, including laws and regulations related to the internet, internet-related technologies and activities, privacy and data security; potential security measure breaches or attacks; clients experiencing financial difficulties, or otherwise being unable to meet their obligations as they become due, could affect our results of operations and financial condition; uncertainty in the application and interpretation of applicable state sales tax laws may expose us to additional sales tax liability; a reduction in, or discontinuance of, dividend payments or stock repurchases; and general economic conditions, whether nationally, internationally, or in the market areas in which we conduct our business, including the adverse impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the marketing expenditures and activities of our clients and prospective clients as well as our vendors, with whom we rely on to provide us with quality materials at the right prices and in a timely manner. These and other risks and uncertainties related to our business are described in greater detail in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including our reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and the foregoing information should be read in conjunction with these filings. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Valassis

Caitlin Leddy, SHIFT Communications, Cleddy@shiftcomm.com, 617-779-1830; Mary Broaddus, Valassis, broaddusm@valassis.com, 734-591-7375