Retailers Are Offering More Coupons Than Ever This Season

Discounts Expected to Continue Through Christmas as Retailers Mark Down Merchandise

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Shoppers took advantage of Kohl's coupons over the Black Friday weekend.
Shoppers took advantage of Kohl's coupons over the Black Friday weekend. Credit: Mike Mozart_Flickr

As warmer weather has left Northeast retailers with excess inventory of winter coats, hats and gloves, offering discounts may be the only way to move such merchandise out the door. And to kick off the holiday shopping season, retailers offered more coupons than ever—a 15% rise over the amount last year—over the four-day Black Friday shopping weekend, according to RetailMeNot Inc., a digital marketplace for coupons.

"Searching for deals is a part of the American shopper's DNA, and smart promotions from retailers have a better ROI than traditional forms of advertising," explained Cotter Cunningham, CEO and founder of Austin-based RetailMeNot. "This type of advertising efficiently builds brand awareness; it drives traffic online and in-store, and it ultimately leads to increased sales."

The company tracked overall coupon redemption over Black Friday weekend by analyzing the behavior of shoppers who visited the RetailMeNot website or used its mobile app to redeem offers in stores and online, according to a spokeswoman. It found that Amazon, Kohl's and BestBuy had the highest redemption rates. Kohl's, which offered 15% off and 20% off coupons this year, also had high redemption rates last year, the company said.

Whether in stores or at home, shoppers were using their phones. Nearly 70% of the traffic to the coupon company's website came from a mobile device between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

Though retailers will continue to roll out additional promotions through Christmas, shipping costs associated with online buys will begin to increase dramatically next week, according to one study. Adobe found that shipping prices will rise by 15% for every day past Dec. 14 and double on Dec. 20 from one week earlier. Retailers' discounts will range from 17% to 21% over the period from now until Christmas, said the company, which examined data from 4,500 retail sites.

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