For many years UK retailers have used vouchers to attract shoppers into their stores. Usually issued in newspapers and magazines, the colourful paper coupons can be cut out using scissors and entitle the owner to a discount for a particular product. But since the invention of digital discount codes and the rise of voucher sites in the UK, some have said that the days of the paper coupons may be numbered. Especially because every year more young shoppers, who are less likely to read the newspaper and more internet-savvy than previous generations, have stopped using paper coupons in favour of apps and websites. However, it appears that the voucher codes will still be around for a long time. Here is why.
Digital vouchers vs Paper vouchers
Despite their apparent convenience, digital coupons don’t provide an easy shopping experience. At least not to the level that paper coupons do. There are two main reasons why paper coupons are still more popular than digital codes among shoppers in the United Kingdom and Ireland:
- There is no centralized platform that gathers local coupons. Unlike the Sunday newspaper, online shoppers who want to get voucher codes when they buy a product online will have to research the web.
But even then, after searching all the results available online, they may not come up with a valid deal. This can be frustrating and may discourage customers from completing their purchase.
- Digital coupons can’t be used in a combination. Paper coupons can be combined pretty easily. For example, assuming you and your partner are Café Nero fans, you can use O2 Priority Moments app to get a free hot drink from 12 noon onwards every Tuesday. Combine that with Nero’s loyalty card which gives customers one free coffee for every nine bought – so the 10th coffee is on the house. In this way you get a treat for both of you without having spent a penny.
Combining deals in a virtual checkout is usually impossible. People who take couponing to the extreme will store every little deal they can find in their purses or wallets, and then produce them all at the same time at the till and will aim to combine them to ensure the best discount possible. This is not the case online, where you can apply only one discount code.
Despite the revolutionary changes that the internet has brought to our lifestyle, paper coupons have escaped largely unaffected from the appearance of their digital equivalents. Newspapers and magazines of all sizes are still covered with vouchers in their pages. Even millennials, the most technologically savvy generation in history, prefer the old paper coupon over a digital voucher.
The reasoning behind this strange phenomenon, at least in the United Kingdom, is likely that paper coupons are simply easier to use. While Americans, Germans, and the French have grown accustomed to online shopping and digital savings, British people still feel more comfortable using paper coupons.