Millennials looking for steals, deals

Younger generation going coupon crazy


When Briana Brooks' family went through some tough economic times, she decided to grab her scissors and start clipping coupons. 

"By the time we got to the store it was just like, 'Go get this, go get this', head up to the register, hand them the coupons, bill goes down by at least 50 percent. I was like this is actually kind of cool," she said.

Brooks is not the only millennial who thinks couponing is cool. One study found 96 percent of millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, said they use coupons.

"They're saving and they're budgeting and I think that coupons are the, are the norm," explained millennial expert Chelsea Krost.

Experts say the fact that millennials have grown up in uncertain times has made them thriftier than other generations.   

"We're living in a time where our economy is uncertain, where the job market is uncertain and I think wherever we can save a dollar or two or more we're definitely going to take advantage of it," Krost added. 

And so are retailers, says marketing expert and author Liz Crawford. And they're coming up with creative ways to reach millennials and give them the coupons they crave. 

"A business that wants to connect with millennials should make it fun and make it mobile," said Crawford, who is also the Vice President at Match ShopLab.

It can be done in many ways: from money saving apps to social media sites that reward followers with special deals to coupons which can be pulled up on a mobile phone, or printed out in store.   

"Millennials are so trained to look for coupons and good deals that they have in mind what product or brand they'd like to buy ahead of time and then they find that coupon across a variety of different vehicles, platforms, retailers and websites," explained Crawford. 

In addition, Crawford says millennials are drawn to deals that involve some kind of gamification.

"The best way to make it fun is to make a promotion similar to a game that they like to play - like a Candy Crush or an Angry Birds. They don't just want bargain hunting for bargain hunting's sake. They also want to have a little bit of fun with it," she said.

As for Brooks, she still clips coupons and look for those deals online.

"It's really important to me to make sure that my money gets spent as efficiently as possible," she said.

Another shopping trick millennials are using is combining offers from a variety of different sources… like manufacturer coupons along with in-store deals. One survey found they're doing this more than baby boomers or gen xers.