Deal-Seeking Inspire

Deal-Seeking Inspire

Insights on coupon, sale, and bargain hunters

Key Takeaways


Love it or hate it, marketers seem stuck in an endless cycle of discounting and couponing. But not everyone needs or even wants a deal. Being smarter about identifying those most driven by sales, coupons, and other discounts, and understanding their behaviors will help marketers more effectively target their discount strategies and put more money in the register. Key insights found in this Inspire include:

Deal-seeking on the rise
Roughly 1 out of every 300 online searches are seeking out coupons, sales, and discounts or deals, and these types of searches rose, on average, almost 40 percent year-over-year.

Season trends
Outside of the holiday season, Summer is the next biggest time of the year for deal-seeking with the peak weeks occurring in late July and early August when back-to-school shopping swings into gear.

A sale for every season
When it comes to sale-hunting, shoes and boots are the most targeted items. While peak shoe sale shopping season is in August, boot sale-seeking is greatest in November and December.

Coupons going digital
Searches for coupon “codes” surpass those for “printable” or “mobile” coupons by a ate of nearly 5:1. Mobile coupons, while becoming more common, only represent just one out of every 500 coupon-related searches.

Mobile search
Nearly 6-in-10 “coupon” searches originate on a mobile device. Most of the top mentioned brands see an even greater share of their coupon searches coming from mobile, pointing to the strong likelihood that their customers are looking for coupons while in their store or that of their competitor.

Search Demand


1 in every 300 searches seek deals

During a typical week, Hitwise estimates that roughly one in every 300 online searches are focused on finding a deal. And this behavior is increasingly common. Compared with last year, the share of all online searches seeking a deal increased by nearly 40 percent.

The week of Black Friday is the peak season for deal hunting, but Summer is the second biggest season peaking in late July and early August, when back-to-school shopping is underway.

2016 Deal Seeking: Search Trends

Sale Seasons


When it comes to searches for “sales” specifically, footwear, including shoes and boots, are the most commonly sought-after products throughout the year. August is the peak month for shoe sale searches while November/December are tops for booths. Other most commonly pursued sale items online include: mattresses, TVs, furniture, and tires.

Typically, September is when mattress sale searches are highest whereas TV and tire sale searches are greatest during December. Meantime, searches for furniture sales peak in August/September, although there are other times of the year when furniture sale searches pop.

2016 Deal-Seeking: Peak Seasons

Top Tip
Look at how consumer interests and priorities change week-to-week, month-to-month, or even day-to-day to identify the optimal time to promote specific items and sales events.

Coupons go digital


Searches for printable coupons still outnumber those for mobile by a rate of 14:1. Inf act, for every 500 coupon-related searches, 15 specify “printable” while only one specifies “mobile”. Meantime, coupon “code” outperforms both traditional in-store redemption types. In fact, 70 out of every 500 coupon searches includes “code” or “codes”.

2016 Deal-Seeking: Share of Searches

The most commonly references brands among coupon “code” and “mobile” coupon searches during a recent four-week period was “Kohl’s”, suggesting that the company has a robust base of deal-seekers among both their online and in-store customer base. Digital brands are, naturally, more common among coupon code searches with “Amazon” taking second place.

2016 Deal-Seeking: Top Brands
2016 Deal-Seeking: Printable Coupons

Top Tip
Running keyword reports will help identify the most frequently mentioned keywords and their use frequency relative to other keywords among thousands of online search variations.

Mobile coupon searches


During the week ending April 30, 2016, 59 percent of all online searches containing “coupon” originated on a smartphone or tablet. Most of the top mentioned brands—including those in the chart below—had an even greater share of searches originating on a mobile device. For instance, 92 percent of coupon searches including “Joann” were mobile. Craft stores’ high share of mentions and large share coming from mobile implies their consumers are often looking for coupons while shopping.

Top Tip
Use AudienceView to find search terms most likely to occur on a mobile device.

Coupon code searchers


Given that the audience of online shoppers skews upscale, it’s not much of a surprise that those searching for “coupon codes” also lean in this direction. Using AudienceView, we created an audience of “coupon code” searchers to learn more about them, including demographics, attitudes, online behaviors, and more. Topline findings include:

1. Nearly half (49 percent) have a college degree or more.
2. 39 percent have household incomes of $100,000 or more, making those in this bracket 19 percent more likely to search for codes.
3. 60 percent are women.
4. Gen Xers and older Millennials are the most likely to search for coupon “codes” with 45 percent being ages 25 to 44.
5. Coupon “code” searchers allocate 67 percent greater share of online shopping visits to Rewards and Directories sites like Groupon and Slickdeals.

2016 Deal-Seeking: Attitudes