As we go into the age of information and technology, anything made of paper is slowly being discarded and traded for electronics and the wonders of the Web. This includes paper coupons. We have now what we call e-coupons, which are the electronic counterparts of the paper coupons. When in the past we had to browse over magazines, newspapers, and brochures to get coupons and discounts, now we can just browse through the Internet or download them into our cellphones.
Let us not throw away our papers just yet, however. The e-coupon is still a new concept to many customers, and not all of them are comfortable with the transition at the present. With things as they stand right now, with not all of the customers prepared to switch to the electronic lifestyle of coupons, stores and companies are still making full use of paper coupons.
This is not to say that the appearance of e-coupons is a way to eliminate the use of coupons by buyers and customers. On the contrary, its purpose is to actually increase the use of coupons in general (not just the paper ones). The coupon industry is declining; some would say dying. Fewer and fewer people are reading newspapers and circulars, and the newer generation of shoppers are more likely to browse online than sort through the papers. This has spurred companies to reach them through the Internet and technology, resulting to the birth of the e-coupons.
But, as stated, don’t throw away your papers yet. There are no plans to cut off the paper coupons since there are still a significant number of buyers and customers using these to get discounts and to save money. Until everyone (or almost everyone) has made the change to use the Web for discounts instead of the papers, then the paper coupons will most certainly continue.
This process of having everyone change to electronics and the Web for discounts would be very timely, maybe slow, and will take a long time. But there is no denying that the transition will happen. For one thing, the new generation of shoppers would generally prefer it. Another thing would be that this transition is also an attractive plan for the selling companies. There would be faster and efficient tracking for them, more information sharing, and it is unquestionably more environmentally friendly. Of course there are also disadvantages in using the e-coupons. But they do not wholly affect the attractiveness of it, nor does it significantly affect the quality of service it brings to the customers and buyers. The transition to electronic usage therefore focused more on the relevant advantages rather than on the insignificant disadvantages.
Whether it is a paper coupon or a printable from the Internet, however, the coupon business is still thriving. Within the paper coupons may be declining, but the e-coupons are slowly holding the industry together. Add to that the growing number of budget conscious people, it is a safe conclusion that the coupon business will continue despite the transition from paper to electronics.