Figures from Hitwise show that UK consumers are searching for more and more vouchers online as the recession has got deeper over the last 12 months.
Whilst web searches for generic terms such as ‘voucher’ or ‘discount codes’ have actually fallen, it seems that we are searching for more specific vouchers and codes. Here are the top 10 in Hitwise’s voucher category:
Top 10 voucher searches in the UK, 4 weeks ending 01/08/09:
1. ‘voucher codes’ (8.4% of voucher-related searches UK over the period)
2. ‘pizza express voucher’ (3.9%)
3. ‘discount vouchers’ (2.9%)
4. ‘vouchers’ (2.2%)
5. ‘my voucher codes’ (2.0%)
6. ‘restaurant vouchers’ (1.9%)
7. ‘tesco vouchers’ (1.6%)
8. ‘pizza hut vouchers’ (1.4%)
9. ‘dominos vouchers’ (1.3%)
10. ‘tesco voucher codes’ (1.2%)
Interestingly, where specialist voucher sites were often the destination for most of these searches a year ago, more and more retailers are embracing the voucher code “phenomenon” and have started offering their own voucher sites, along with a few other big comparison sites, such as MoneySupermarket.
Previously retailers were probably reluctant to have their deals publicised to a mass audience, but as their use has grown they’ve probably realised that if they can’t beat the voucher sites, they’ll have to join them. Developing their own voucher sites gives them greater control on the vouchers they offer, probably gives them more information on their customers and possibly gives the customer a better experience as they have access to current codes, rather than trawling through tonnes of expired deals on the voucher sites.
Whereas in previous years there seemed to be a reluctance for us Brits to use vouchers (along with a lack of willingness to haggle or ask for a discount), people seem to be happier trying to get money off wherever we can.
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