Coupon Usage and the Theory of Reasoned Action
Richard P Bagozzi, Hans Baumgartner, Youjae Yi
Advances in Consumer Research
Coupon usage behavior is a widespread phenomenon in today's consumer society. According to recent statistics (Adweek's Marketing Week 1990), 273.4 billion coupons (more than 3,000 per household) were issued in 1989, at an average face value of 49.7 cents. Of these, 7.1 billion were actually redeemed, for a total of about $3.5 billion. In addition, it has been estimated that 97 percent of all households use coupons in a given month (Teinowitz 1988). Clearly, these figures indicate that it is important for consumer researchers to understand why people use coupons.

In a pioneering study, Shimp and Kavas (1984) have shown that the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975) is useful in specifying the antecedents of coupon usage for grocery shopping. Specifically, these authors found that the cognitive (expectancy-value) structure underlying consumers' attitude toward using coupons was best represented as a multi-dimensional construct, that attitudes and subjective norms influenced behavioral intentions but had no direct effects on behavior, and that self-reported coupon usage was a function of people's intentions to use coupons.

In this paper we extend Shimp and Kavas' (1984) work on the determinants of coupon usage behavior in two ways. First, we hypothesize that a consumer's prior history of using coupons for grocery shopping will serve an important role in influencing intentions and possibly behavior. Second, we hypothesize that the individual difference variable of state- vs. action-orientation will influence the extent to which intentions are formed on the basis of attitudes or subjective norms. Each of these issues will be dealt with in turn.