A RetailMeNot.com study about online shopping habits conducted last month gave a breakdown on coupon Web site usage among US Internet users. Of all respondents, eight percent never made a purchase without checking an online coupon Web site first in 2008, but that number swelled to twelve percent in 2009. Occasional visitors to online coupon sites rose from 29 percent to 35 percent while non-visitor percentage fell from 32 percent to 25 percent. The Melbourne, Australia-based consumer discount resource is the most highly visited coupon Web site, according to Business Wire. The top online coupon in September was for GameStop.com (2828 clicks in September), the top national printable coupon download (1550 downloads the same month) was for KFC.

Coupon site usage is increasing most among users with the highest incomes and college educations. The highest levels of online coupon usage among the affluent, says June 2009 data from Mintel. More than half of US Internet users with household incomes of over $100,000 reported using online coupons, higher usage levels than any lower income category. Thirty percent of users with incomes under $25,000 used Web coupons, the lowest adoption rate. This set of respondents, those with the smallest income, had the lowest adoption rate of any money-saving methods the survey covered: coupons from newspaper, Internet, magazine or other sources, email promotions and mobile text messages.

Newspaper coupons are still more widely used than those found on the Internet, according to the Mintel data. But in the past month, forty percent have used Web coupons, and 28 percent have used email promotion. “This finding suggests that consumers may be more excited by actively searching for deals (pull), rather than having them delivered to their inbox (push),” eMarketer quotes from the report.