NEW YORK, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The Internet appears ready to target in a big way the coupon-clipping shoppers, who still number in the millions in the United States.
The market potential for the Internet industry comes from the fact that paper coupons, especially those appearing in Sunday newspapers, have endured in the electronic age only because traditions don't die that easily.
Charles Brown with the advocacy group Coupon Council told The New York Times coupons remain a powerful marketing vehicle to reach millions of consumers and build brand and customer loyalty.
Google recently announced it will begin offering local discount coupons to people who use its Google Maps service, says the Times.
The report says the use of online coupons is rising rapidly but only account for 1 percent of the consumer goods coupons distributed.
But the potential Internet advantage derives from selective marketing based on browsing interests, says the report. The next step in the technology is to avoid the need for printing the digital coupons by delivering electronic coupons to cell phone owners on demand. They can then be redeemed by whisking the phone past a cash register scanner.