In tough economic times, consumers are more likely to use coupons when purchasing products. Hardly news, right? Well, the recently released Second Annual Benchmark Survey on Consumer Coupon Behavior, conducted by HarrisInteractive for RetailMeNot, offers the slightly more newsworthy insight that online consumers are increasingly defining their spending habits based upon whether or not retailers offer coupons. According to the survey, 30% of online consumers will not make a purchase from a store that doesn’t offer coupons, up from 27% in 2008. 22% will go to a different store that does offer coupons (up from 20% in 2008), and 8% will wait until a coupon is offered to make a purchase. Although coupon use is up among all demographic segments, the survey reveals that employed and educated online shoppers and large families or homes with children are most likely to use coupons. As Guy King, co-founder of RetailMeNot.com, summarizes, “as a result, we are seeing more and more merchants embracing coupons as a way to connect with their budget-conscious shoppers. Clearly, retailers that don’t offer discounts not only jeopardize customer loyalty but could take a significant hit to the bottom line, especially as we head into the holiday season.” This is great news for companies looking for a way to lure online consumers, and a prime opportunity to leverage social media channels to disseminate genuine value added content.