Canadian Deals Industry More Powerful Than Ever

February 11, 2014 Albert S. Bitton


During the 2013 holiday season, Canadian retailers launched a floodgate of promotions, offers, savings, sales, deals and coupons to motivate Canadian consumers to buy. More deals and coupons were offered and distributed this year in Canada between the Black Friday season and the Boxing Day season than at any other time. In fact, with the growth of eCommerce in Canada and competition from American retailers comes the increasing demand for deals and coupons; over 70% of Canadian consumers buy on sale and over 60% use deals or coupons.

The impact that the deals and coupons industry has on Canadian retail sales and consumerism is a lot larger than most realize. The impact in Canada can be measured in the billions and the digital industry, retail industry, affiliate marketing and overall marketing industry should take far more notice than it presently does.

We spoke about the industry at a very lively session at the first Dx3 Canada event and are happy to see the topic return this year with talks from Checkout51 on March 6th and a session on Affiliate Marketing on March 6th as well (ebates will be on the panel).

 ”70% of Canadian consumers buy on sale and over 60% use deals or coupons.”

The Power of the industry

Retailers continue to leverage the power of deal and coupon marketing because the results continue to be positive. An accurate estimate would be that about 85% of Canada’s top retailers continue to use deals or coupon marketing as a staple in their marketing mix; be it through deals in flyers, coupon offers through affiliate marketing channels or deals marketed through deals sites.

Name some of the top online retailers in Canada (The Bay,, Beyond The Rack,, The Shopping Network, etc) or some of the top marketers (MasterCard, TD, Visa, CIBC, etc) and they are all leveraging deals or coupon marketing within their overall marketing advertising strategy. Many of the large digital agencies in this country are also involved in building creative and content around deal- and coupon-based marketing. Yet, a whole industry doesn’t want to talk about it. We seem ashamed that we are partaking and benefiting from deal and coupon marketing. Very Canadian of us.

What cannot be ignored is the industry’s power. It is the ability to directly reach consumers and then convert them into buyers that continues to drive marketers towards Deal & Coupon Marketing. Many do not realize that marketing a promotion through Deal & Coupon providers in Canada can help a retailer/marketer reach over 30% of the Canadian consumer buying public (that’s over 6 million people) in a very quick amount of time and at a very affordable price point compared to other more traditional marketing/advertising channels.

“We seem ashamed that we are partaking and benefiting from deal and coupon marketing. Very Canadian of us.”

Deals & Coupons EcosystemIn order to properly visualize the size of the deals and coupons industry in Canada, we at the Canadian Deals & Coupons association have published what we call “The Deals & Coupons Ecosystem in Canada”. The Ecosystem portrays all the top Deal & Coupon providers available to Canadian Consumers. From Red Flag Deals, to Groupon, Teambuy, Ebates Canada, Websaver, Moneysaver, Saveland, Wagjag, SPC, CAA, Rogers Alerts, and many, many others. Some of these providers reach an incredible amount of consumers and those retailers and businesses that leverage this reach benefit greatly.

Although representing a sample, the “The Ecosystem” shows how many types of Deal & Coupon providers are available for consumers to choose from. It lists the top online Coupon sites, the top Grocery Coupon providers, Daily Deal providers, Flash Sales, Local offers, top flyer deal providers, top restaurant, spa and travel providers, top cash back providers and more. The impact on the industry is a lot more significant than once thought. The publishing of the Canadian deals and coupon ecosystem helps consumers, media, retailers, analysts and industry professionals understand how large the entire market really is. This Ecosystem continues to be an eye opener for the whole industry, for investors, for consumers and certainly for media and analysts who cover the industry.

Industry continuing to grow

There are several reasons why the deals and coupons industry continues to grow rather rapidly in Canada.

  1. Supply of deals and coupons in this country has simply not met demand and it has just started catching up.
  2. eCommerce continues to grow in Canada. There is a direct correlation between ecommerce growth and deals/coupon demand.
  3. A continued expansion of large American stores in Canada that have a history of large coupon marketing (Target, Walmart, Macys, Lowe’s Marshalls, etc).
  4. Growth in Grocery competition in Canada (Walmart opening up Grocery section, Amazon delivering, Wholefoods expanding, etc) all lead to price wars and more coupon marketing to attract consumers.
  5. Entry of large, dominant coupon providers from the USA such as Retailmenot, Ebates and Valpak have launched in Canada as the Canadian consumer continues to shop online and search for deals and coupons.
  6. The increase in local/mobile dependance. As more consumers walk and shop with their mobile device, the more they demand deals available to them immediately on that device.
  7. The local deals industry in Canada can easily double its sales. This industry is only four years old and has a long way to go before saturation.
  8. Deal and coupon frenzy like in the USA is JUST getting started in Canada.

As ecommerce and mobile commerce continues to grow in Canada, it is becoming more challenging to compete for the attention of Canadian consumers that now have thousands of stores to buy from online and are busier than ever offline. Hopefully some of the content that is now being published about the deals and coupons industry will help Canadian Retailers evaluate whether Deal & Coupon marketing is right for them.

At the very least, retail media, analysts, press, etc should discuss and highlight the industry far more than they presently do. The industry and its providers deserve the attention.

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