Survey shows Canadians jealous of U.S. retail deals


Canadians are red, white and green with envy over the deep discounts their U.S. neighbours enjoy. According to a new survey from, 68 per cent of Canadians agree that U.S. consumers have a clear shopping advantage due to looser regulations around couponing and discounts. Additionally, just over two-thirds (67%) of Canadians believe U.S.-based retailers are more likely to offer coupons than their Canadian counterparts. The perception that discounts aren’t as readily available inCanada could be why almost 1 in 4 (24%) Canadians have never used a coupon or a promo code when shopping, whereas 96 per cent of Americans identify themselves as coupon users.

“Research shows that couponing is a relatively new practice in Canada, with the average Canadian only beginning to adopt the practice in 2000,” said Kristen Larrea of RetailMeNot. “While 71 per cent of people claim that having a coupon for a product or service would make them more inclined to purchase, misconceptions about coupon regulations are causing Canadians to miss out on major savings.”

The majority of Canadians (83%) believe you cannot use more than one coupon at a time to maximize savings. Additionally, just over half (51%) believe they cannot get an additional discount using a coupon if an item is already on sale, however many Canadian retailers like Joe Fresh and The Bay will let you stack promo codes on top of existing sales and use multiple offers toward a purchase.

An additional barrier to Canadians saving more money is the reliance on old methods of coupon discovery and redemption. Even in a digital world, 36 per cent of people still rely on print fliers to look for sales, and 62 per cent mostly use coupons in-store versus promo codes for online shopping. While more than half of Canadians (51%) claim to use coupons more now than in the past five years, only 40 per cent check for promo codes when shopping online or in a store.

With the holiday shopping season approaching, retailers will need to offer strong promotions to drive sales. Nearly 3 in 4 (72%) Canadians agree that retailers must offer coupons in order to stay competitive in today’s market, however 74 per cent feel that the coupons currently available north of the border don’t offer enough of an incentive to shop. On average, Canadians consider 30% off to be a “good deal” and 83 per cent would be more likely to make a purchase if a coupon offered a discount of 25 per cent off or more. The majority (71%) of Canadians also agree that one size does not fit all when it comes to savings: They want retailers to offer customized promotions or coupons in order to peak their interest.
Other survey findings include:

• Luxury for less: More than three-quarters (77%) would not perceive a store that issues a coupon to be of lower quality;
• Savvy and smart: Sixty per cent of Canadians say using coupons makes them feel savvy, while 85 per cent say people who regularly search for savings are smart;
• Leaving money on the table: While 63 per cent have signed up to receive special offers from a retailer, only 32 per cent have signed up to receive offers from a coupon site. regularly conducts consumer behaviour, trend and spending surveys.

About the survey:
From October 13 to October 14, 2015, an online survey was conducted among 1,535 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.