TORONTO - Some savvy shoppers never complete an online purchase before launching a quick search to see if any money-saving coupons are available online.
The option to insert a coupon or promo code during checkout is a good hint that the e-tailer may be offering discounts to those in the know.
In the U.S. and other markets around the world, RetailMeNot which logged more than 450 million visits globally in 2012 is a top destination for finding those coupons.
And plenty of Canadians have also been using the search tool, even if it wasn't setup to offer discounts in Canada.
On Wednesday, the company announced the launch of RetailMeNot.ca, to better serve the scores of Canadians that have already been using the site in search of deals.
"We should've been here probably a while ago," said head of communications Brian Hoyt.
"We've had millions of visits from Canadian consumers coming to the U.S. site and quite frankly we were offering them a sub-optimal experience. Now we've created something that's more relevant to them."
Canadians who visit the site will see coupons and specials from retailers including Aeropostale, Banana Republic, J.Crew, Lowe's, Roots, Sears and Starbucks. Some of the deals aren't exclusive to the site and are the same specials consumers would see in a flyer or at a store's website.
"I think what consumers come for is more than just coupons," said Hoyt.
"They're looking for offers and deals as well, our goal is to be an information portal for all of those pieces of discount information."
Canadians can still access RetailMeNot.com with its database of U.S.-based coupons and deals and Hoyt said he expects that side of the site will be a little more popular than the .ca section.
"We think it's going to follow the split you see in e-commerce overall for the Canadian market," said Hoyt. "I think our site's a good overall indicator of the direction that e-commerce is going in." He estimated the split to be 60 per cent interested in U.S. sites and 40 per cent for Canadian sites.
The company commissioned a poll with 1,507 Canadians about their shopping habits and found that while 47 per cent said they sometimes looked for coupons online, 73 per cent said they still use flyers and mail to source deals.
When asked why they didn't like using coupon websites about half said they found deals too infrequently or the only offers were for products they didn't need. About 30 per cent said the coupons didn't offer good savings.
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