Group buying more popular with Canadians than Web site ads

Just one-third of Canadians click on an online advertisement at least once a month, while almost two-thirds are aware of group coupon services, according to the 2012 Ipsos Canadian Inter@active Reid Report.

The annual review of Canadians behavior and activity on the Internet takes a look at the effectiveness of digital marketing techniques. It found that 31 per cent of Canadians said they clicked on an online ad at least once per month during 2011. But a majority of Canadians (65 per cent) are aware of group coupon Web sites like Groupon, and among those aware, 61 per cent subscribe to the notification alerts. That means that about four out of 10 Canadians are receiving the group buying deals, which often come in the form of a once-per-day e-mail message.

Group buying sites have become popular in Canada and a number of services have cropped up since 2010. The sites all use the same model – a business offers a discounted product or services to buyers on the condition that a minimum number of the deal is sold. The promotions are often used by local businesses as a way to get new customers in the door.

Eric Migicovsky (centre) checking on Pebble’s components.

In Canada, many media companies are operating the group buying Web sites and offering the services to their audience. Here’s a few of the sites being run by media firms, according to Group Buying Canada:

  • – Torstar operates Wagjag
  • – PostMedia operates Swarmjam
  • – Transcontinental operats Mega Catch
  • – Astral operates Astral Radio Deals
  • – Yellow Pages operates DealoftheDay from Red Flag Deals
  • – Glacier Media operates Dealmate.ca

Sun Media also operated StealTheDeal.com until the site was shut down July 25.

Seventeen of Canadians aware of group buying sites purchase a coupon monthly, according to Ipsos. The most popular categories are restaurants, personal services, and grocery items.

More than eight out of 10 Canadians have interacted with a business for the first time because of a group coupon, the survey says.

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