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June 23, 2009

Couponclick.ca first website of its kind in Canada
Site boasts marketing, security features

Fuelled by the economic recession and the increasing number of Canadians surfing the Internet, consumer use of online coupons is on the rise. Manufacturers and retailers looking to benefit from this growing trend, but reluctant to get involved due to security risks, can now profit from Couponclick.ca, a first-of its-kind, secure coupon website being launched in Canada.

Scheduled to go live this fall, Couponclick.ca will consist of hundreds of online product and service coupons – under one electronic roof – that can be safely downloaded and printed by consumers. Every coupon will contain both a coupon and consumer code, so that each one can be traced back to the customer – greatly discouraging fraud attempts common with in-store and other coupons – and customers’ buying patterns and product preferences can be tracked.

“This is an innovation that’s being applauded by both manufacturers and retailers, who have long awaited a secure, powerful and value-added online marketing tool to help boost sales,” says Pierre Chasle, President of Couponclick.ca. “The technology provides marketers with a direct link to customers, and the ability to gather rich, aggregated information on coupon users that enhances Customer Relationship Management (CRM) efforts and enables the creation of customized promotions,” he explains.

A recent study by comScore shows that the number of Canadian visitors to online coupon websites increased about 60 per cent over the last year, from 1.6 million in December 2007 to almost 2.6 million earlier this year.

Even before the current economic slowdown, consumers were already changing their buying habits, Chasle says. According to an ICOM May 2008 study, seven out of 10 Canadians planned to use coupons more often to purchase their favourite goods and services, and he estimates the number today has grown to about nine out of 10.

With nearly three-quarters of Canadians indicating they use the Internet, Chasle points to a recent Ipsos Reid study that finds more than a half of the 2,711 consumers surveyed nationally said they would be “extremely likely” or “very likely” to download electronic coupons for discounts on consumer goods they purchase regularly, such as gasoline (58 per cent) and groceries (54 per cent). Respondents also indicated an interest for online coupons for restaurants (44 per cent), food delivery (38 per cent), consumer electronics (35 per cent), hotels (34 per cent), and airlines (34 per cent).

Other online coupon websites currently available differ from Couponclick.ca because they either  simply act as portals – linking consumers to retailers or manufacturers’ websites – or require users to sign up for coupons that are later mailed to them.

“None of the existing online options offer the combination of one-stop shopping, security, instant delivery, and CRM features that Couponclick.ca does,” says Chasle, emphasizing that along with the growth of online coupon use, there’s a need for improved quality of, and more stringent guidelines for, electronic coupon offerings.

Developed by Québec-based PromoPost Services, Couponclick.ca is the only Canadian member in its category of the U.S.-based Association of Coupon Professionals (ACP), a leading international authority in the coupon marketing industry. Couponclick.ca will be the only Canadian site to offer online coupons that meet the strict security and fraud protection standards of the ACP.

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