May 10, 2011 08:00 ET

Spontaneity and Selfishness: The Inside Scoop on Group Buying in Canada

Survey Reveals Canadians Who Visit Group Buying Sites Make Unplanned Purchases for Self

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - When it comes to great retail deals, Canadians who visit group buying sites spontaneously self-indulge. The Canadian Group Buying Survey conducted by Vision Critical on behalf of reveals Canadians who group buy overwhelmingly make unplanned purchases, and the vast majority of deal-seekers purchase for one recipient ― themselves.

"We conducted the Canadian Group Buying Survey to create a benchmark for our burgeoning industry and to take the pulse of what really motivates Canadians who visit group buying sites," said Antonio Rodriguez, president,, the leading group buying deal aggregator in Canada. "We wanted to see how Canadians who visit group buying sites act in the face of phenomenal discounts and some of the findings were surprising."

The survey revealed:

  • A large majority (81%) of people who purchase from a group buying site are buying for themselves.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of Canadians who purchase through group buying sites said the sites encourage them to purchase products and services they weren't looking for.

Other key survey findings include:

Irresistible discounts encourage group buyers to try something new

Interestingly, 40 per cent of survey respondents said they specifically liked group buying sites because it allowed them to buy or try something they normally wouldn't at regular price. While restaurant deals are the most popular unplanned purchase (58%) with respondents who purchased something unplanned, spa services are particularly favourable among women, with 32 per cent of women purchasing spa services they weren't looking for, compared to 20 per cent of men. The survey also discovered among people who tried something new because of group buying:

  • Almost one quarter (22%) purchased unplanned recreational activities.
  • Almost one-in-five (15%) bought a gym/fitness/yoga deal they weren't looking for.
  • Just over one-in-10 (13%) spontaneously purchased an adventure experience.
  • One-in-10 (10%) purchased an unplanned cosmetic procedure.

Significant growth in past year

One year ago the group buying industry was little known in Canada. Today, 49 per cent of Canadians have visited a group buying site and over two-thirds (68%) of Canadians who use group buying sites started doing so within the past six months. As with many trends, the popularity of group buying is led by younger, Canadians and is gradually spreading to older Canadians. The survey revealed those aged 18-34 (25%) are more-than-twice as likely as Canadians aged 55-plus (10%) to have made a purchase from a group buying site.

Respondents cited various factors when asked what they personally like about group buying:

  • Consumers like the convenience of getting deals online (35%).
  • They like being introduced to new local deals in their city (34%).
  • It allows them to find only the deals they are interested in (33%).
  • It lets them buy more because they save money (26%).
  • It lets them give a more substantial gift for their budget (20%).
  • It allows them to easily share deals with their friends, colleagues and family (17%).

Savings are matching spending

Whether they take a quick look as part of their daily routine or scour the listings more thoroughly a couple of times a week, Canadians who visit group buying sites say they save as much as they spend on the sites:

  • The majority (91%) of those who have made a purchase on the sites have spent up to $449 in the past 12 months
  • Well over three-quarters (86%) of respondents say they have saved up to $449 – the same amount as they have spent ― in the last 12 months
  • One-in-10 (10%) respondents have saved from $500 to $1,000 during the same time period

Searching for deals at work and home

Today, over one-third (36%) of Canadians who visit group buying sites have purchased a deal. And those who have visited keep returning. The survey revealed that four-in-10 (42%) who visit group buying sites spend some of their spare time doing so, and one-in-five (19%) of those with Internet access do so daily at work.

Unsophisticated industry in Canada

"Although the marketplace for group buying is rapidly growing, the industry is still unsophisticated in Canada," says Rodriguez. "To build long term relationships with Canadian consumers, industry leaders like need to help consumers save time and money by providing them with relevant deals they really want based on type of product or service, and location."

About the Canadian Group Buying Survey

From April 7th to April 11th, 2011, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among a sample of 1,014 adult Canadians that have purchased a deal from a group buying site or have visited a group buying site and never purchased a deal, and who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.0%. The results have been statistically weighted to ensure a representative sample. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About makes it easy for consumers to access all the local group buying deals they want close to home, work or any location of interest through a single daily e-mail. As a result, consumers can sign up with and unclutter their inbox by unsubscribing from all other group buying site emails. is also leading the next wave of group buying through its ease of use, great deals, and personalized screening tools. Founded in 2010, is now used by more than 100,000 Canadians seeking deals, making it the leading group buying deal aggregator in Canada. For more information, visit

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