U.S. coupon site comes to Canada

10/12/2011

An American coupon website has opened up a Canadian branch.

SmartSource.ca went live Sept 26th and features coupons that shoppers can print off and use at retailers such as Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart.

SmartSource and its French version, UtiliSource.ca are owned by News Marketing Canada, a subsidiary of the American media giant News Corp.

An American version of the SmartSource website has been up for a decade and features 100 or so consumer packaged goods and beauty products at any given time. The site attracts between three and five million unique visitors per month.

Henri Lellouche, senior vice-president at SmartSource iGroup, says SmartSource.ca is designed to make it easy to get coupons while also providing manufacturers and retailers with security features to prevent fraud.

Shoppers who go on the website can browse the coupons available that day, download them and then print them off.

To access coupons, shoppers must download a Java application called SmartSource Coupon Printer that controls the number of coupons that can be printed. "Our security features are a key part of this system,” Lellouche said.

Brands with coupons on the website recently included Campbell's, Pepperidge Farms and Saputo.

"Manufacturers have been asking for a site like this," said Adam North, senior vice-president of News Marketing Canada.

North added that SmartSource intends to offer shoppers the ability to request samples.

In the U.S., where a sampling program is already set up through SmartSource, consumer packaged goods companies are able to link sampling to loyalty card data to find out whether shoppers who got samples become repeat buyers.

SmartSource.ca is being promoted to consumers in Canada through in-store advertising and bloggers.

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