It's no secret that Americans love scoring good deals. We bought Manhattan with shiny beads. The Manifest Destiny was essentially a shopping spree to snatch up undeveloped land in the heartland. Even the purchase of Alaska could be seen as something of an impulse buy.
Today, Americans still lead the rest of the world in their passion for saving a buck or two.
RetailMeNot, an online shopping resource, found that 76 percent of surveyed U.S. residents said "saving money is very important or important in my daily life", which was 11 percent higher than the global average.
Americans also like coupons – 53 percent of those surveyed say they like brands that offer coupons, and 48 percent said they use their coupons proudly to show off their shopping skills. The global average was 43 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
How do other countries or populations within countries stack up? India also had the same high percentage for an interest in saving money. Australia and Canada were in the low 70 percent range, and other developed countries were lower.
That isn't to say that other countries dislike shopping – even though interest is lower, retail still is worldwide. Some places have annual shopping blitzes similar to our Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping holidays.
Australia: Click Frenzy, an occasion in late November, asks stores to offer super deals, and shoppers are encouraged to either visit in person or shop online. On Click Frenzy 2012, the official event site crashed from so many visitors, but participating merchants saw impressive traffic. This included the Supercycle site, which received more than 16,000 visits compared to less than 400 the day before, a 2,720 percent increase. Crayons Australia saw a traffic spike of 2,394 percent and Target Australia's increased traffic went past 160,000 .
India: This country loves celebrating Friendship Day, an international holiday promoted by the United Nations in 2011 to encourage cooperation and cordial relations. Each August, residents buy personalized gifts or do favors for friends. Over the years, this holiday has added digital components such as text messages and social media interactions. The "Times of India" reported that the most popular, inexpensive gifts include coffee mugs, bands/bracelets and photo frames.
American demographic groups: Nielsen regularly surveys the retail interests and behaviors of different racial/cultural groups in the U.S., and recently found that as the Asian-American population has grown so has their interest in shopping. This group now makes up the largest amount of online shoppers, with 77 percent buying something online in the last year, compared to 61 percent of the population. African-Americans are more aggressive shoppers and make more shopping trips than other groups. This year's Thanksgiving season showed that all types of Americans were out hitting the stores, whether the actual location or online, including the Macy's website.
Japan: Unlike the U.S., in which retailers try to sell as much as possible between November and January, the goal of some Japanese merchants is to sell everything and being the new year with zero inventory. "Japan Monthly Web Magazine" said not only do customers find excellent deals, but they enjoy a tradition called Fukubukuro, which is essentially buying a discounted grab bag of merchandise without knowing what's in it.