Finding the Honey in Online Shopping

February 8, 2013
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shutterstock_115440394Have you ever hunted around for coupon codes during the checkout process at an e-commerce site? (I hope so — there are deals to be found!) If you’re in a hurry, or not having much luck, it can get frustrating.

Enter Honey, a new browser add-on launched last November that, with a simple click, looks for savings on any items you’ve added to your shopping cart. The savings are applied right away and you can check out and enjoy your savings along with your new banana slicer, or whatever you’ve bought.

Honey is free and does not require registration. It’s currently only available for Google Chrome, but other browser extensions are in the works.

But wait. What information is Honey collecting, and how does Honey, to put it bluntly, make money?

From the site’s FAQ:

Q. What information do you collect?
A. We collect two types of information:

1) Information that you explicitly give to us such as your name, avatar and email address. You may also give us access to your information in other services, such as when you link your Facebook or Twitter account. The information we obtain depends on your settings and the privacy policy of these services.

2) Technical information as a result of your use of our product. We collect automatically generated information such as log data, cookies, device information, data about the success or failure of codes applied to your cart, and some other information collected by Google Analytics. To opt out of tracking with Google Analytics, visit: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

and

Q. How do you make money?
A. We currently don’t make money. In the future we may make money through affiliate programs similar to coupon and rebate sites or through other innovative programs that help you save even more time and money. When we start to make money we will be careful not to interfere with any other affiliate or cash back programs you may be using and will try to do so in a way that gets you even better prices without annoying you.

It’s a very cool idea, and it would be interesting to work rewards and special offers into the mix, along with the savings. And as mobile commerce takes off — how about a mobile version?

As with many startups, social is in Honey’s DNA. The service has active Facebook and Twitter presences, and when someone saves using Honey, that feat is tweeted, while preserving the buyer’s anonymity. Good marketing. Now it’s time to work on that business model.

 

Learn more about this at Bank Innovation 2013. Request an invitation here

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