How Coupon Extensions Impact E-Tailers’ Holiday Revenues

As originally published in Total Retail

Coupon Extensions

It’s Cyber Monday. A shopper arrives on your site. They want to buy a hot kitchenware item. Maybe they got to your site from an online product search or a clever ad your creative team built. They check out the product, put it into their shopping cart, and then… poof, they’re gone.

What happened? The shopper clicked on a browser extension, saw a “deal” from a competing site, and abandoned you. Of course, that deal might not actually be a good one. Shipping might not be free. The color they want might not be in stock. Recapturing them will be a challenge — if they can even find their way back to your site. Your customer acquisition costs, bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments go up. Your conversion rates go down. It’s a story of lost holiday revenue.

A Rapidly Growing Challenge for Online Retail

Browser extensions range from large coupon provider extensions like and Honey to small, fly-by-night extensions that can completely paper over your site with unauthorized pop-up ads of malicious origin. Coupon extensions are now a multibillion dollar, and growing, global business, as evidenced by PayPal’s $4 billion acquisition of Honey, currently the largest coupon extension provider with 18 million users.

As the coupon industry grows, so does the challenge for e-commerce sites, especially around the holidays. Coupon extensions steal your best customers away and send them to competitors, disrupt their experiences on your site, and damage your brand reputation. There are tens of thousands of these extensions available across all the major browsers. The coupon extension industry started initially as cut-and-paste sites that listed coupons for shoppers to apply at checkout. With improvements in web application functionality, the coupon lists evolved into JavaScript extensions that shoppers can add (Read more...)

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