When you shop online, the Honey Chrome extension will automatically look for and apply discount codes. Learn how it functions and how it came to be.
I don’t always bring coupons to the shop, but when I do, I frequently forget to use them when I check out, to quote the Most Interesting Man in the World. To help me remember to use the coupon, I’ve taken to wrapping it around my credit card.
For me, online shopping is very similar to traditional retail. Since I don’t receive discounts by email and searching the internet for them is too much work when I need that anniversary gift mailed out NOW, I typically pass past coupon code sections.
The Advantage of Honey
I was intrigued to learn about Honey, a Chrome application that can find coupons for you, given my enduring ignorance of coupons. You can use Honey’s “Find discounts” button (Figure A) at the checkout on a number of well-known websites, including Amazon.com, Old Navy, Best Buy, and others.
Then, you can apply any valid or pertinent coupons to your order. A FAQ on their main website contains a complete summary.
I must admit that I had some skepticism. As a system administrator, I endured many dreadful years of dealing with spyware on computers at work and at home while repairing choked PCs for coworkers, colleagues, and family.
Despite the fact that (hopefully) the spyware heyday is quickly coming to an end, I still shudder in horror when I think of Bargain Buddy, CoolWebSearch, Gator, and other programmes of a similar calibre that made me want to rip my hair out and go for the Advil.
Years spent in the trenches have instilled in me a strong and healthy cynicism towards whatever I need to implement to get “offers,” “savings,” “deals,” etc. However, a new age has begun.
I kept an open mind and was happy to learn that Honey accomplishes its goals without the use of gimmicks, tricks, or hidden agendas. In order to ensure that this extension had no negative effects on my system, I put it to the test (for more information, see “Are you sure it’s not spyware?” below).
Setting up Honey
Currently, only Chrome can run Honey, but there are plans to create extensions for other browsers.
Visit www.joinhoney.com in order to install Honey on Chrome. in Figure B
Simply select “Install for Chrome.” The box in Figure C will be sent to you.
As stated in the announcement, there is no need to register and there are no irritating captchas, email verification requirements, or opt-in or opt-out games to play. The FAQ states the following in relation to the data that Honey gathers:
“We gather two different kinds of data:
1) Data that you voluntarily provide to us, such as your name, avatar, and email address. When you link your Facebook or Twitter accounts, for example, you may also grant us access to your information from those other services. Depending on your preferences and these services’ privacy policies, we may collect certain information.
2) Technical data obtained from your use of our product. In addition to certain additional data gathered by Google Analytics, we also gather automatically generated data including log data, cookies, device information, data about the success or failure of codes applied to your basket, and data about log data. Visit this link to choose not to be tracked by Google Analytics: tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
If the terms are acceptable to you, select “Install now.” Figuring D
To proceed, click “Add.” You will see the screen depicted in Figure E once the procedure is complete.
I choose the option “Think you got it? Try it out here by clicking. It directed me to Amazon.com, where a page with some handbags for sale appeared. I tried it out by adding one to my basket and placing an order. (Fig. F)
Check out the “Find savings” button. The Honey extension adds that. I did it. In Figure G
Honey started searching the internet for coupon codes. Figuring H
Sadly, Honey didn’t come across any coupons. The handbag looked lovely, but my wife already has many purses, so I removed it from my cart and ran another test. On Macy’s website, it functioned this time. I (Figure)
Aware that It Is Not Spyware?
Yes. Spyware consumes resources, slowing down your computer and making web browsing impossible (which is how it always gave itself away like the bad guys in Scooby Doo).
I had no pop-ups, toolbars, strange messages, or other suspicious activity while using Honey, either on my PC or in my browser.
In the application folders, Windows directory, user profile, startup items, or system services on my Windows 7 system that I examined, there was no indication of anything unusual. My antivirus and antimalware software didn’t make any noise.
I then looked into Chrome’s performance to see what was happening behind the scenes. The snapshot below shows my most recent Chrome extensions. As you can see, Honey is available and functional. (Fig. J)
I went to the Task Manager on Chrome (press Shift-Esc in Chrome). The addon isn’t even operating, thus it’s not using any resources. In Figure K
The following processes were running in Chrome when I clicked “Stats for geeks,” along with the corresponding memory use. Figuring L
Honey is not operating on my system now, as previously. It merely enters the picture during the checkout procedure.
Chatting with the developer
I asked George Ruan, one of the Honey creators, how they came up with the concept.
We developed the concept because, as engineers, we enjoy automating everything, says George Ruan (GR). We are savvy online buyers who always search for promo coupons before making any purchases.
However, the procedure is time-consuming (checkout, open a new tab, Google [shop name] + coupon, attempt to use codes). Therefore, we created Honey for ourselves, but it turns out that it addresses a general issue.
We’ve seen more than 280,000 organic installs since our launch in November 2012, which was just a few months ago. On websites like GoDaddy, Honey works incredibly well, saving users an average of 40%.
SM Scott Matteson How were Honey and you created?
SM: How much time did it take to construct Honey?
GR: The proof-of-concept prototype for Honey was constructed in three weeks. When it started spreading like wildfire, we (a team of three) completely rebuilt everything in order to serve millions of users. About three months passed during that process.
SM: Did the project require any collaboration with other companies or organizations (permissions, rights, etc.) to move forward?
GR: One of the best things about browser extensions is that they are client-side programmes that work their magic after a page has been sent. As a result, we can make Honey function on any website without needing to establish commercial connections.
How frequently does Honey find users’ savings with coupons?
GR: The type of store person shops at affects how well Honey functions. Honey isn’t a coupon maker; it’s a coupon finder. Honey works nearly 100% of the time on websites that do offer coupons (GoDaddy, Macy’s, Kohl’s). People’s savings are visible in real-time via the Honey Twitter feed.
SM: Were there any difficulties, mistakes, learning, etc. that readers could find useful to know about?
GR: The fragmentation of browser systems is the main danger to be aware of. Building and maintaining the code base for each browser requires some effort. Although it might not be a problem for a company whose employees all use the same browser, direct-to-consumer extensions should still be considered.
SM: Does Honey bring in money for your company?
GR: The addon does not yet generate any revenue for us. We will investigate this further in the future, but for the time being, our main priorities are the product and user experience.
Each little bit counts.
It doesn’t hurt to have Honey installed, whether or not you frequently purchase online, to see if it can help you save a few dollars here and there.
If only someone could create a paper coupon that talks and says, “Hey, don’t forget to use me!” When my wife queries, “Did you use the voucher I got you?,” I can stop blushing.
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