Technology continues to shape the way we live, work, and shop. One technological advancement that has become popular is browser extensions.
These handy little tools enhance browsing experience, improve productivity, and can even help consumers save money while shopping online. But what do they mean for advertisers / merchants, and why should they matter?
What Are Browser Extensions?
Browser extensions are small software programs that users can install to extend the functionality of their web browsers. They were first introduced to Internet Explorer way back in 1999, but browser extensions really gained popularity after 2010, when Google Chrome introduced the Chrome Web Store, offering a vast library of extensions to Chrome users.
What Can Browser Extensions Do?
First, extensions can help improve productivity. A wide range of extensions can do things like block distractions, assist with time management, or automate repetitive tasks, making users more efficient and focused.
Second, extensions can enhance the web browsing experience by blocking ads, improving security measures, or unlocking new functionality for websites.
Finally, browser extensions can solve other specific problems like assisting users with research, shopping, travel, and much more.
Examples of Browser Extensions
- LastPass is a widely-used browser extension that securely stores and manages passwords, which helps users organize and manage the multiple logins and passwords we all have.
- The Rakuten Cashback Extension allows users to earn cashback while shopping online. This extension has gained tons of traction among smart shoppers looking to save money, and works roughly the same way as the white-label cashback browser extensions we build for our clients here at Wildfire.
- Grammarly is a writing assistant browser extension which offers real-time suggestions for improving writing with tools like spell check, grammar check, and punctuation check.
While hundreds of thousands of browser extensions exist, not all enjoy widespread adoption. However, high-utility extensions that genuinely improve productivity or offer convenience features tend to gain greater traction. For instance, the AdBlock Plus extension boasts 10 million+ installations, highlighting its popularity among users who want to stop ads from displaying as they use the internet.
Browser Extensions Increasing in Popularity
Customer adoption of browser extensions is rising steadily. A recent study by Wildfire found that today's consumers are very comfortable using technologies like browser extensions.
Thirty-nine percent of online shoppers report having ever installed a browser extension. Of these, 74% reported using their browser extension often to earn cashback rewards.
How Cashback Browser Extensions Can Help Merchants
So, how exactly do browser extensions benefit merchants? Commission Junction conducted a survey about the incremental value of customers using browser extensions. They found that online shoppers who use a browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout generated 16% more revenue compared to non-extension users. Furthermore, the revenue per customer was 39% higher 12 months after customers interacted with the extension.
Wildfire's white-label cashback browser extensions seamlessly deliver cashback and coupons to consumers in real-time as they shop, and the impact of cashback extensions on the consumer shopping experience is significant.
In fact, Wildfire’s recent consumer shopping survey found that browser extensions offering cashback from online merchants can influence all stages of the shopping journey, including driving retailer choice, reducing cart abandonment, and improving consumer advocacy.
Among other findings, the survey revealed:
- 43% of respondents are more likely to shop at a retailer where they can save money with cashback
- 48% are more likely to complete a purchase when they earn cashback rewards
- 37% are more likely to recommend a retailer to friends & family if the retailer offers cashback rewards, vs. a retailer that doesn’t
Browser extensions have become an integral part of the consumer landscape, especially to improve the customer experience when shopping online. With this in mind, e-commerce merchants should be leveraging tools like cashback rewards browser extensions to increase consumer preference for their brand, drive higher sales conversion rates, attract new customers, increase revenue, and improve word-of-mouth.