Saving Money in the 21st Century: Welcome to Honey

Is there anything sweeter than saving money? Real, deep, rich savings – and a whole lot of it? In the world of e-commerce, probably not. That’s why the founders of a new service decided to tap into that sugary world to start a business that does just that. It’s called Honey, and the attractive taste it leaves consumers with is likely why so many are embracing the flavor of savings.

In the online world, savings usually derive form coupons and codes. But these can be hard to come by and painstaking work to search for. What you need is a personal shopper. Or a web service that automatically searches and applies those coupons to all of your transactions.

Meet Honey. It’s a start-up for the Google Chrome browser that does just that, scouring the web and automatically finding and using coupon codes at checkout. So far, users have saved over $100,000 in total sales, and Honey’s partners have raked in more than $7 million in sales. With more than 130,000 installations, the free service has fast become one of the top 10 Google Chrome extensions since soft launching in late November, and a viral hit on the Reddit site, dubbed the “front page of the Internet.”

“It’s valuable to merchants because it keeps people in the checkout flow,” explained Ryan Hudson, the co-founder and chief executive. “Ultimately we can help consumers save money.”

If consumers can get the peace of mind that they’re getting the best deal possible, they’re more inclined to make purchases, explained Hudson. And with added savings, they’re also more likely to make more purchases. So long as they have the funds to back it up, it’s a win-win-win for all parties involved.

Right now Honey features coupons on more than 400 websites, including popular destinations like Amazon, Best Buy, Gap, Old Navy, Target, and Sephora. And the makers of the product are working to develop new browser extensions to bring savings to even more people.

Hudson says the company has not yet figured a monetization plan, but it’s still at a fledgling stage, and a few months away from a hard launch. Right now he’s more concerned with building the best product he can, and increasing the site’s audience and users. Once that happens, he’s confident Honey will start to see positive cash flow.

“The response to date is evidence that we are on the right track,” Hudson said. “Our users definitely save time when shopping online, and they either save money or can take comfort in knowing they are getting the best possible deal on their purchases.”

Adam Popescu
Adam Popescu
Adam Popescu has covered social media, green business and eco-travel for a variety of news outlets, including Marketplace, LA Weekly and Los Angeles Times Community Newspapers.
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