CJ Demystifies Shopping Browser Extensions with New Study

Jan 15, 2024
Written by Sandrine Thompson

Shopping browser extensions now play a pivotal role in generating affiliate revenue, crafted by a variety of publishers to simplify the online shopping experience for consumers.

While proponents tout their ability to significantly enhance sales and conversion rates, critics express reservations about potential disruptions to the shopping journey and the attribution of sales that might have occurred naturally.

In response to these uncertainties, CJ partnered with Namogoo, the customer journey continuity platform, to conduct an extensive industry study encompassing 67 million shopping occasions. Namogoo’s unique platform enables brands to track all activity occurring in a customer journey, to help predict and shape the buyer experience, and flag any unwanted interruptions in the customer flow.

Extensions are such a critical topic for the industry that we worked closely with clients, publishers, and the Namogoo team to mitigate any potential concerns about the validity of our data,” said Tom Saulsbury-Hunter, VP, Client Development at CJ and an author of the report. “If you've ever questioned whether browser extensions like Honey, CapitalOne Shopping, RetailMeNot, or TopCashback USA really impact user behavior, this is a must-read report. The methodology is fully transparent, and we went in with an open mind to finding value or non-value.


Assessing Incremental Impact

In the ever-changing world of affiliate marketing, shopping browser extensions have become essential tools, transforming how consumers engage with online products and deals. As digital marketing and affiliate marketing managers explore inventive ways to boost revenue, it's become critical to fully understand to grasp the true value of these extensions.

Encounters with browser extension pops, whether they include offers or not, wield a significant impact on conversion rates and revenue, all while leaving the average order value (AOV) unscathed. Against common criticisms, browser extensions can be valuable allies for advertisers. Here are some key insights from the report:

  • Browser extensions drive 65% more revenue per session. Most extension messages contain discounts, cashback offers, or other deals to stimulate purchases. When users saw a proactive pre-checkout pop, add-to-cart rates increased by 38% and conversion rates increased by 64%. This amounts to an increase of 65% more revenue per session.
  • Browser extensions cause a minimal 0.5% increase in discount amount. Comparing that group to extension users who did not see a pop to did see one, the difference in discount is negligible. Extension users who received a pop at any point in their journey only received 0.5% point more discount than users who received no proactive pop.
  • Shoppers are 25% more likely to purchase when shown a pre-checkout pop. Extension messages seem to increase consumer confidence to purchase when no discount is available. Extension users who only had non-discounted products in their shopping cart and did not receive a discount via coupon were still 25% more likely to convert when they received a pre-checkout pop.


The Shopper's Perspective

Extension users, identified as more prolific shoppers, exhibit a remarkable spending pattern—185% more per shopper than those without extensions. Contrary to the perception of discount-focused tools, browser extensions prove to be effective in two unexpected ways:

  • They ensure that the user does not depart the merchant’s site when looking for pricing or discount information.
  • They create user confidence that they’re getting the best possible deal, increasing the propensity to purchase without significantly increasing discounts.

Conclusion: There are Compelling Reasons to Engage with Browser Extension Publishers

Shopping browser extensions emerge as invaluable tools for merchants, challenging preconceived objections and proving to be pivotal in driving transactions, revenue, and profit.

Our data show that exposure to browser extension pops—whether or not they include offers—strongly impacts conversion rates and revenue and significantly increases the likelihood of customer purchases. Even though they help drive more purchases, they do not reduce AOV. Browser extensions create substantial increases in merchant revenue without significantly impacting margins.

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