In retail these days, it’s all about the ecosystem, and it’s also sometimes about rewards and discounts. The latest sign of that comes from PayPal.
The company has announced it will acquire Honey Science Corporation, a shopping discount and rewards platform. The acquisition will cost PayPal $4 billion, and it is said that Honey will “transform the shopping experience for PayPal’s consumers while increasing sales and customer engagement for its merchants.”
Honey was founded in 2012 as a way for people to easily find savings while shopping online. The company has steadily grown with offerings like a smartphone app, price tracking and alerts on deals. The platform works with more than 30,000 retailers in all shopping categories. Honey said its savings for customers amounted to $1 billion in the past year.
PayPal said it shares a common goal with Honey: to help simplify and personalize the online shopping experience, while increasing sales and engagement for merchants. Both companies said they expect to continue to grow as a result of the deal.
Honey is not the only such platform that has seen the light of day in recent years.
About a year ago, Mozilla said the Firefox Test Pilot team is launching Price Wise and Email Tabs in time for the holiday season, giving users more choice and transparency when shopping online. Firefox Price Wise allows users to add products to their Price Watcher list to receive a desktop notification each time the price drops, giving them the option to look through their list and buy an item directly as soon as the price changes.
Currently, the feature is only available in the U.S., and works with products from five major retailers: Best Buy, eBay, Amazon, Walmart and The Home Depot. Mozilla explained that these particular retailers were among the top 10 visited by Firefox users, and additional retailers should be included in the future.
As for Email Tabs, users can select and send links to one or several open tabs within Firefox, making it easier to share links with friends and family. The feature also allows users to copy multiple tabs to the clipboard for outside sharing. For now, the feature only works with Gmail, though more clients are expected to be added in the near future.
This holiday season, price tracking and similar apps and platforms are receiving more focus, according to various reports. That includes barcode scanning and price comparison apps. For instance, “Shopbrain lets users scan a product in-store and receive an instant price comparison on over one billion products from 10,000 stores,” according to NBC. “The BuyVia app also packs a punch by letting users scan items to compare prices, in addition to receiving a curated list of deals the app thinks a person will like, and coupons for nearby stores.”
Other such apps and tools also have a focus on Amazon, reflecting consumer habits to check prices against those offered by the eCommerce operator. As Techlicious recently reported, “The Camelizer (aka CamelCamelCamel), (is) a powerful website that monitors and tracks prices for both new and used items listed on Amazon.com using easy-to-read charts. Price history goes back six months, so (there is) plenty of time to see price trends. You can see what the best price is for an item today and set up email alerts to notify you when prices drop. Just find an item on Amazon, copy the URL in the address bar and paste it to the search bar on Camelizer.”
As the PayPal deal would seem to demonstrate, these tools are becoming a bigger part of consumers’ shopping lives, but real proof of that will come during the ongoing holiday shopping season and the months to come.