The Unofficial Shopify Podcast: Tales of eCommerce Entrepreneurship

Discount Code Abuse: Protecting Your Profits

Episode Summary

Is the coupon sugar high worth the cost?

Episode Notes

In this episode, we'll pull back the curtain on how coupon extensions work, and reveal new data showing how they really impact key performance metrics like average order value and cart completion.

  1. How do coupon extensions like Honey and Capital One Shopping get the discount codes that they share in their apps?
  2. When a coupon extension is present in a user's browser, how does that impact attribution?
  3. What is the impact that coupon extensions have on average order value and cart completion?
  4. If a merchant is doing affiliate marketing, what should they know about coupon extensions and how they affect affiliate fees?

Kathleen is VP of Marketing at, where she's on a mission to help ecommerce brands grow profits and make smarter marketing decisions by improving the effectiveness of their discount strategies. Prior to joining, Kathleen spent 11 years as the founder and CEO of a digital marketing agency where she advised hundreds of companies on go-to-market and digital marketing strategies.

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Episode Transcription

The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Kurt Elster: Today, on The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, I want to talk about coupon abuse. All right, that sounds strange, like abuse is very serious, but coupons? No, it’s a real thing and in researching it and looking at it, I often saw it referred to as a form of hacking, and certainly it was cast as a malicious act by the people who would do it, which shocked me because I used to do it all the time. Oh, I was so bad at it. And you know what? I thought it just made me a savvy consumer. It turns out I was hacking. And so, here’s the way I would do it. I’m gonna flat out tell you. This is the attack vector.

I would have… say a list of common coupon codes. And initially, they were in my head, and then I started just making a list, and I had about two dozen, maybe 30, and depending on how bad I wanted it and how expensive this is, I would go through them. And sure, I could automate it, but I just copy and paste it, because usually, at least years ago, like in the first eight I would get a hit. But you can guess at these coupon codes. It would be stuff… It’s easy to guess, like comeback10, save10, Facebook, hello, just a bunch of random common phrases that I bet a few people are like, “Uh oh, I gotta go change that coupon code.” FreeShip. FreeShip was the one that always worked. Save10, BlackFriday, Holiday, you just try those, and miraculously oftentimes you’d get a hit, like, “Oh my gosh, I just saved money on this one-off purchase.”

And this came in very handy when I spent like a thousand bucks on a bathroom vanity when I remodeled my bathroom. I ordered it online and I guessed at the coupon code and saved myself a few hundred dollars. And then you had… Oh my gosh, it got even crazier. Chrome extensions. You have browser extensions, like Honey is probably the biggest, the one we think about. Capital One has one, or maybe they bought Honey, I don’t know, but there’s plenty of browser extensions that’ll do it for you, and that’s even more insidious if you’re the merchant.

And so, we are gonna talk to someone who has obsessed over just this, over coupon code extensions, over coupon code hacking. Kathleen Booth from cleanCART,, is joining us. She is the VP of Marketing at She’s on a mission to help you grow profits and make smarter marketing decisions by improving the effectiveness of your discount strategies. So, we’re gonna talk through that. Kathleen, how you doing?

Kathleen Booth: I am great. Thank you so much for having me, Kurt.

Kurt Elster: Oh, my pleasure. Because this is such an odd, fun, baffling, frustrating, strange topic, isn’t it?

Kathleen Booth: It is. And I would say the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem, and I too was a coupon abuser, so I’m here to start with that. Hello, my name is Kathleen, and I used all the coupon abuse tactics, as well. So, now I’m really fired up about this topic now that I’ve kind of seen the other side of the coin, so I’m excited to talk about it with you.

Kurt Elster: And you know, I still do it today, but I limit, like if it’s a Shopify store, if it’s an independent merchant, I’m not gonna do it because I’ve seen what the other end of that looks like. But if it’s like Macy’s, I’m still doing it. I’m not gonna go through as much effort, but I’ll let the Chrome extension try the stuff. But at the same time, merchants are more savvy about it, so it works less often. It’s more… It’s like getting a lotto ticket when it does work now.

So, I think let’s start with that. It was cast as such a malicious thing when I researched this. Is it? Is this hacking?

Kathleen Booth: Well, this is a great question. I don’t know if technically it’s hacking, and to be clear, using coupon codes is not necessarily in and of itself a bad thing, right? Merchants give them out for a reason because they want to achieve something by using them. And if you’ve been given a coupon code, gosh, by all means, use it. We all love a good bargain. You know, me first in line to save money. Where it becomes a problem is when buyers are given access to codes that were never intended for them. And that can range in degree of severity, and just to do some table setting, there’s… When we’re talking about coupon extensions particularly, they function by scraping data. And you know, some of the data is submitted intentionally by users, people who like to share codes so that other people can use them, but sometimes it’s literally just scraped off of websites, and so it’s like robots harvesting your coupon codes.

And so, what I’ve seen is like I said, varying shades of severity. It can be anything from that 10% off that you as a merchant are offering to people who subscribe to your newsletter that now anybody can use, and so not only have they not subscribed to your newsletter, but the code is no longer a good indication of who converted on that, all the way to employee discount codes that leak. I’ve seen one for 80% off. I’ve seen codes like MilitaryHero30, which are intended for veterans, or codes for first responders. The worst one I saw, and we can talk about this if you want, was my CEO found one for $75 off, and this was for a popular online men’s apparel brand, but they didn’t set a minimum purchase value.

Kurt Elster: Oh, no.

Kathleen Booth: Or sorry, a maximum or minimum.

Kurt Elster: Minimum. Yeah.

Kathleen Booth: So, as long as you kept your order value under $75, you could get unlimited merchandise for free. What a nightmare.

Kurt Elster: Right. And in that instance, I think there’s some common sense there with the coupon codes. Like you know, when I did it, I never got a discount that was greater than say 25%, but I’ve had clients have situations where like a discount meant for an influencer leaked, or a discount meant for wholesale, or an employee discount, stuff where it’s like, “All right, this literally…” Every time an order with this coupon happens, we lose money. That’s the really scary one.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. And you know, I’ve heard people say like, “Well, merchants should just be more careful about how they set up their codes.” And yes, we should all be careful, and there are lots of coupon code hygiene practices that merchants should be using, but the reality is, and you mentioned it earlier, companies like Macy’s have that all on lockdown. They’re not the ones that generally are gonna have this problem. The ones that are more susceptible to what I would term as code leakage are the smaller, independent merchants. They don’t have the resources to buy expensive software as part of their tech stack. They may not have a really savvy marketer running their online marketing strategy who’s been there, done that, and knows all the ways to make sure that the codes are issued and locked down correctly.

And so, a lot of different merchants have this problem for a lot of different reasons, and I think sometimes it borders on hacking in the sense that like you issued a limited use code, and it was scraped off your site and handed out to people who shouldn’t have gotten it, but other times it’s like it falls into the category of shady or unethical, and that’s… My example there would be the military hero code, and I always tell the story like I would never as a consumer walk into a restaurant and tell the waiter, “Hey, I served in the Army, can I get 20% off,” when I have not served in the Army. That is considered by most human beings to be hugely unethical. And yet when we go online and shop-

Kurt Elster: It’s stolen valor. That one’s really bad.

Kathleen Booth: It is totally stolen valor, but when we go online and shop, we’re not even looking at what these codes are, and yet we’re using them with impunity all over the internet. You know, effectively “impersonating” somebody else who was supposed to have that code for a reason. Whether that’s a military veteran, a first responder, or a VIP customer who earned the code because they spent a lot with a merchant. You know, or a wholesale customer as you mentioned. We’ve seen all those examples and they’re all heartbreaking to me for the merchant because it’s money that they are losing to robots effectively scraping their codes.

Kurt Elster: So when we say robots scraping their codes, and earlier we mentioned Honey, the browser extension that does this… It does some other things too. Honest, I use it. It is a neat extension. And earlier I said somebody bought it. I forgot who. I looked it up. It was PayPal. PayPal acquired them in 2019.

Kathleen Booth: For $4 billion.

Kurt Elster: $4 billion with a B. Okay, so clearly this thing is valuable. It’s doing something. And I don’t have to pay for it, which means, “Huh oh, I’m probably the product it’s selling.”

Kathleen Booth: Right. When you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Yeah. So, with a coupon extension like Honey, how does that work? Where do they get those coupon codes? And then I don’t know, if you know, hold on, how is it making money that makes it worth $4 billion? Clearly, I’m the product, right?

Kathleen Booth: Right.

Kurt Elster: What’s happening there?

Kathleen Booth: Right. And Honey is the biggest one but there’s… You mentioned Capital One Shopping, which used to be called WikiBuy but was bought obviously by Capital One. It is no coincidence that the two biggest players in this space were acquired by payment processing companies. And the reason is obviously they want your data. When they buy those extensions they can see. They have access to massive amounts of data on where people are shopping, how much they’re spending, what items they’re looking at. Oh, by the way, Capital One, a lot of us also have our bank accounts and our credit cards with them, we’re getting loans from them. PayPal, same thing. We’re processing our payments through there.

So, they’re using our data, and they also, however, themselves are affiliate programs, and so Honey, for example, if a merchant… I’ve heard this story a lot. Merchants will reach out to Honey and say, “Hey, you’re sharing a code that you really shouldn’t be sharing. It’s meant for my wholesale customers.” And Honey will respond and say, “Oh, we would love to have you join our affiliate program and then you have more granular control over the codes that get shared.” Well, what that means then is you are paying them a commission every time somebody comes to your site with the extension.

So, you asked how it works. Basically, these are… As you mentioned, they are browser extensions. That’s really fundamentally how they work, and I didn’t appreciate this until recently, and I’d been working at a series of cybersecurity companies, now I’m at, and what I’ve learned that I didn’t know, and I’ve been a marketer my whole life, is that browser extensions have an elevated level of permission to function on websites because they are installed by the user. And so, these are what are called in cyber terms client-side injections. So, as marketers we’re always told you own your website, and we kind of own it, but you know, we let in all kinds of third-party code, whether it’s a CMS or a plugin.

Kurt Elster: Boy, don’t we?

Kathleen Booth: Yeah, right. And then we have this other form of third-party code which is client-side injections or browser extensions that we have no control over, we’re not letting them in, the user is bringing them in, so they’re kind of like trojan horses. And so, with Honey and with Capital One Shopping, with the many other extensions just like them, because there are many, what happens is the user comes to your site, they have the extension present, and if they legitimately were given a code by you and they enter it at checkout, the extension is then able to scrape that and share it with everybody. You know, users can also deliberately submit codes to them and put them out to be shared. A lot of times people do that with the best of intentions, but sometimes not so much. For example, you mentioned affiliates. Sometimes affiliates want to get their code out more broadly and might submit it to an extension like Honey, and then they’re potentially getting credit for sales they’re not driving.

So, that’s how they get the codes. There’s a whole nother story about what happens behind the scenes and how they claim attribution that’s even kind of scarier, so I’ll pause there and see if you have any questions.

Kurt Elster: I want to hear the scary attribution story.

Kathleen Booth: So, I’ll use Honey as the example, and I just use them because they’re the biggest and they’re the easiest to kind of illustrate what I’m talking about.

Kurt Elster: When you’ve been acquired for $4 billion, it’s easy for you to become everybody’s punching bag, because no one feels bad for you at that point.

Kathleen Booth: Exactly.

Kurt Elster: It’s like, “Oh no, they’re multiple billionaires.”

Kathleen Booth: They’ll be fine.

Kurt Elster: Yeah, they’ll be okay.

Kathleen Booth: So, what happens is if I am a shopper and I come to your website, and I have Honey present, when I get to your site Honey is depositing a third-party cookie. If I then go through the process of adding items in my cart, Honey actually winds up depositing a first-party cookie and effectively what happens is whether I wind up using a Honey coupon or not, those cookies have been added into the browser and Honey claims credit for the sale. And of course, if a merchant is working with Honey formally as part of an affiliate program, they’re then paying for that sale, and because it’s a first-party cookie, that holds true if somebody completes that session without converting and then comes back three weeks later because of an email campaign you sent them and then purchases. Honey is still claiming credit for that sale.

And so, there’s a lot of really questionable attribution practices going on with these extensions that I believe have merchants vastly overpaying them.

Kurt Elster: Interesting. So, we think it’s… Well, it’s another kind of… It’s a form of click fraud almost.

Kathleen Booth: Yes. I mean, I think so, and the problem is that attribution is tough to begin with.

Kurt Elster: Yes.

Kathleen Booth: I think we all struggle with this. People choose like first touch, or last touch, and even if they’re doing multi touch they don’t really understand how to allocate value to each of those touches, and we’ve been trying to dig into this a lot at to understand it better. But unfortunately, because of the way most merchants do attribution, when extensions are present it’s this very binary all or nothing thing where they assume if the extension was there, it must have driven the sale. And as a result of that, this is part of why I get so fired up, there are a lot of merchants out there that are under the assumption that coupon extensions are good for business. And I believe there are certainly cases where they can be, but what I’m seeing through a lot of the A-B testing we’re doing is that in a lot of cases, they’re not.

So, you know, in terms of how they affect conversions, cart abandonment, average cart value, the data is really starting to show that in many cases, merchants are losing money, which is scary because usually when you give out a discount, if you’re doing it for new customer acquisition, you’re using it as a loss leader and you’re assuming you’re gonna make that money up later down the line with repeat purchases. And I do think there’s some question as to whether customers that come in for the first time via a discount plugin are really gonna deliver that lifetime value that you’re looking for, and if you’re losing a lot of money on that first sale, you’re not making it up on the backend, it’s a terrible marketing investment.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Yeah. We have a clear negative ROI here. You don’t want to be in a high revenue negative profit business. That’s not gonna help anybody. The bigger you get, the less successful you become. That’s a horrible deal with the devil you’ve made with these coupon codes. All right, so I suspect that coupon codes often get overused. I think it is an addictive strategy. And when we run sales and promos and look at client stores long term, we can see like months where promos that used coupon codes occurred, it felt like… It seems like conversion goes up, average order goes down, and it’s not necessarily a net win. What does your data say? What does your experience say?

Kathleen Booth: Yeah, so it’s like a sugar high. It reminds me of what happened with Groupon, and I used to own a marketing agency, a digital agency. I had it for 11 years. And at the time, I had a lot of restaurant clients who were so excited about Groupon, and they were like, “You know, we do a Groupon, and we see this massive influx of new customers.” And what they discovered over time is those customers weren’t repeats, they didn’t come back. They were hooked on the Groupons. So, they would follow it to the next restaurant that would give a discount and it didn’t matter where it was. And the discounts they had to offer via Groupon were so big that they didn’t make money on that first purchase, so exactly what I just talked about.

So, you get that initial sugar rush of like, “Woohoo, we made all these sales,” but it doesn’t translate into value for the business. And so, the data that we’ve seen, you know, obviously I can’t just say that and not be able to back it up, and so we’ve been doing a lot of A-B testing on what happens when you prevent coupon extensions from executing on eCommerce websites. So, somebody comes to your site with a Honey or a Capital One Shopping present. What happens if you prevent it from automatically adding codes at checkout? What does it do to conversions, cart abandonment, average cart value? What we’ve learned is that if somebody comes to your site with a coupon extension, they are about 5% more likely, or rather I would say in aggregate 5% more of the time those people wind up converting and making a purchase. So, you do get a lift of slightly more purchases, but here’s where it gets really interesting.

When they reach checkout, those same people, if you look at cart conversion, so people who reach checkout and then convert and purchase, there’s functionally a 0% impact on cart conversions. So, what that means is having the extension makes the person more likely to basically put things in their shopping cart, but it doesn’t make them any more likely to purchase the things they’ve put in the cart. At the same time, what we’ve learned is that when you… When coupon extensions are present and used, they reduce average cart value by about 10% on average. Obviously, varies depending upon the coupons you have out there, but… So, you know, net-net, you’re losing 10% of your margins to these coupon extensions, and you’re really not getting a lift in cart completion at all.

Kurt Elster: Interesting. So, I get-

Kathleen Booth: So, it’s a psychology thing, like having the extension present in my browser, I’m coming to your site thinking I’m gonna get a deal, so I’m gonna put things in my cart thinking, “Oh, the deal’s gonna come when I get to checkout.” But it’s like buying a house. My dad always said, “Don’t picture your furniture in it.” Once people put the items in their cart at checkout, they’re invested, and it almost doesn’t matter whether they wind up getting a discount or not. They’re really… Odds are they’re still gonna make the purchase because they’ve pictured the furniture in the house. They’ve got the items in their checkout cart.

Kurt Elster: So, all right, so if I have the browser extension installed, I’m 5% more likely to add the item to cart.

Kathleen Booth: Correct.

Kurt Elster: But if we compare it purely at people who reach checkout, what difference is there, there isn’t.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. I mean-

Kurt Elster: Whether or not I have the browser extension.

Kathleen Booth: We’ve done a bunch of A-B testing and it varies within like a 1% band. So, there have been cases where they’re 1% more likely to complete, and then there’s cases where they’re 1% less likely to complete. So, functionally that’s why I say it’s about a 0% impact.

Kurt Elster: How would one even A-B test that?

Kathleen Booth: Well, it gets into our product, which we don’t need to talk about in detail now, but we have a product that helps eCommerce shops block the extensions from auto-injecting codes at checkout, and so we’re able to run this script on 50% of their traffic and see what happens when they’re blocked from injecting versus when they’re not. And they can look at those different in all those metrics.

Kurt Elster: Oh, okay.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: All right, so I think I can make that work in Google Optimize if I really wanted to try this for myself. So, earlier you used a phrase I like called coupon code hygiene. What do we mean by coupon code hygiene?

Kathleen Booth: Sure. So, as you said, most merchants are using some form of discount or coupon codes. And for good reason, right? Like the whole idea behind them is they’re gonna incent buyers to engage in certain behaviors. Whether that’s returning to your store to shop, whether that’s going back to an abandoned cart, whether that’s adding more stuff to their cart at checkout, et cetera. So, there’s good use cases for them, but if you’re gonna use them, there’s a bunch of things you have to keep in mind.

And I’ll just give kind of a sampling of these, but it goes much deeper. There are things like making sure that you are setting expiration dates for codes that you want to have some control over in terms of time periods. It’s making sure that you are centrally tracking codes. We talk to a lot of merchants who are using multiple platforms to create their codes. It could be some discount plugins, it could be their email sending platform, it could be their store CMS, and when that happens a lot of times your team loses track of even what codes are active. And so, having a process for tracking all of your active codes in one place so that everybody knows what’s out there and knows when to turn things on and off, that’s really helpful.

At the most basic level, you’d be surprised how many don’t do this, it is watching the data around code usage. Every merchant we’ve talked to who has a problem with this realizes they have a problem because all of a sudden certain codes dramatically spike in usage and it doesn’t correlate to a marketing activity, like an affiliate post, or an email campaign, et cetera. You know, if you are savvy enough, you have the tech stack, you have the budget, and you have the ability, using kind of limited use one-time unique codes is a great way to try to solve for this, but that’s not always possible. You know, if you are advertising on a podcast, for example, and you want to be able to mention a coupon code, you can’t use a one-time use code.

Kurt Elster: Right.

Kathleen Booth: If you’re working with an affiliate and you’re giving them a code, it doesn’t work so well that way. And so, those are things to keep in mind. The most important of all the things I just mentioned is keeping a close eye on your data.

Kurt Elster: Okay, so in Shopify specifically, if I go in the admin and I start digging in reports, I can get a discount code usage report and I can also fire up discounts as a column in my reports. So, I can run a report called Top Products Sold. Let’s say like once a month I want to look at, “Okay, what were my best sellers?” And I could sort that by units sold or I could sort it by revenue, or I could sort it by discounts. Aha. So, I could start to see like, “All right, what is the impact of this? What are these discount codes costing me?” So, you could see it that way, and then you could also see it by like, “Okay, how much does each individual code give me?”

Certainly, like once a month you want to run through your KPIs, run through your reports, and try and update your handle on your business, and part of that should include reviewing these coupon codes and coupon code usage it sounds like.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. And I would add to that if you’re working with an affiliate partner, like a ShareaSale, or a Honey, or any of those kinds of affiliate platforms, you also when you get your report at the end of the month from them, you want to look really closely. If all of a sudden, your affiliate payments are spiking, that’s another tell that maybe you have a code leakage problem.

Kurt Elster: Ah. Code leakage. I like that phrase. Code leakage, code hygiene, it starts to sound like these codes are very messy, doesn’t it?

Kathleen Booth: Yeah, it does, right? Dirty, dirty codes. No-

Kurt Elster: Dirty. Bad codes.

Kathleen Booth: There’s nothing inherently wrong with codes. I just want to make sure I make that clear. It’s just that we tend to be a little fast and loose with how we administer them.

Kurt Elster: Yes. No, I agree with all of it. Like I think coupon codes are a necessary evil. I think they’re a valuable tool. And I think that sugar high analogy really is pretty apt. A big solution here is wherever possible use dynamic codes, so say in an abandoned cart email you don’t send off like, “Use ComeBack10,” and then you also have secretly have ComeBack15 and ComeBack20 that I’m gonna guess at. But instead, you have like Klaviyo can generate for you a one-time dynamic use code that’ll have a real, like you can have it expire in 72 hours. It’s only good for one-time use. And then that helps prevent the problem but also can help increase conversions because it becomes clearer to your user, to your customer, who are increasingly tech savvy. They know, “Okay, if that looks like a dynamic code, it is probably a one-time use code, and I can’t count on being able to come back to that.”

So, I like those, but you’re right, they’re just not practical in every situation. I think that the podcast example is really good. Here, I’ll plug for folks like me with 40-year-old vintage Volkswagens. My money pit is German. I don’t know about your… if you have a money pit at home.

Kathleen Booth: I’m a Jeep lover, so…

Kurt Elster: Okay. See, your money pit is a Chrysler product. I see.

Kathleen Booth: True.

Kurt Elster: So, my money pit is German, and the guy who runs JBugs, Jeff Vogl, is a listener. He said, “I’ll give you a coupon code.” And it’s a friends and family discount. And so, that’s a continuous-use code. That’s the kind of thing you don’t want to see leak, right? And his is funny. There’s a little note in there that says, “You share, you lose.” Right in there is part of the code. I thought that was great.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. And you’re not often sharing intentionally, right? Like it happens without your knowing it.

Kurt Elster: It’s a fear. If I’ve got this Chrome extension installed, is it gonna run back and post that to their website and start sharing this? And then I’m gonna… I shared, I lost. I’m gonna lose my code, right? And there’s no shortage of parts the stupid car needs.

Kathleen Booth: No, I love it. And I feel like especially, you know, one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this is especially coming out of this past year, when retailers have been hit so hard by COVID, and by closures, and so many of them have turned to selling online as the only lifeline they have to stay in business, it makes me angry that it’s this uneven playing field and you have these big companies with deep pockets building these apps, essentially, or these plugins that take the power out of merchants’ hands to control what’s happening on their own website, right? It goes back to what I said in the beginning. We should own our websites and we should own what happens on them. And unfortunately, with these plugins, it’s really hard to do that.

Kurt Elster: Aha! So, it sounds like this is war, right? Previously, you’re like, “Look, it’s not a level playing field.” These browser extensions, really, they’re waging asymmetrical warfare on our coupon code inputs. Okay, you have a tool. Clearly, you know this backwards and forwards. Pitch me on it. Please. Sell me on your product.

Kathleen Booth: So, I love that you used the term war, because I was really excited when I saw Shopify talk about arming the rebels, right? That’s their whole line and I feel like we’re giving the rebels just one more weapon in their arsenal to fight back. And so, what we do is we have an app called cleanCART that is pretty simple to install, and it lets Shopify users… Right now, it’s just Shopify Plus, but that’ll hopefully change really quickly with the new Shopify announcements that just came out in Unite.

Kurt Elster: Checkout extensions. Yeah. It should.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. Exactly.

Kurt Elster: I would imagine… Yeah, you’d be able to run this in everything. Okay, so it sounds like you have to edit checkout.liquid currently?

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. Yes. I don’t want to get into the really technical details.

Kurt Elster: All right, fine.

Kathleen Booth: Because I’m the marketer on the team and I’m afraid I’m gonna get it wrong.

Kurt Elster: All right, we’ll save it for the help docs.

Kathleen Booth: We have a pretty simple way of installing it and once you put it in, it will allow you to effectively prevent the extensions from auto injecting codes at checkout. So, it doesn’t prevent anybody from legitimately entering a code, and it doesn’t interrupt the user experience, because all these extensions have kind of default states where if they don’t have a code that works, they’ll just come back to the user and say, “You already have the best deal.” And so, that’s really what happens when you put our extension, our app in place rather, is the user comes to your site, they still have the extension in their browser, it’s still… They can still say, “Hey, try coupons.” But it’ll just say you already have the best deal.

And at the same time, what happens is these platforms like Honey and Capital One Shopping, they use AI to determine what discounts to feed to users, and when you have our app present and these codes stop working, the AI behind the scenes recognizes that and will stop feeding the codes to users. And so, it actually also has the impact of sort of solving some of the code leakage issue because they stop attempting. So, that’s basically how it works. When you do a free trial, we do A-B test and show you exactly the impact it’s having on conversions, so if that’s a concern we can certainly address it.

Kurt Elster: And you’ve got a 14-day free trial, correct?

Kathleen Booth: We do. Yes. 14-day free trial, white glove support with installation, and like I said, we will do A-B testing for you in that initial 14-day free trial so that you can be completely confident that when you purchase the product, it’s not gonna negatively impact conversions, or revenue, or cart value, or any of your key metrics.

Kurt Elster: And for the immediate future it’s Plus only, but that’s going away. We presume it’s going to be available via checkout extensions to every store.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. We are working our hardest to make that happen as soon as possible. And oh, I should say, we have a wait list if you are not Shopify Plus, and you want to be notified when we do go live on other platforms or on regular Shopify.

Kurt Elster: Okay. Cool. And it’s, correct?

Kathleen Booth: Yeah, so convenient, our company name is also our URL.

Kurt Elster: All right. I will put that in the show notes. We’ll link to it. Anything I missed? Anything else I need to know? Well, don’t you… You have a podcast, right?

Kathleen Booth: I do. It’s called The Inbound Success Podcast. It’s a marketing podcast. And we talk about all different aspects of marketing. I’m on about episode 205, so we’ve covered almost every topic out there at least once.

Kurt Elster: Wow. How many?

Kathleen Booth: 205, I think I’ve done. It’s been about four years.

Kurt Elster: Oh, I like that. When I got to 200, that was when I was like, “Oh yeah. I think I’m starting to figure out what I’m doing.” Then I got to 300 and thought, “Oh, now I think I’m starting to figure out what I’m doing.” Every 100 episodes or so I’m like, “All right, this time I got it.”

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. It’s a good milestone. I gotta get you on as a guest, so that’s the next step.

Kurt Elster: All right. Happy to. Well, we’ll wrap it up here and then we’ll discuss… We’ll negotiate the terms of my appearance on your show. And in the meantime, where can people go to learn more about you?

Kathleen Booth: So, you can definitely head to to learn more about me or the product, and then if you want to connect personally, I love LinkedIn. I connect with anybody who sends me a connection request and I’m really happy to answer any questions that you have, so shoot me a DM there and let’s talk.

Kurt Elster: On LinkedIn, I do not connect with everybody, just so we’re clear.

Kathleen Booth: I know. I know. I tried.

Kurt Elster: Well, you have my email now. You can connect. Yeah. Now you’re in. You’re safe. Actually, you know what? I’ll add you later. There you go.

Kathleen Booth: If you share, do you lose for that also?

Kurt Elster: Oh my gosh. Don’t share my email.

Kathleen Booth: I won’t. Of course.

Kurt Elster: Every time I say anything the slightest bit wrong, people are like, “That episode, you said!” I’m like, “Oh boy. Here we go.” Okay. No, this has been fabulous. I’m thrilled to find someone who is passionate about something as niche, yet as valuable as coupon codes, since coupon codes account for billions in revenue annually. So, it is no… We joked about coupons, but it really is a huge problem to tackle.

Kathleen Booth: Yeah. Well, I love nerding out on this topic, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to do it.

Kurt Elster: My pleasure. Kathleen Booth. Thank you for being here. I appreciate it.

Kathleen Booth: Thanks for having me.