At Codified we know mobile and we’re eager to download developer’s kits to have a good old tinker in the lab. We do this to consider future solutions for the problems our clients bring us, however, we also think there’s so much potential for existing technologies. In particular we love browser extensions!

What’s so great about browser extensions, you ask? Browser extensions are a cinch to install, most take one click of the mouse and will work across all major desktop browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, & Safari). We’re fortunate that Google and Firefox promote extensions in their browsers. Are you a Google Chromebook owner? All those Chrome ‘apps’ are extensions!

The user base for extensions is colossal. Some extensions on the Chrome Web Store have over 10 million users. As a digital product the browser extension is a great vehicle for companies to get a message to users. A browser extension sticks around, it’s backed up on browser accounts so it’s still there in case a user changes or loses their computer.

What’s possible with a browser extension? It’s possible to interact with the User Interface of a browser, add buttons and point out useful information to the user. The extension sits on top of the user’s browsing experience, so it’s able to inspect and change any content on any page (please note, there are some privacy and legal implications here). For companies this is a chance to place content wherever, including competitor’s pages.

A good case in point is a browser extension Codified made for the lovely folks at TheGivingMachine.

TheGivingMachine makes being charitable free and easy when you shop online. It’s a powerful, and simple concept. When you buy something a sales commission is generated, this becomes a charitable donation for a cause of your choice. When Codified met TheGivingMachine users were forgetting to visit the site to ‘activate’ the commission, this led to a huge amount of lost donations. Codified’s solution was the Shop&Give reminder, available here on the Chrome Store.

TGM founder and director Richard Morris said “With over 1,700 shops participating and more joining every week, it’s hard to remember them all – now you don’t have to. Our shops are delighted that we can help them connect with customers and causes to make a difference as part of everyday business.

“Giving is good for companies, their customers and communities. The launch of our ‘Reminder’ toolbar is the next step in connecting companies, customers and communities by ensuring our online shopping community has every opportunity to give for free. We can’t wait to launch our newest development.”

The browser extension gave the TheGivingMachine the chance to integrate into the search engine results pages of Google, Bing, and Yahoo! and with any merchant website that gives affiliate commissions. TheGivingMachine’s website saw repeat usage grow 1500% after users installed the extension. This has, of course, led to greater impact from a simple thing that we all do, shopping online, and helped some great charities.

Please consider installing TheGivingMachine browser extension, it’s a quick way to do something amazing, and you’ll also get to understand the power of browser extensions!