E-Commerce Innovation: Sell Anywhere with Smart Hashtags

The most exciting thing I’ve seen in a while. If you sell products online (or aspire to) this is something you might want to know about.

A blue and white OPEN sign hanging on the inside of a glass door above the word SHOP.
A blue and white OPEN sign hanging on the inside of a glass door above the word SHOP.
Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Boo.st lets you sell without a website (!?!)

Thanks to the magic of serendipity, I discovered an exciting new company yesterday on Twitter. If you sell things online (or anywhere, really), this is something you probably want to know about.

Boost is a tool that allows you to sell literally everywhere using “smart hashtags.” You don’t need a website. You don’t need an app. There’s apparently no checkout.

What?! Instant super fan. I love this idea.

You can generate smart hashtags for your products “that anyone can text to buy in seconds.”

The idea is you can “monetize all of your channels with text messaging. Sell on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Podcasts and offline at events, in magazines and more.” (Not sure why Twitter wasn’t mentioned.)

Boost is now available to all potential sellers

Better yet, it’s more than an idea!

The company became available to all sellers in April of this year, after spending 5 years developing the technology in stealth mode.

According to Forbes, the platform has already been used to shop by text during sporting events and concerts.

I’ve wanted a way to buy merchandise at shows via text message since 2008, so I am particularly stoked about this company. Apparently one band used Boost to take pre-orders for a new album last year — and made over $10K on one hashtag in the first week.

I haven’t tried it yet, because I just found out about it yesterday. But I can’t wait! It makes me wish I owned an e-commerce store.

Or even a physical store! One of many cool things about Boost is that it can be used by small mom and pop businesses to sell products, even if they’re closed due to the pandemic.

“I think this is one of the easiest ways to take your physical store and put it into digital space,” founder Daniel Abas told Los Angeles Business Journal. “And if you have a community, or if you have already built an audience, you can sell directly to your people. It’s as simple as a hashtag and a text message.”

Could this help save brick-and-mortar businesses?

The company was set to launch in February, but things were delayed due to the pandemic. What perfect timing, though. Companies are struggling, building an online store is tedious and a barrier to entry.

Plus online shopping, in a lot of ways, actually kind of sucks. Too many choices, too many distractions. So many steps in the checkout process.

It seems simple enough that even the most tech-phobic merchant and customer should be able to use it. Something like 80% of people over 65 in the U.S. own a cell phone, and 86% of Americans over 50 use text messages. In fact, texting has apparently surpassed email as the preferred method of communication for people ages 50–69.

Potential Applications for Boo.st

Think of the possibilities! You can literally monetize a billboard.

Ads in print media can directly generate revenue.

Your TV and Radio commercials can become channels to sell products!

According to the website, “Boost is your passport to shopping — a frictionless and invisible way to buy and sell the things you love using #hashtags. Sellers generate actionable #hashtags with embedded data using Boost’s technology that turns a social media post into a point of sale.”

So. Effing. Cool.

I particularly like the term “actionable hashtags.” When buyers see the hashtag, they can comment, text, or tweet it inside the app they’re already in. They get a confirmation message via SMS and are charged instantly.

No apps to install. No e-commerce store to build. No checkout process!

Apparently Boost will integrate with Shopify and Magento, but it can also be used as a standalone e-commerce solution.

I’m excited to see how this evolves.

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There's no such thing as too good to be true. Superconnector :: Writer :: SEO Strategist

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