Boo.ly's browser add-on aims to take the friction out of online shopping

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Boo.ly, which launched in late December last year, is another attempt at making online shopping more efficient. It takes the form of a browser plugin that supercharges searches on the likes of Google, Bing and Amazon (and a host of other online retailers) to offer on-the-fly price comparisons from a database of 10,000 merchants, along with any known available discount coupons. Notably, the two person startup based in Hampshire, UK appears to be targeting the U.S. from the get go, as well as its home territory.

The way boo.ly works is as follows: once the browser add-on is installed (Firefox, Chrome, with IE to follow) any product searches on supported sites show up with a boo.ly icon next to the result if a match is found. Clicking on the icon brings up those price comparisons that point to a better deal if there is one and any known discount coupons. There’s a social shopping element too in the sense that results can be shared via boo.ly’s built-in URL shortener – hence the startup’s name – through email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook etc.

Moving forward, boo.ly, whose competitors include InvisibleHand and Cheep, plans to add product reviews to the mix, which makes a lot of sense. The Angel-funded company is also working on an API so that site owners can more easily monetise their own sites by tapping in to boo.ly’s technology.

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