Brazil-based booBox is preparing to launch a set of tools for bloggers and other website owners that will help them sell items they are writing about. They’ve submitted some basic information to us, but there is clearly a language barrier and we are still digging into the details.
For now, the best way to understand how it works is by walking through the working demo on the booBox site. Go to this page and click on one of the images. Clicking on the iPod brings up a lightbox above the blog content with a number pictures of related items. Clicking on any of the items then brings up Amazon, within the lightbox, where a purchase can be made. I went through the entire checkout process and completed a purchase, so the demo works. At any point the box can be closed by the user, and they will return to the original site.
It’s not clear at all how blogs will integrate booBox into their sites, and that will be a very important issue (I’ve asked the company for an explanation). However, sales occur with the blogger’s own affiliate code, and the images that appear are based on tags that the blogger associates with the image. The company says they will work with other etailers besides Amazon as well.
It’s clear that there will be a great deal of interest in booBox by bloggers currently monetizing their site with Google and other ads. I imagine Gadget and fashion sites, in particular, will be looking into this quite closely.
Conflicts of interest will always be an issue with sites both discussing/reviewing items and then taking a cut of any sales. However, today sites like CNET already have links to purchase items along with reviews. This tool will simply make that linking much easier and more user friendly, and sites will have to decide on what constitutes appropriate action themselves.
Since sites will be using their own affilate codes, booBox won’t be able to directly take a cut of transactions. It isn’t clear if they are launching this for free, or charging for the service. Pending their position on that, as well as details on how difficult this will be to integrate with websites, I’m giving this an early thumbs up. This may be quick acquisition bait for Amazon or eBay.
Sign up to be notified of the booBox launch here.