A man in Seattle has created an internet browser plugin that is making it easier for small online retailers to compete with Amazon.
Jonathan Sandals is the founder of Sook, which emerged from his realization that due to the pandemic closures, he had no easy way to shop at his favorite local businesses.
“If I wanted to buy a jacket in Ballard or Seattle, I would have to visit 20 individual websites for small businesses rather than shopping for them in one place,” Sandals told My Ballard. “It’s because of this problem that the small businesses we love are getting eaten alive online by larger corporate retailers who are a one-stop-shop.”
So, he created Sook, a Google Chrome extension that aggregates product listings from numerous small store websites in one place and makes it easier to “browse online and buy from the boutique next door.”
While Seattle is the launch city, Sook is growing rapidly and now works in more than 20 major cities including Portland, New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and more.
Sandals believes supporting local businesses now is more important than ever.
“Despite the fact that every store is mandated, essentially, to have an online business right now, they’re all kind of impossible to find and they’re all working against each other as individual websites and there’s no easy way to shop them,” Sandals told GeekWire.
Sook also works if a user is shopping on a bigger site such as Amazon by letting a shopper know, “Hey, it looks like you’re looking for shirts. These are some similar products in your neighborhood.”
To browse the local offerings, follow this link to download the Sook extension on Google Chrome. If you are a business owner, you can sign up for Sook for free..