【Jumpstarter 1 minute】Boutir – Sell at your fingertips
November 3, 2017
Manage your online business with a swipe of a finger or a tap on your phone. Boutir is a mobile app that allows small business owners and online merchants to setup and manage their online store easily. Boutir empowers merchants to manage their product inventory, customer relations and payments through its easy-to-use app.
The app stands at the intersection of social, mobile and e-commerce and taps into a growing e-commerce services market for small business owners. Since launching in August two years ago, Boutir has over 24,000 registered merchants and over 320,000 product listings. Merchants hail from all over the world, including Hong Kong, the United States, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
“We see three major trends in the future. The first is the importance of mobile first when it comes to e-commerce. The second trend is e-commerce, and the last is social networks. We wanted to combine these three trends to create a mobile social commerce business and help anyone who wants to open an online shop to do so,” said Eric Ng, Founder of Boutir.
Other than its store management capabilities, Boutir integrates payment and delivery services and allows merchants to share their product listings via different social networks. This allows the network effect to take over, prompting the sharing and following and the building up of a fan base.
“We are convinced that coupling social networking with mobile commerce has great potential. Coming from an engineering background, I’m used to creating products to help solve problems and fill gaps in the market,” said Ng.
A major challenge Boutir has faced is the lack of funding. Although Ng gathered a team of highly skilled engineers, it was difficult to scale up.
“We believe we are moving in the right direction and our next step is to achieve growth and scale and to refine the Boutir app. Given the lack of funds in the beginning, this was quite difficult. But thankfully, we have met some good investors who shared our vision and we are able to continue growing our business,” said Ng.
Although the entrepreneur road is a tough one, Ng said his team shared a mentality that is fixated on problem solving, and this has helped them through many situations.
“Whenever we face a problem, we insist to find a solution. This is the basis of our passion and gives us confidence to keep moving forward,” said Ng.
In the future, Boutir hopes to use Hong Kong as a launching pad into Southeast Asia.
“Our next stop will be Southeast Asia. We want to understand life in Southeast Asia, what the pain points of the market are and how Boutir can meet their needs. Although we are a Hong Kong company, we have to adapt and localize our solution to meet the market,” Ng said.