UT Dallas Magazine

JSOM Alumnus Invents Plug-in Help for Online Shopping Decisions

Click it, buy it, regret it.

Online shoppers have such a dizzying array of product choices that the risk of making an uninformed, impulsive or financially unsound purchase is greater now than ever before. 

That’s why Rich Williams BA’05, MBA’10 invented PollCart, a new technology for e-commerce platforms, which works to aid shoppers by soliciting input from loved ones. 

“The target audience for PollCart’s functionality is anybody who is in a relationship and wants to maintain accountability in their purchasing decisions,” he said.

The plug-in allows users the option to create “approval polls” that are distributed to one or more trusted contacts who then have 24 hours to approve or reject the order, or even prevent its purchase. Threshold approval levels can differ, depending on whether the shopper is soliciting advice or permission, or simply wants to enjoy a social shopping experience. 

Rich said he was inspired to create the technology as a direct result of the entrepreneurship classes he took while working on his MBA and “seeing people who had done it.”

“They brought in local entrepreneurs who were doing well, and I started to really feel like I was called to create something from scratch,” he said.

Rich Williams BA'05, MBA'10, PollCart Founder and CEO