The future of e-commerce is…SMS?

By Alex Halperin
Nov 23, 2021
Johnnie founder Raeven Duckett, Courtesy of Johnnie

A new Bay Area service called Johnnie thinks customers feel nostalgic for the old days. The software as a service platform is an AI-powered budtender, that enables ordering via text, like with a dealer.

“It’s innovative but it’s not,” Johnnie founder Raeven Duckett told WeedWeek.

“The buying experience is [now] fussy compared to the old way of ‘texting my guy,’ she said. The idea behind Johnnie is to combine familiarity with convenience.

  • The budtender has both automation and two-way chat capabilities
  • As a SaaS platform not attached to a license, Johnnie can connect to third party delivery systems.  
  • Johnnie is also rolling out a affiliate network called Johnnie’s Socialite designed to build membership by word of mouth. 

A Pandora and Adobe alum, Duckett designed both services with women of color in mind.

  • She used delivery service licenses that she holds to prove the concept.
  • SMS as a stripped down e-commerce platform isn’t unique to Johnnie. Among other examples, fast food giant Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) said it would start accepting orders by SMS this year.