Amazon's New Service Brings Internet Shopping to Text Messaging

By April 02, 2008
Keywords : Digital Working, Mobile

Amazon’s new TextBuyIt service takes online shopping to a new level by allowing users to shop via text message.   Shoppers can send a text message to “Amazon” (262966) with the name of the item, a description of it, or its ISBN or

UPC number and the company sends a text back with two results at a time. If the product is one of these two, the shopper can text back “1” or “2” to buy it or “M” to yield more results.   Amazon hopes that the SMS service will provide a quick and convenient way for shoppers to buy what they are looking for wherever they happen to be.   After entering the email account and zip code associated with the user’s Amazon account, an automated service calls the customer and talks them through completing the order. Shoppers confirm the transaction by receiving a text message as well as an email.   The new service aims to make shopping quicker and more convenient for users. People can buy CDs and books on the whim without having to log into a computer or they can simply compare prices online to those in a book store.   The TextBuyIt service is a new step in the online retailer’s growing competitive edge over traditional book and music stores.   As with most new services, TextBuyIt still needs to work out a few flaws, including precise results for broad search terms like “Harry Potter,” which could mean any number of books or movies. The amount of texting also might sway users away from the service, as it is both inconvenient and expensive.   With Amazon’s TextBuyIt, users are able to shop the website from wherever their phone gets service, but it may be too radical for traditional online or in-store shoppers to accept.   By Danny Scuderi   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at

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