By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 4/2/2008 11:49:00 AM
Amazon has a new way to sell products: cell phone text messaging. The company’s new TextBuyIt service lets customers find and buy items from Amazon.com using their mobile phones.
Like ShopText, which began selling books via text message last summer, TextBuyIt asks customers to send a text message to the company with the name of the book (or other product), and responds quickly for confirmation. A customer must have already set up an account with the company. With TextBuyIt, merely having an Amazon account does not allow a customer to buy a product via text. The customer must first log in to his or her account on Amazon.com and activate the TextBuyIt option.
Here’s how it works: a person sends a text message to “AMAZON” (262966) with the title or ISBN of the book she wants to purchase. Amazon sends a response confirming the book and stating its price, telling the customer to reply with the text message “1” to purchase the book. Amazon then calls the customer with the final details and asks the customer to confirm or cancel the purchase. Once a customer has set up their Amazon account to accept TextBuyIt purchases, the process is relatively quick and easy. And for customers who aren’t near a computer when they want to purchase a book, but do have their cell phones handy, TextBuyIt offers a convenient way to shop.
Howard Gefen, director of Amazon Mobile Payments, said, “With today’s launch of TextBuyIt, any Amazon.com customer can now use any mobile device to shop and buy from Amazon.com, at anytime, anywhere they are.”