Each year, communicating through text messages continues to grow and has now turned into an extremely popular communication medium. Millions upon millions of text messages are sent every single month and carriers only anticipate that the number of messages sent by their subscribers will continue to grow. Amazon knows this and obviously sees a tremendous value in it because they have just launched a new service called Amazon TextBuyIt.
TextBuyIt is a brand new service that will give shoppers the opportunity to find and purchase products sold on Amazon via a text message on their mobile phones. Here’s how it works. Say a customer is looking to buy an MP3 player. They would text the name of the product, a description, a UPC if they have it, or an ISBN number to Amazon. If Amazon carries it, they will return matching results via text to the customer, two at a time. If one of the two options is something they want to buy, they text back either a 1 or a 2, or ask for more results by texting M. If the customer made a purchase, they will enter in their email address that’s associated with their Amazon account and a shipping code, and then they’ll receive an automated call that will guide them through the checkout process.
It’s a very simple process and once everything is done and a purchase has been made, shoppers get a confirmation email and a text message. Given the number of people who obsessively text message, this could be dangerous, especially for shopaholics because the purchasing process can be done in a matter of a few minutes. For those who really get into it and use TextBuyIt as a regular shopping method, there are other commands that they could use. For example, you could text 2D after you’ve seen matching products and you’d get more details about the 2nd item that you saw.
Of course there’s good and bad to a service like this. The first good thing that came to mind was that this could be an awesome way to comparison shop. If you’re at the store and you see something you’d like to buy, you can use TextBuyIt to see if Amazon has it cheaper and save yourself some money. You’re not required to buy anything after texting a search, which is nice. The bad is that any item that is a “Deal of the Day” or a “Gold Box Discount” will not be discounted if bought through text messaging.
I never thought we’d see the day where you’d shop via a text message, but the day is here and other retailers are likely to follow if Amazon is successful with this new method.