Amazon launched a new service yesterday called TextBuyIt in which you can look up and compare product info via SMS and purchase with your pre-existing account.
I tried it out this morning by texting “Purple cow” to short code 262966 (“Amazon” on the keypad). A moment later I got a response that read:
Reply w/1 or 2 to buy,m for more,h for help
1) Purple Cow: Transform…–BOOK $14.25
2) The Big Moo: Stop Trying… — BOOK $4.99
I also received a second message with list of TextBuyIt commands.
I responded with “M” in order to see more listings. The next message I received read:
Reply w/3 or 4 to buy,m for more,h for help
3) Permission Marketing:… — BOOK $16.50
4) Small Is the New Big:… — BOOK $17.13
I decided that the first listing had been the one I was looking for, so I replied with “1″.
A moment later I got a response:
Reply with your Amazon.com email and default zip code and Amazon will call to confirm your order.
Example: firstname.lastname@example.org 99104
After responding with my email address and ZIP, I received a phone call less than 10 seconds later. I was asked for the last four digits of my credit card on file. Then I pressed 1 to confirm. And that was it! The phone call lasted 43 seconds and my item was purchased.
When I hung up the call, I immediately received an email confirmation with the order number and expected delivery date:
And simultaneously received a text message that read:
Your purchase of Purple Cow: Transform Your… for $18.24 has been confirmed. Please go to your account at www.amazon.com to view details.
I think this service is amazing and I fear I’m going to use it constantly. A nice feature would be to allow the choice of shipping options either via SMS or on the phone call. As of now, Standard Shipping is applied. I’m also curious to know how it’s handled when multiple editions of the book are available: hard covered, paperback, large print, etc. Perhaps I’ll do a few more tests later.
I have to admit, I was prepared to hate it, but I am beyond impressed. This could really change the face of shopping. Imagine being at a conference and a presenter mentions her favorite book. Just TextBuyIt and you’ll have it in your mailbox when you arrive home. At BestBuy and aren’t sure if that external hard drive is being offered at the best price, so TextBuyIt and do a bit of comparison. Amazon will likely be taking business away from their competitors while customers are in the brick and mortar stores! This is brilliant in its simplicity. Here’s hoping they don’t screw it up.
Please let me know about your experiences with TextBuyIt by leaving a comment here.
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