US shoppers interested in checking the Amazon.com price of a product they are looking at in-store, or those simply browsing on their phones, can use a new service called TextBuyIt
to get product and pricing information and complete a purchase.
To use the service, consumers start by typing in search details of the product they are interested in, such as the product name or its ISBN or article number. They then send that search query as a text message to 262966 (which spells A-M-A-Z-O-N) and, in exchange, receive back a text with numbered search results.
Shoppers can then request more details on any result, request more results or select an item for purchase.
The service is tightly integrated into the main Amazon.com ecommerce service so that no setting up is required in advance. The first time a consumer makes a purchase using TextBuyIt, they are prompted for the email address they have registered at Amazon.com and their Amazon.com account is then automatically associated with their mobile phone.
Amazon then uses the customer's existing default settings for payment method, shipping address and shipping speed and a purchase can be confirmed by simply hitting 'reply'.