XLNT! Now U can TXT message an order to Amazon

US online retailer launches TextBuyIt service

Amazon.com Wednesday launched TextBuyIt, a service that lets customers in the US use text messages from their mobile phones to shop on its Web site. Anyone with a mobile phone can shop and purchase any product on Amazon's Web site. People can already access Amazon using the browsers on their mobile phones, according to an Amazon statement.

"With TextBuyIt, if you're walking out of a concert and want to buy a CD from the artist you just saw, or if you're at dinner and a friend tells you about a great book you should read, all you have to do is get out your mobile device, send a text message to Amazon, reply to the response, confirm your order, and your item will be on its way," said Howard Gefen, director of Amazon Mobile Payments, in the statement.

Using only text messages, users can find the product they're looking for and complete a purchase using TextBuyIt. The buying process takes less than a minute, Amazon said.

All users have to do is send a text message to 262966 (AMAZON) with the product name, search term or a UPC or ISBN code, and, within seconds, Amazon replies with the product that matches the search, along with the price, the company said.

The first time consumers use TextBuyIt, they will be asked for their e-mail address and the shipping post code they use for their Amazon.com accounts, the company said.

To buy an item, users reply to the text message by entering the unique single digit number next to the item they want to purchase, Amazon said. Amazon also will call the consumer with the final details of the order and ask the buyer to confirm or cancel the purchase.

Using text messaging to complete transactions at a Web site is currently the most common form of mobile commerce, said Dana Gould, an analyst at IDC Financial Insights.

"There's a smaller percentage of people who own mobile phones that are really going to be into this thing," he said. "It's younger people and those who want to be leaders will probably pick up on it and start using it. But a lot of it is relatively unique and new so there's going to be a lot interest in trying it out and seeing how it works."

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Linda Rosencrance

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