262966 spells A-M-A-Z-O-N on your dialpad. It’s the shortcode for TextBuyIt, the online retailer’s new SMS shopping system.
Just type what you want – iPod Nano, for example, text it to that number and numbered search results appear on your handheld device’s screen. Respond with the number of the item you want, respond to the prompt for your email address and postal code, and you’ll get a call from Amazon to complete your purchase.
It’s all so instantaneous, except for the waiting for it to arrive in the mail part.
Shoppers can also search by an author or artists name, a UPC code or ISBN number. Only two results are returned for each search. The service is also a handy way for shoppers to check prices without actually buying, and could therefore afford some influence over bricks and mortar purchases for mobile-toting shoppers. Immediate conversion is not mandatory. Shoppers will also have the option of adding items to their shopping carts for later purchase.
It’s highly unlikely at this stage of mobile adoption, not to mention the faltering retail economy, that TextBuyIt is going to see any real traction anytime soon. Still, it’s a nifty idea, and even a small degree of early usage will provide invaluable data that can be applied to developing future mobile shopping platforms.