Thursday, April 3, 2008

Will Amazon's TextBuyIt be the Tipping Point for Mobile Marketing?

It's been a while since I've talked about the mobile web and in my last post, I came to the conclusion that there were more questions than answers (like many things web 2.0). However I thought it made sense at the time to start building a strategy and having a web presence. And I have done just that, Cisco's mobile web has been updated to include Service Provider content and we have just started testing SMS campaigns particularly at events. The big question that we've had as we started venturing into SMS is the adoption and use given the 'mature' audience we're targeting. A recent study by ABI Research believes we may be at a tipping point with the creation of a "perfect storm of subscriber adoption" to drive mobile messaging.
Well I believe that storm just got better with Amazon's recent 'TextBuyIt' annoucement which will tip that scale even further by accelerating the adoption and comfort level with texting as a mode of communication. What's interesting about Amazon's TextBuyIt solution is that it's not 100% text based. After you text the product number or name to Amazon they call you back to confirm your order (it doesn't always have to be a purchase) however if you're just doing a price check they can send you this info via SMS. Check out the FAQs for a run down of the service.

I just tested the price check and feature and I have to admit it's pretty easy even for an amateur texter like me. Unfortunately when I tested the buy feature it didn't go as smoothly. I sent the ISDN number for the book I wanted and Amazon was able to find the title and I received a text back with the pricing info. I then sent back the code to complete the purchase followed by a message with my email address and zip code related to my Amazon account. I then received a message back from Amazon that said "We were unable to find an item matching your keywords. Place your order online at" but they had just sent me the item info that I wanted. So they obviously have a few kinks to iron out but the concept is solid. I'll give them a few weeks and try it again. Either way the scale has been tipped and for that I thank Amazon because they will make my job easier.

1 comment:

Karyn said...

Thanks for the heads up on this new service from Amazon... as an avid reader, I am eager to try it. I wish I had read your blog before I just spent $85 at Barnes & Noble.

By the way, as you suggested, I just purchased Wikinomics and a new book by the folks at Forrester Research... Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.