Amazon has half a disruptive idea in its TextBuy service.
Here’s how it works: You register your phone # with your Amazon account and then if you find something you want to buy (however you do that) you SMS the UPC Code to Amazon. Assuming you have 1-Click setup, it places an order for you and sends you back a text indicating either success (it’s going to ship) or failure (out of stock, not carried, etc.). You can optionally set a preference to not ship the item right away if you want to be able to cancel the order later on their website. In this case, the order gets executed, say 12 hours after you place the order.
Cool, huh? Sorry, I lied to you. That’s not how it works, it’s how it should work. Here’s how it really works:
* You SMS the UPC code to Amazon
* If Amazon stocks the item, Amazon replies with the first two search results for that code.
* To purchase am item, users reply with 1 or 2
* They get an SMS back prompting them for their email address and zip code.
* The user types in their e-mail address and zip code on their crummy phone keypad using 3-tap input.
* The service then calls the user’s phone and completes the checkout process using an automated voice menu system.
I’d use the first system I described but not this one. Coming soon, perhaps?