Amazon Anywhere by SMS

Picture of Amir Ahmad
Amazon Anywhere by SMS
by Amir Ahmad - Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 11:14 PM

Hi people with interest in mobile,

I was interested in hearing your feedback on Amazon Anywhere ( which enables consumers to compare prices and shop anywhere on 

Here is the synopsis:

Text Sells! Imagine if you are at a bar and a friend tells you about a really good book that they have read recently. You probably dont have a pen on you so by the time you sober up the next day you will have forgotten about the recommendation. You havent purchased a book recommended by word of mouth and the publisher has lost a potential sale. Txtfo allows you to send in a simple text so that you can instantly search on for any Book, CD or DVD anytime, anywhere.

Once you text in your request you will receive an instant SMS reply which tells you the online price and availability. You also receive an email so that the next time you logon you can simply click-through and purchase online(first-time users to the service are requested an email address). The Txtfo service makes it easier to purchase goods through word of mouth as well as enabling consumers to compare prices with retail stores while physically being at the retail store.

We just won the European Prize for innovation for this service ( and I do think it is how people will be shopping over the next couple of years - I don't forsee any other shopping service which can provide rich content and be available on all handsets.

I just wanted to hear your feedback on this (seeing as only mobile gurus login to this site).  Any thoughts on why or why you don't think it will work and the obstacles we will face in promoting this are appreciated.

Thanks (and appologies for the self-promotion!),


Chief Simplification Officer,

Mobile: +44 7970 49 6624

Picture of Michael Tomlins
Re: Amazon Anywhere by SMS
by Michael Tomlins - Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 6:50 PM

Dear Amir

I think this is a strong concept but could be greatly enhanced by the use of the mobile internet. SMS is a limited medium that is great at supplying small amounts of data, but is poor if you wish to interrogate data or list large amounts of data. In the case of the Amazon service if someone mispelt the text message or it brough up a large number of results the SMS product would fail. Whereas a WAP page could list the many products, inlcuding recommendations (which are so popular on Amazon) and deliver a richer user experience. Furthermore if you were already a registered member of Amazon there is no reason that you could not integrate the username/password and stored credit card details to make the order on the mobile.

I have just completed a similar deal with a major online retailer and would be pleased to talk about this to you, if interested.

Kind regards


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