Amazon rings up shopping via text-message

Company unveils a text-messaging shopping service, a move designed to expand its mobile offerings and make it the big kid on a relatively small, undeveloped block.

Amazon.com unveiled on Wednesday a text-messaging shopping service, which adds a mainstream player to the mix of companies that offer shopping to-go.

Amazon TextBuyIt is designed to let mobile device users window-shop, compare prices, and purchase products from Amazon.

Shoppers send a text message to "Amazon" with the product name, search term, UPC, or ISBN code. The e-commerce giant will offer matching products, as well as prices. Buyers can purchase products by replying to the text message and punching in a single-digit number next to the desired item. Amazon will then call the person to confirm the order.

Amazon is not alone in offering a mobile shopping service. For example, mShopper, which launched in 2007, lets people shop for and buy products from their mobile devices.

The difference, of course, is that Amazon is a pioneer in e-commerce for consumers and has a vast line-up.

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