I always have my Blackberry with me when I'm at the bookstore and I often use it to make notes or send an e-mail about a product. From time to time I've noticed a disapproving look from a store clerk, but I never thought much of it. It will be interesting to see if Amazon's newest service feature, TextBuyIt, causes brick-and-mortars to adopt new policies on cell phone usage.
Amazon TextBuyIt provides product search and purchase via text messaging. Once you select your item and make your purchase, Amazon then calls your mobile phone to confirm. The service isn't limited to books, of course, so you'll be able to use it when shopping for TV's, cameras and anything else Amazon sells. The service FAQs can be found here.
I've never seen any statistics but it's often been suggested that a large number of customers browse brick-and-mortar stores and then go home to make their purchase online. TextBuyIt only helps encourage this sort of behavior, so don't be surprised if you see a lot more in-store cell phone texting activity in the coming months.
I think Amazon is truly in touch with the marketplace with this new feature. However, I don't think it will be as successful as Amazon hopes it will be. When looking to buy a book, I will go to Amazon and look at the price with shipping. Then I will go to a Borders or B&N and look at their price. Even if the brick and mortar stores are a dollar or two more, I will buy it at the store because I don't have to wait a day or two for the Amazon book to arrive. I have it in my hands now.
On the other hand, if I'm in a brick and mortar and find a book I want to buy, I could check the price on Amazon with this service and determine if I want to buy from Amazon or the book store. Most of the time I will buy at the brick and mortar because I have it in my hand now and I don't have to wait.
This waiting factor will also propel the Kindle forward because you can have a book in a matter of minutes anywhere and at anytime. I think the Kindle will be the future of the majority of book buying.
Posted by: Anthony S. Policastro | April 02, 2008 at 01:10 PM
I'm even more blatant at the bookstore. I take my Kindle along, order books I'm interested on the Kindle. In one case where the book wasn't available for Kindle I ordered it used through Amazon right then and there. Never got any dirty looks from clerks, though.
I do buy coffee from them, though, so it's not a total loss.
Posted by: Christopher Gait | April 05, 2008 at 12:07 PM