September 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

QVC joins the m-commerce elite with text message purchasing

In addition to launching a mobile retail site at m.QVC.com, QVC Inc. is trumping almost all of the small but growing number of retailers in m-commerce by offering a text message purchasing program.

Retail giant QVC Inc. has unveiled not one but two mobile commerce offerings. In addition to launching a mobile retail web site at m.QVC.com, the retailer is trumping almost all of the small but growing number of retailers in m-commerce by offering a text message purchasing program.

While some retailers are beginning to use text messages in marketing programs, to date a mere handful of retailers, led by Amazon.com Inc., have offered a program where customers can complete purchases via text messages, which do not require mobile access to the Internet.

“With the launch of QVC’s mobile services, we’re continuing to deliver our customers an enhanced shopping experience. They can now shop QVC anywhere, at any time,” says Bob Myers, senior vice president of platforms and broadcast technology at QVC, which is using m-commerce technology from QWASI Inc. “Once registered with the service, our customers can purchase an item in just two text messages, making shopping even more fast and convenient than ever.”

To register for QVC Text Ordering, a customer texts JOIN and her QVC customer number or e-mail address on file to QVC’s telecommunications short code, 78246 (QVCGO). The customer then receives a text message back from QVC asking her to verify the account. After verification, QVC sends the customer a final text message, informing her she now is set to place orders.

To make a purchase, the customer texts a product number to the QVCGO short code. QVC sends a text message back with the item number and price and a request to verify the purchase. After the customer verifies the purchase, the retailer sends her a final text message confirming the order and providing an estimated delivery date.

The customer also can text TSV to the short code to purchase “Today’s Special Value,” and ONAIR to buy what currently is on TV. Additionally, QVC is taking text message m-commerce beyond purchasing. A customer can add items to her e-commerce site-based wish list by texting WISH and an item number or WISH and TSV or ONAIR to the short code.

bill@verticalwebmedia.com

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