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ShopText targets magazine brands for text-to-buy

Top magazine brands such as CosmoGirl, Maxim, Lucky and Allure are using ShopText to let consumers buy products anytime from any media using a simple text message.

ShopText not only allows consumers to text to buy products, it also lets advertisers measure performance across traditional media. Keywords that are assigned to each product vary according to which marketing medium is used.

"Consumers can use their mobile phones to shop, sample and save using ShopText," said Adam Lichstein, chief operating officer at New York-based ShopText. -- ShopText not only transforms any traditional media into a point of sale, but makes it as accountable and measurable as Internet ads ."

Here's how it works. A consumer is browsing through a favorite magazine and sees an advertisement for earrings. All the individual needs to do is text the keyword under the picture of the product to the short code listed. If it's a first-time ShopText shopper, then he or she will need to fill out the pertinent information and text the address.

After a consumer fills out the information once, ShopText keeps it as record and asks the individual to assign a PIN number to the account. The consumer will only have to enter the PIN number each time he or she texts to buy an item.

Not only does this method of shopping allow consumers to engage with traditional media, but advertisers are seeing 80 percent conversion from first-time consumers and 100 percent conversion from second-timers, Mr. Lichstein claimed.

ShopText works with all major wireless carriers and credit card companies.

"What makes it so effective is that the brand can capture the consumer's impulse while they are engaged with the media -- whether it is print, radio, TV or out-of-home," Mr. Lichstein said. "We are able to process orders at a fraction of the cost of 1-800 orders with better response and conversion rates."

The fact that the advertiser can see which media is working best is beneficial as well.

Part of the process is asking consumers to opt-in for future promotions. It helps build a list of interested consumers and makes any future marketing initiatives more effective.

"Most of the folks working with us are media properties trying to become more interactive or dabbing their feet in the interactive space for the first time," Mr. Lichstein said. "These brands are looking to take media to a point of sale and figure out where to spend."

But ShopText does not only make the experience more interactive, it also makes it transactional, since the consumer can actually buy via the phone.

"The media is out there," Mr. Lichstein said. "We think the evolution is allowing consumers with a cell phone to text. Texting is ubiquitous and you can do it any time or anywhere. It's a good direct response mechanism."