Amazon Trials SMS Shipment Status Alerts

Amazon is in the midst of a very limited trial to send SMS text alerts to customers to update them on delivery status. The SMS package tracking feature—which Amazon said is being tested with "a small set of customers"—is available only for items sold by Amazon, not those offered by third-party sellers on Amazon.com. The text messages include the order tracking ID number as well as information about the shipment's whereabouts, such as "Out for Delivery @ 10:15 A.M.," according to Amazon. The company said it will only send text messages between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Pacific time.

After they click the Amazon.com "Track your package" button, customers being offered the SMS service are presented with a page on which they can enter their mobile number and click a "sign up" button. Although Amazon is known for its speedy, 1-Click ordering, this option would seem to be unavailable for SMS users—at least in the trial version. Users won't be able to change preferences to add text alerts for all purchases, the retailer said. Instead, customers must request text alerts individually for every order.