Singapore: Ordering groceries via SMS

First, it was the dot-com fever. Now, it's the Short Messaging Service (SMS) bug and it has bitten Singapore online grocer e-mart.

SINGAPORE--First, it was the dot-com fever. Now, it's the Short Messaging Service (SMS) bug and it has bitten local online grocer e-mart.

E-mart, the e-business arm of Singapore Food Industries Ltd, said today that it is now sending SMS to customers to confirm their online orders, in addition to email confirmation.

When contacted, the online grocer declined to reveal the total number of customers it now has, but noted that about 25 percent of them opted for order confirmation via SMS.

"The target users for e-mart are families and executives who are Internet-savvy but short on time," said MobileWay Asia Pacific general manager and vice president Cyrille Even in a statement.

MobileWay, which claims to offer reliable high-speed SMS delivery services for content providers, is e-mart's wireless data service provider.

"There is also potential to extend (the SMS service) to active marketing...SMS can be used to reach e-mart customers wherever they are to offer promotional items and special packages," Even added.

Incorporated last January, MobileWay has offices in London, Paris, Milan, Madrid, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Stockholm and Hong Kong.

Last month, customers of Newsroom Bar at Robertson Quay needn't even jostle through the crowd to order drinks at the bar but instead placed their orders through SMS.

As of last month, MobileOne Asia Pte Ltd customers could also buy drinks from selected vending machines via SMS, while Pizza Hut had a promotion allowing consumers to participate in their advertising campaign by sending personal information to the restaurant using the messaging service.