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November 20, 2012

Find that Wii U with TalkTo

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

It's a safe bet that there are plenty of people out there who currently have a Wii U on their holiday shopping lists, whether for the various kids in their lives or just for themselves. Finding one, meanwhile, may be a taller order than some expect, but the folks at TalkTo want to make it a lot easier to find one of the precious devices by creating the FindaWiiU page, specifically geared toward doing exactly what the page's name suggests.

The FindaWiiU page uses TalkTo's systems that allow users to send text messages to any business to help narrow down potential locations to find that elusive Wii U system. How is it done? Simple; users go to the FindaWiiU page, where they'll insert their location in the handy field in the center of the screen. With that information input, they'll then be able to find stores that have the Wii U in question, and will be able to send text messages. Typing in a text message in the provided field and pressing enter sends a text message to that business, and TalkTo provides an average wait time for a response. Once the message is sent, TalkTo offers a variety of measures—SMS, e-mail, chat, or even a phone call—to send a response when it arrives to the originator of same.

By way of example, I sent a text to a GameStop location near me, asking if there were any WiiU consoles in stock, and TalkTo informed me the average response time was five minutes. Well, it took longer than that for a response for me—I did, however, save a trip to GameStop, which at $3.60 a gallon for gas is pretty good--but that may not be the case for everyone.

Indeed, the critical point is that FindaWiiU, and by extension TalkTo, will look to make it easier to get in contact with businesses throughout their area and find the things they want, all from one central point that will allow users to do the equivalent of calling every video store or shoe store or the like in the immediate area to find those things they want.

That's going to make holiday shopping a lot more efficient for people, and anything that makes a shopping experience better, safer or more efficient is likely to be well-received by potential users. Though just how many people use it, especially when they can do their shopping online directly instead, may not be quite as many as some would hope. Still, for those who want to do their shopping locally yet are dissuaded by the difficulties involved in same, TalkTo will go a long way toward making things quite a bit easier.

TalkTo's systems might make for easier local shopping, but whether it can surmount the advantages of online shopping remains to be seen.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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