An automated product purchasing system allows purchasers to order products via a remote communications medium without having to speak to a sales representative or other human operator. According to the invention, purchasers access the automated product purchasing system and browse among the selections offered. Menu style prompts guide the customer through the various products offered by the automated product purchasing system. Product descriptions are provided to assist the customer in making his or her selections. Where appropriate, product samples are provided to the customer via the communications medium so the customer can evaluate the product prior to purchasing. Examples of product samples include movie previews, sample cuts from music tracks, software demos, and the like. Ordering and purchasing are automated so that human operators are not required to intervene in the process. The use of a membership profile with important customer information facilitates the automation of the process and minimizes the amount of times a repeat customer needs to provide this information.