Re-Order Your Favourites With New Physical Amazon Dash Button
Amazon is attempting to attract more shoppers buying household items such as washing powder, nappies and kitchen towels by introducing new physical Dash buttons. We take a look at how the button works and how well it may be received by consumers.
The Dash buttons will only be available to users of Amazon’s premium delivery service Prime and can be attached to household appliances or furniture with sticky pads. When the door-bell sized button is pushed, a delivery request for an individual item is processed in order to speed up the act of ordering. The buttons work through wi-fi, enabling a new Amazon order to be created for the exact item that you need and the buttons are coded with brand logos on the front so you know exactly which button to press in order to purchase new toilet roll or coffee. The buttons come without a price indicator, removing the worry of prices or the thought of shopping around from the customer’s mind.
To prevent items being accidentally ordered or children playing with the buttons, an alert is created on your smartphone that allows you to accept or cancel the requested order, but you only have 30 minutes to do so. The buttons are configured with an Amazon smartphone app and you receive an alert every time the button is pressed, but only one item will be ordered which may cut down on the amount of items accidently ordered by pushes of the button by individual family members.
More than 200 products will eventually have their own buttons but for now the service will be trialed with just a few of the more well known and popular brands in the US. Amazon don’t sell household and grocery items in the UK on the same scale as the US so there is not currently a UK launch date for the Dash buttons, but Amazon may tailor the buttons to the most purchased items in each country.
The Dash buttons tie in with Amazon’s Dash bar code scanner which was launched last year. This allows customers to scan bar codes of items they’ve run out of and then purchase the same item directly from Amazon. The buttons are also meant to be a part of the Dash Replenishment Service, a new idea in which items such as water filter jugs can order refills automatically themselves when they run out of consumables. Amazon has been working with Brita to create the smart water jug and Brother to create a printer that senses when it is running out of ink and automatically orders more.
The service was announced on 1st April, leading some to believe that the new buttons are a joke. However, while the Dash buttons may seem gimmicky, they give Amazon a chance to reach the consumer as soon as they run out of an item, before they have a chance to write a shopping list and consider going to a local supermarket or ordering from a supermarket online.
The service may be useful for ordering things like washing machine powder, coffee and beauty items, but users will have to remember to push the button ahead of time- even with Prime next day delivery going without toilet roll or nappies for 24 hours when you’ve run out is easier said than done. The buttons will no doubt cut down on the amount of small trips made to the shops for a small amount of items, but the lack of choice in both specific items and price will be a turn off for many. In addition, the average working household does their grocery shopping all at once for a reason, even if it is online- regularly receiving parcels of various items is likely to be an inconvenience when there is no one available to stay home and wait for the postman.
Although the Amazon Dash buttons have been created to try and make life easier, I can’t help thinking of many instances when a quick trip to the nearest shop on the way to or from work would be more convenient. It’s for this reason that I’m not convinced that Amazon’s new scheme will catch on after the novelty of button-pushing has worn off.
Dash buttons are available now to Amazon Prime members in the US who have requested an invitation.