Amazon recently launched Dash Button. A new gadget that enables users to order their favorite household products with only the push of a button. Amazon follows up and delivers the goods to your doorstep as soon as possible. Some say this adds convenience to our households, while others think it’s ridiculous, arguing that it means a further commercialization of the home environment.
Dash Button in fact is nothing more than a button with a brand’s logo that can be attached where-ever you need it. As soon as you push it, it will automatically send out a preset order to Amazon, who then will deliver the product to your doorstep. The Pampers Dash button for instance would be ideally located at the dresser in the baby room, the Tide washing powder button next to the washing machine and the Gillette button in the bathroom. For now the amount of buttons per household is limited to three, but potentially this idea could transform our houses into small little shopping streets, with each room providing us the option to buy a product. So forget about the shopping list and the weekly trips to the mall. Your house is the new shopping centre!
For Amazon the reason for developing the Dash Button is to create loyal customers. Both Amazon and the associated brands are able to reach the customer right at the moment when they run out of a particular product. By being there in that moment when you chose to purchase a new supply of any given product, the company is able to secure future sales.
This may be good for Amazon, but it may also mean bad news for the shop owner on the good old shopping street. Dash Button is a straight forward attack on the mini-supermarket or corner stores that are often the last traces of local businesses in many urban neighborhoods. Amazon promotes Dash Button by saying that you can ‘skip the last-minute trip to the store’, disregarding the fact that your trip may have been the thing keeping these businesses afloat.
Apart from the negative side effects – which are inherent to innovative thinking – Dash Button is definitely an interesting development. It makes online shopping tangible again and adds the experience of clicking a physical button to online shopping. That experience is something that people like and it gives them confidence when purchasing online. For Amazon, Dash Button is only the first step towards making our houses smarter, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In the future we won’t even have to push a button to get our commodities refilled. Amazon is already working on technology that enables household gadgets to do this automatically. With this so-called Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) , Amazon enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low—like a coffee maker that orders more coffee beans. Whirlpool for instance is working on a washer and dryer that anticipate when laundry supplies are running low so they can automatically order more detergent and dryer sheets.
For now, Amazon’s Dash Button is only available in the US, but soon this might become a useful new development in other parts of the world as well.