Amazon delivers in a Dash with a push-button reorder service for Prime members
March 31, 2015 12:16 PM
Amazon.com Inc. today unveiled the Amazon Dash Button, a device that resembles a key fob that, once set up, lets consumers reorder packaged goods by pressing a button on the device.
Simply put, the Internet-connected fob eliminates the need to go online to place an order at Amazon.com.
Members of Amazon’s shipping and loyalty program Prime can request an invitation to receive Dash Button devices for free starting today. Each button is linked to a specific brand of packaged goods. For example, there is a Dash button to reorder Bounty paper towels and another to reorder Tide laundry detergent. The devices have an adhesive backing so they can be attached to a washing machine or paper towel dispenser. At the moment, 254 product SKUs covering 10 product categories are linked to Dash Buttons. Other participating brands include Olay, Gillette, Gerber, Kraft, Glad, WellPet and others.
Amazon says consumers connect the devices to their home Wi-Fi network, and through the Amazon smartphone app select which product SKU they want to reorder when the button is pressed. Pressing the button will automatically reorder the product the consumer selected during the initial setup. The Glad-branded Amazon Button, for example, can reorder any of 11 types of garbage bags. When the consumer presses the button an order automatically is placed. An alert is sent to the consumer’s phone to confirm the order. If the consumer does nothing, Amazon will ship the product using Prime shipping. A consumer can cancel the order after receiving the alert in case the button was pressed by mistake.
Along with the launch of the Amazon Dash Button, Amazon today also is promoting to appliance and consumer device manufacturers the technology that makes the automatic reordering possible. Called the Dash Replenishment Service, Amazon says appliance makers can build the button technology into the devices they make. Still in test mode, Amazon says it will be available more broadly this fall. Manufacturers participating in the test include Whirlpool, water filter maker Brita and printer manufacturer Brother. E-retailer Quirky Inc.—an Internet Retailer 2014 Hot 100 pick—also will launch a line of web-connected, so-called smart devices this fall called Poppy, which will have the Dash Replenishment Service technology built in. Products include a baby formula maker, pet food dispenser and coffee maker. Each will keep track of how much of the product has been used and automatically reorder so the consumer doesn’t run out.
For more on how web-connected devices are changing e-retailing, and how e-retailers can respond, check out the story “Flexibility is required” in the March 2015 issue of Internet Retailer magazine.