Amazon revealed their latest piece of hardware on Monday. Amazon Dash buttons will enable Prime members to replenish their everyday necessities with literally just the press of a button. These Dash buttons are wi-fi connected adhesive buttons that can be pressed whenever supplies are running low. The buttons communicate with your Amazon account via smartphone to confirm orders of specific items connected to each button. There’s no need to even look at a screen, unless it’s to cancel an order. Items will arrive promptly with two-day Prime shipping.
Some notable names out of the 18 brands that are participating in the roll out include Tide, Olay, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Glad bags, Huggies diapers, and Gillette razors.
The Dash buttons are only the first step to a complete Amazon takeover of your household. Amazon hopes that brands will start implementing sensor technology into household appliances and eventually bypass the button altogether. Dash Replenishment Services, which was revealed to be in beta testing with brands like Whirlpool and Brita, is Amazon’s longer term goal. Welcome to the future, where wi-fi connected household or office appliances will be able to re-order things like detergent, coffee, and dog food from Amazon without the customer even having to think about it.
Subscription services have been growing in popularity over the years, especially as newer companies have enabled customization according to personal consumption. The convenience of getting fresh razors has made Dollar Shave Club a leader in subscription ecommerce and created a new lifestyle trend for men’s grooming. Many other companies have followed suit with subscription makeup, dog snacks, and baby supplies.
The Dash buttons don’t count as a subscription type model just yet. Customers have the choice of deciding whether or not to replenish the supply of Tide detergent or Maxwell coffee. However, if things continue in Amazon’s favor, the laundry machine and coffee maker will be able to order new supplies on their own, which will amount to an automatic renewing subscription model for all intents and purposes.
To be sure, Dash buttons are an intriguing concept, especially when accompanied by Amazon’s deft marketing around it. However, it relies completely on convenience alone, which is a completely different approach from the value-driven experience that defines most successful subscription businesses. What’s more, take away the Internet of Things-related buzz and strip away Amazon’s influence, and all that’s left is a plastic logo stuck onto your wall, counter, or fridge. Will that really stick for customers?