Amazon Dash – the Quickest Way to Spend Your Cash
Shopping at Your Fingertips
Household essentials are now literally available at the push of a button, thanks to the arrival of the Amazon Dash Button, an innovative new method of reordering household items promoted as simple, smart, and free after the first press. Currently priced at £4.99, Amazon effectively gives the button away after applying a £4.99 discount to your first order. A wide range of everyday products are represented by this new piece of marketing, with brands on-board ranging from personal care specialists Gillette and Kleenex to pet food giants Whiskas and Pedigree.
Essentially the Amazon Dash Button is extremely simple, a physical button powered by Wi-Fi, linking to your Amazon Prime account in an effort to simplify the reordering process. For convenience users are encouraged to place the button in everyday locations, for example, an Ariel branded button should be placed next to the washing machine. In theory, when running low on washing powder, supplies can be instantly reordered, saving time and effort. For those wondering what happens if you push the Dash Button ten times in a row, the answer is not too much, because the button is clever enough to only accept reorders once the first order has been delivered. For added assurance, an indicator lights up when an order has been placed and all orders are modifiable using Amazon’s mobile app, meaning if you change your mind an order is easily cancelled.
Teething Issues Hinder Growth
While the concept looks good on paper, the Dash Button is not without issues. First of all, buttons are only capable of reordering one specific item, which should be seen as a fundamental design flaw. If for instance you were running low on kitchen essentials such as dishwasher tablets and washing-up liquid, these items could not be reordered in tandem. Alternatively, a Finish branded button plus an additional Fairy branded button would be needed to satisfy your requirements. Unfortunately, having more than a few buttons dotted around the house simply isn’t practical or attractive, meaning the button’s potential as a marketing tool is severely limited. Also, the button(s) you have already purchased cannot be reprogrammed, so choose your Dash Button wisely.
The second major issue relates to choice, or lack thereof. Last year a mere 29 brands offered a Dash Button, although that number has risen to over 150 in recent weeks. Despite the growing availability of Dash Buttons, another problem exists in that many of the thousands of items available across Amazon’s store remain unavailable to order via the Dash Button. As an example, women will not be pleased to discover that Gillette branded buttons do not give the option to order the popular Venus range of razors. Instead, Amazon has alienated half of the Gillette customer base by only offering razors tailored specifically to men. Amazon claim they are constantly working toward expanding the Dash Button product range, and frankly if the concept is to survive, this cannot come quickly enough.
A Unique Offering Attracts Brands and Consumers
Clearly the Dash Button has pitfalls, but on the other hand, undeniable benefits too. For the customer, once set up, the ease and convenience of using a Dash Button is unmatched. For the brands involved, an innovative new platform can be utilised to connect with loyal customers and build valuable brand equity. It remains to be seen if the Dash Button will catch on with consumers, but evidently Amazon’s market research has highlighted a preference for convenience while shopping. Indeed, it is entirely imaginable that consumers will place one or maybe two Dash Buttons around the house, but the need for a Play-Doh branded button is definitely questionable, as is the desirability of a Durex branded button sitting at your bedside.
Future or Fad of Shopping
Amazon reports encouraging numbers; orders among Dash users have doubled in the past three months, with order frequency improving from once per minute to twice per minute. Moving forward, the retailing giant must build upon initial momentum in order to transform a potential fad into a legitimate marketing tool. Suggestions to achieve this include sending relevant customers a complimentary Dash Button and introducing reprogrammable buttons.
In essence Amazon is taking advantage of human nature in that an idle button cannot go un-pushed, as seen when two children fight to be the first to push an elevator button. Unsurprisingly, the difference between an elevator button and a Dash Button is key, because while the former gives instant satisfaction, the later makes you wait 24 hours before anything happens and this may be detrimental to Amazon’s success.