Only a year after Dash Buttons were introduced Amazon has more than 100 buttons available, including those representing more than 70 new brands. Amazon said orders made with Dash buttons have increased by more than 75 percent in the last three months.
Joining the other frequently replenished items that can be bought with Dash Buttons, such as garbage bags and toothpaste, are such items as Energizer batteries, Stayfree feminine pads, Zico Premium Coconut Water, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull beverages, Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn and Arm & Hammer cat litter.
The Dash Buttons, which are available only to Amazon Prime members, are small, pill-shaped devices, each bearing the logo of a different product. They can be used to instantly reorder prescribed quantities of certain products. The price of each Dash Button is $4.99, but that cost is offset during a user’s first order, when Amazon credits the user’s account for that same amount. Membership in Amazon Prime costs $99 per year.
To prevent inadvertent orders, a Dash Button is programmed so that it won’t allow a repeat order of a product until after an earlier order of the same item has been delivered
Amazon hasn’t said how many Dash Buttons it has sold, or how many products have been bought using them. However, the company did say that Dash Button orders occur more than once per minute on average. A recent study of online shoppers by 1010data’s Ecom Insights Panel found that that the top-selling individual Dash Buttons were those for Tide Pods and Tide Powder, followed by those for Bounty paper towels and Cottonelle toilet paper.
Only the Next Step
Is it inevitable that someday all shopping will be done with the single push of a button? We posed that question to Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, who predicted that services such as Dash Button are only the next phase in the march toward fully automated shopping.
“This is an interim step how many goods will be purchased,” said Moorhead. “Long-term, packages will have their own sensors that will automatically indicate when they are near empty and reorder.”
The next step might be sending customers products under the presumption that they’ll want them. Amazon received a patent a few years ago for what it called anticipatory package shipping, which speculatively sends products to customers before the products have actually been ordered, according to an article in The New York Times. Amazon is also working with some manufacturers to develop products that can order their own consumables, such as a washing machine that automatically replenishes its own supply of detergent.
Image Credit: Images of Dash Button (sample, pictured above) via Amazon.