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On-Demand Shopping Arrives with Amazon’s New Dash Button

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Following the March debut of its Dash Button, Amazon announced late last week that its branded, WiFi-connected buttons are now for sale. Available to members of the retailer’s premium Prime service – a reported 40 million strong – each button costs $5 and allows users to instantly order products at home from Amazon with the press of a button.

The products of eighteen brands are currently available for purchase via the Dash Button including Procter & Gamble’s Tide, Gillette, Bounty and Olay; L’Oreal Youth Code; Clorox Wipes; Glad Trash Bags; Kraft’s Maxwell House and Macaroni & Cheese; Coca-Cola’s Glacéau smartwater; and Kimberly-Clark’s Cottonelle and Huggies.

All options are currently consumer packaged goods (CPG) products that members of busy households purchase on a regular basis – which is intentional according to the Amazon Dash Button launch video. The adhesive backed devices – which are roughly the size of a mini Snickers bar – are meant to be placed contextually around the home for easy, in-home impulse buys.

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Amazon has always been known for its progressive digital tactics in the retail space. Nearly 20 years ago, the company debuted the first-ever, one-click online checkout. Last year, it surprised the world with plans to use drones for deliveries. Now, in its latest endeavor, Amazon is bringing Internet shopping into the physical world and working its way deeper into U.S. households.

In the last week, the Dash Button has seen positive and negative reviews from outlets across various industries. Like many other first-generation emerging technologies and devices, the device was criticized by some for its clunky size, cost and limited use to only facilitate single purchases.

Despite early criticism, there are opportunities for brands in the early stages of this technology, as well as in the future, to create value for consumers and resellers.

Marketers should consider the following when exploring the Dash Button’s implications on their businesses:

  • Value and ease for consumers: The Dash Button minimizes effort while maximizing reward for consumers when they need to replenish their favorite products around the house.
  • New sales opportunities for brands: These new, nearly invisible devices in the home connect moments of consumer need with micro-moments for sales. Before consumers ever have a chance to set foot in a store to consider the competition, a brand’s Dash Button can close the deal.
  • Data-rich devices: Brands can become future-proof by learning to thrive in a world of data. Some say e-commerce is an outdated term, and that the Dash Buttons make it much more of an everywhere-commerce world. The continuing explosion of data that brands will have at their disposal will help them understand user needs in ways they could only imagine before, and the Dash Buttons will be a great source of data for both brands and Amazon.

This past week we received a glimpse into the future of retail and it – like many more advancements in the category to come – is connected. Marketers shouldn’t write off the potential for their brands in this space because of any initial frustrations or criticism. Rather, they should be patient as the space develops, and allocate resources to take advantage of this emerging, exciting and important part of our digital, branded world.

Cover photo via Engadget.