Retail gadgets – Amazon launches Dash ordering button in the UK

Photo by Jonas Lee on Unsplash

Regular blog readers may remember that a while ago we wrote about the futuristic ‘Amazon Dash’ button – a physical device which allows you to order specific household items at the single touch of a button. When we wrote our initial blog post about the Dash button and how it might impact grocery shopping it all seemed very space age and not likely to be seen in the UK anytime soon so imagine our delight when we read this week that Amazon have just rolled out these marvellous retail gadgets in the UK!

According to reports, Amazon are using the buttons to lure more UK shoppers to use Amazon Prime. The service is currently only available for Prime users and provides instant ordering for around 40 brands (each requiring an individual button) including air fresheners, nappies and washing powder.

Increasing Brand Loyalty

And it’s not just Amazon that benefits from the use of Dash – the buttons also increase brand loyalty. Each WiFi enabled button bears the logo of a particular brand or product and is conveniently positioned within the customer’s context for use – so the washing powder button is on or near the washing machine, the nappies button is near the baby changing station (but hopefully out of reach of small children!). Both the brand and Amazon are then able to secure the sale in real time. If the service is convenient and efficient the customer will continue to repeat the sale. It is expected that initially, the novelty of the button will appeal to gadget fans, rather than budget conscious users, but the convenience may make the latter change their shopping habits too.

The service was first launched in the US last September and since then Amazon have reported a threefold increase in orders made from the devices. Surprisingly, shoppers must pay for each button with £4.99 deducted from their first order when using each one – although presumably this deters misuse and ensures that customers look after their buttons. All Dash button orders are fulfilled via next-day delivery – so perhaps they are best pressed when you see that you are running out of something rather than after you have run out – depending on the product.

Desirable devices

Speaking about the UK launch, Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash described what makes the devices so desirable:

“Dash Buttons offer the convenience of one click shopping from anywhere in the home – they can be placed near those frequently used items you don’t want to run out of, and when you see supplies running low, the Dash Button makes it easier than ever to order more.”

In addition to the Dash buttons, Amazon are also rolling out their ‘Dash Replenishment Service’ in the UK. This uses the ‘internet of things’ (IOT) to enable connected devices such as printers to monitor their own ink levels and automatically order more when required. This service is already included with some other devices using their own fulfilment services but Amazon has now taken steps to forge partnerships with home appliance suppliers including Samsung and Siemens in order to exclusively integrate Dash replenishment Services into all of their connected devices, with more partnerships expected in the coming months as the service gains momentum in the UK.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice-resident of Amazon’s European arm explains why the two services are being rolled out together:

“Dash button gives you the convenience of one-click ordering in your home, and with Dash Replenishment we’re taking it one step further – enabling connected appliances to automatically reorder supplies on your behalf.”

Despite the initial outlay costs for each button, recent retail figures indicate the rising popularity of both smart devices and appliances connected by the IOT . This appears to be a very smart move for Amazon as they continue to develop their Prime offer in the UK. What we’d like to know is – which button would you use the most?