Amazon tries a physical button for making purchases

1 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon puts home staples on refill button.

Amazon moved Tuesday to become an errand service for home staples, introducing a “dash button” to allow consumers to instantly order popular products for home and kitchen.The firm today revealed the Dash Button, a large, wifi enabled button that can be used to reorder common household products such as washing powder or even drinks. The move boosts Amazon’s presence for everyday services and goods and comes a day after the online retail giant launched a wide-ranging services marketplace. “When you’re running low, simply press Dash Button, and Amazon quickly delivers household favorites so you can skip the last-minute trip to the store,” says the online retailer’s website promoting the service for its Amazon Prime members. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind.” Amazon did not reveal the terms of the new delivery service, but it has launched one-hour deliveries in major cities in the United States for Prime members.

Google offers a service for same-day deliveries in a number of cities in partnership with retailers such as Costco, Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble, and a large number of startups offers fast deliveries for online or smartphone orders. In the video that accompanied Amazon’s announcement, there are Dash Buttons for Gatorade, Kraft mac and cheese, Glad trash bags, Gillette razors, Cottonelle toilet paper, Clorox Wipes, Huggies diapers and Tide detergent, and about a dozen other brands are also now partnered with Amazon.

Setup is simple: The button connects via the Amazon app to a specific Wi-Fi network and Amazon account, letting users select the product that they want to reorder. The online retailer expects that you’ll place the buttons around your home—in your pantry, on your washing machine and even inside of your fridge. The new listings will connect consumers to “handpicked pros offering upfront pricing on pre-packaged services with helpful reviews from customers that have made verified purchases.” The moves further expand Amazon’s footprint from its origins as an online bookseller, and which now sells a vast array of goods and digital services as well as online storage and hosting of websites. Having expanded from books to electronics, clothing, and groceries, the company today offers item subscriptions that give customers discounts for ordering products at regular intervals, and has announced plans to start delivery by drone within the next few years.

Called the Dash Replenishment Service, the program “enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low – like a coffee maker that orders more coffee beans,” according to the Amazon site. And if somebody in your house pushes the Gatorade button 15 times, you won’t get 15 orders—just one (or none, if an order is already on its way to you). “Some people will think buttons will be a silly idea, and it is a silly idea to think we will have houses full of buttons,” said Kinley Pearsall, an Amazon spokeswoman. This is the convenience that we want: a simple way to take a chore off our hands. … On the other hand, it’s also a terribly efficient way for big brands, and for Amazon, to lock customers in to their products and services, and lock out competition. Amazon has not said, yet, whether the retailer and its hardware partners will lock buyers in to certain brands of dryer sheet, coffee bean or printer ink.

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