The newly launched Amazon Dash service allows customers to order favourite items at the push of a Wi-Fi connected button. But is this convenience service a step too far?
I admit it, I’ve ordered groceries online before. It was when I was getting ready to move into a new apartment and was worried about first night logistics. So I ordered some essentials to be delivered that first night. It certainly was helpful to know I wouldn’t be worrying about milk or toilet paper at 11pm after toiling away at bubble wrap and cardboard boxes.
But I get a bit precious picking out my produce and choosing offers, so I haven’t since ordered full shops online. I do, however, order particular items online that are harder for me to find locally, or I know I get a better deal on them online.
So as an Amazon user, I was intrigued when I saw the launch of the Amazon Dash Button – this Wi-Fi enabled button is connected your Amazon account and allows you order a product by just pressing it.
Amazon Dash service
These buttons only work with specific brands and products, currently around 40 brands.
To use it you’d first need to be an Amazon Prime member. You’d then have to purchase each individual button for each brand from Amazon at the cost of £4.99 per button, but the button’s cost is then effectively refunded in credit from your first purchase.
And then there’s the set-up process, which seems a little lengthy: mounting the button next to the product in your home, such as an Ariel button next to the washing machine or Listerine button next to your toothbrush, then setting up a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, and then managing all your ordering preferences.
After looking into it, I wasn’t sold and it didn’t seem all that convenient. As an Amazon customer you’re able to see past purchases online, so if routine purchases of an item are your thing, you could theoretically press a button on your mobile to replicate orders periodically.
For me, these branded buttons made me picture my home as less as a place to live and more as a way to keep inventory on a stock shelf.
I also quite like shopping around for deals, seeing what other products are out there and supporting local and smaller suppliers. Repeat orders from one brand would certainly make that tricky.
On a more practical level, I wonder what happens the buttons are pressed accidentally? The Dash service will only allow one order per 24 hours, so that eliminates multiple presses by maybe a child or pet, but the odd accidental press could get annoying. Of course it’s possible to return items ordered from the Dash Button, but you have to go online to do so, which means the Button cannot be a stand-alone service.
In a similar vein to the buttons, customers will be able to shop for products based off of what they have in their home using the Dash Scanner, a small wand-like device to scan or say what items they would like.
All in all, I can see the argument of swapping choice for convenience, but currently the novelty seems too much of an ordeal to me. For now I’ll be sticking to my normal weekly shop, but am keen to see how more on-demand services develop.
Over to you
What do you think about these Amazon Dash Buttons? Do you feel these press and go services make your shopping experiences more convenient or enjoyable?