Welcome to Amazon’s Orbit City, where restocking your Tide Pods is as simple as pushing a button. So simple, in fact, that you can retire your Rosie bot to the land of obsolete gizmos (don’t worry, Rosie can keep your 1980’s boom box company in the land of outdated gadgets). Sounds farfetched, but thanks to Amazon’s new Dash button, this type of supremely omnichannel shopping we envisioned in a Jetson’s future is here, right now. Rosie the Robot not included.
With the Dash button, Amazon shoppers can reorder products as they run out in real time, simply by pushing the branded buttons. Dash button is “programmed to automatically place an order,” similarly to how Amazon’s “one-click” ordering system streamlines the purchase process.
Dash button is a sister product of Amazon’s other futuristic gadget, the original Dash – a wand (which closely resembles a thermometer) that allows you to scan barcodes of home items and reorder them through voice command. And you thought your Roomba vacuum was cool. The Dash wand is an extension of Amazon Fresh, a Prime membership service that delivers groceries on the same-day the order was placed, right to your doorstep. Like its sister tech, Dash button is an addendum to Amazon’s Prime offerings. Amazon Dash button is currently available through invitation only.
Given that Amazon’s Dash technology is offered through Prime (where members can rack up to $1500 a year), there is a certain demographic being targeted here. This is the same target audience that will likely purchase the Apple Watch, which varies in price from $350 to $17k and will soon feature an Amazon mobile shopping app. Amazon is testing a fully omnichannel shopping system – where you can make online purchases with a physical button – within the bracket of wealthy consumers that are eager to simplify the online shopping process even further.
Though eBay has developed some cool technology with smart mirrors in retail stores, Amazon is the only marketplace to come this close to bridging the gap between online and in person or in-store shopping. Pretty soon, “one-click” ordering may feel tedious, and we’ll expect increasingly greater convenience from our favorite online stores. Perhaps new technology would be introduced, called something like “expectation shopping” or “smart ordering” similar to the Dollar Shave Club. And instead of your purposeful decision to join the club, smart ordering technology would purchase for you based on behavioral tendencies, technology requirements and other lifestyle and purchasing variables. Raise your hand if you already think waiting 5-7 business days for a package to arrive feels like an eternity. Then keep your hands up if Amazon’s one-push to order, same day delivery is inching you closer to signing up for Prime and hopping on the Amazon train once and for all. Are you all aboard?