Each Dash Button is paired with a product of your choice, right now only a few brands of product are available, and within these brands only a few package sizes are available. The product of your choice is selected through the Amazon App during the set-up process. The price for the button of $4.99 but it is deducted from your first purchase.
Since their launch last year, they have been continuously adding new products, but still there is a very limited offering.
You can only press the button once, meaning you cannot make more than one order and you do not have the risk of several people in your household pressing the dash button by mistake and generating massive revenues for Amazon (either intentionally or by mistake).
Amazon’s bet is that we hate the process of buying repetitive things such as: detergent, water bottles, Gatorade, Cheez-it, etc. Another reason is that our lives have become so busy we keep adding products we need to lists and don’t ever buy them (or buy them from one of Amazon’s competitors instead of entering their website).
This new product has created opportunities for Amazon’s business model. Since theses buttons are personalized for a specific product and tend not to carry competing dash button products, e.g. the only detergent they currently carry is Tide. They create an opportunity to have the customer place these buttons within their home and allow in this case P&G to market themselves continuously in a user’s home. This permits Amazon to generate revenues from both the sale of the product and the promotion generated by the dash buttons.
This product also creates an aggressive market share growth approach for Amazon to get rid of the competition. If you buy a Tide dash button it is unlikely that you will ever buy Tide from an Amazon competitor, in a sense you are taking the consumer captive for specific products.
While I understand the benefits this product generates to both consumers and Amazon this product certainly arises some concerns. This is a very new product that is aiming to change the way we purchase products, however with the current dash button I see more advantages for Amazon than the actual customer which could endanger their customer loyalty.
Amazon became popular for having a customer-centric approach and being able to deliver a better consumer experience than its competitors. With products like the dash button, it makes me think they might be moving away from this strategy. Amazon seems to be tailoring towards specific brands to improve their margins through marketing fees for these dash buttons. Additionally, since not all brand sizes or packages are offered it makes you think that Amazon might be trying to push their slow-moving inventory using this product.
Another attractive characteristic of Amazon is that they allowed consumers to buy and compare products through reviews written by other consumers or get the best price for a detergent given their massive product lines. With this new product, you are unable to do so. As we mentioned you become captive to Tide for detergent and you will most likely end up paying more as you will not be as aware of price changes or sales in certain products.
In a sense this product also feels like they under deliver on their promise. The ads for this product make it seem like you will press a button and the product will appear instantly at your doorstep. I am sorry if you ran out of toilet paper and are desperately pressing the Charmin dash button. Your product will be arriving in 48 hours. And many other examples can be shown.
I think several changes need to be implemented to address these issues:
- Program which product you want to be linked to your dash button, out of all the products available in the Amazon website. Increasing dramatically the availability of products for these dash buttons
- Receive notifications of a specific sale for that product or a similar product when you press the button
- Receive notifications when a considerable price change occurs for the product
- Will work much better when paired with same day deliver products, possibly through Amazon Prime Now
It seems at this point it is focused on early adapters and they are trying to improve the product. I am very eager to find where this product might lead. Since several analyses have shown that people who use credit cards have a higher willingness to pay than people who use cash. It will be interesting to analyze if people who use dash buttons will spend even more. Given that people love pressing buttons (If you’ve never pressed every button in an elevator you have not lived).
Companies seem to be trying to convert anything into an IoT device, so there are some products that are starting to feel a bit ridiculous. Let’s hope the dash button does not become one of these products.