Who needs an array of Amazon Dash buttons next to their washing machine, larder and toilet? Not me – and now I don’t need as the retailer has virtualised them, adding to them to the Prime App. mobile and website.
Amazon Prime customers can now create buttons for millions of Prime-eligible products and place orders in an instant from the home page or the app. And if that is too much trouble, then Amazon has also pledged to create virtual buttons for consumers for frequently purchased items too.
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Dash buttons were introduced in the UK in September last year. “We’ve all experienced the frustration of running out of something we need—Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service are designed to make that moment a thing of the past,” said Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash at the launch. “Dash Buttons offer the convenience of 1-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. Just press the button and your item is on its way.”
But there has been criticism. While this new functionality gives consumers the ability to further streamline what is already a smooth shopping experience, it creates another challenge for sellers not using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). According to a Feedvisor study, 4 in 5 Prime members have purchased from a third-party seller in the past year, and FBA is a mandatory part of Prime membership as a seller.
That said, Amazon did file a patent in 2014 for flying warehouses, so maybe that is no longer science fiction?
There is another more sinister issue with Dash: it is also more expensive. Comparing prices on Dash with a smartphone running the app finds that Amazon Dash products are more expensive. This is backed up by an article by the Wall Street Journal, that finds that to use Dash “companies pay Amazon $15 for each button sold and 15% of each Dash product sale, atop the normal commission, which typically ranges from 8% to 15%”.