An unsung victim of the rise of voice commerce is the Amazon Dash button. From this week, Amazon is no longer selling the devices – and Alexa is to blame.
As revealed this week, Amazon will stop selling the buttons from the end of February and, while those that have them can continue to use them, anyone wanting to buy one now is out of luck.
Amazon said: "We’ve seen customers increasingly using programs like Alexa Shopping, which provides a hands free shopping experience, and Subscribe & Save, which lets customers automatically receive their favourite items every month.
"With this in mind, we’ve decided to shift the Dash programme focus—as of February 28, Dash Button devices are no longer available for purchase on Amazon globally. Existing Dash Button customers can continue to use their Dash Button devices."
The retailer is set to continue to offer its virtual Dash buttons that appear on Amazon’s website, app and voice devices with screens such as Echo Show.
The devices were met with mixed reviews when they landed on 31 March 2015, with the company having to actually clarify that it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. They also suffered an early blow when they were banned shortly after launch in Germany, Amazon’s second largest market outside the US.
The rise of voice and mobile commerce has largely rendered the devices redundant, with orders being made more easily by just tapping, scanning or saying what they want to order. The dedicated nature of Dash – a single button for one particular product – was always going to be niche.
And voice is starting to make a growing impact on ecommerce. According to Rowena Patterson, Head of Consumer Research, Simpson Carpenter, one in three people own a smart speaker device and 75% of them use it at least once a day.
“[Our] study revealed the potential for voice interaction to drive digital commerce. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) are either already or would like to use voice to make purchases,” says Patterson. “This growing demand for voice interaction spans the entire customer journey. At the pre-shop stage, 57% said they wanted to use their smart speaker to check prices and 44% wanted to use it for finding a store’s location or opening hours.”
She continues: “During the purchasing phase, 21% were interested in using their device for buying a product for the first time and 25% for making a repeat purchase. Some 42% wanted to use their device to check delivery status after making a purchase and a quarter wanted to use it for checking how to use a product.”