Amazon Dash has launched in the UK with around 40 brand partners, including Andrex, Ariel, Durex, Dettol, Huggies, Pedigree, Lenor, Whiskas and Wilkinson.
Dubbed as a ‘one-press’ way to order supplies of everyday items, the branded plastic buttons can be ordered online for £4.99 and placed next to a fridge, toilet, cooker etc. When a product runs out, the user simply taps the wi-fi enabled button and it can be re-ordered though Amazon.
The button has been available in the US since 2015, with Amazon saying that 150 brands are now available on Dash (up from about 20 at launch) and that it has seen a threefold increase in customer orders coming through the device since June.
Director of Amazon Dash, Daniel Rausch, explained: “There is no retail therapy in buying toilet roll or bin bags. It’s just work. We wanted to take the one-click experience from our website and put it right where people need it most, in the home, near the products that run out. So that buying them is no longer work.”
It’s no surprise then that the initial 40 brands to partner are generally of the FMCG variety. Among those to get on board are Air Wick, Andrex, Ariel, Cesar, Dettol, Durex, Fairy, Finish, Gillette, Huggies, Listerine, Nerf, Nescafé, Nicorette, Olay, Pedigree, Play-doh, Regaine, Right Guard, Rimmel, Vanish and Wilkinson.
However, only one button can order one line of product; so people that use Gilette razors and shaving cream would need two buttons.
Getting consumers to part cash for potentially multiple buttons that they have to stick around their homes is undoubtedly a barrier. And so Amazon is also in talks with appliance manufacturers to encourage them to embed the Dash fincationality directly within a machine.
For example, the Fairy button could be integrated into a dishwasher so that when a the tablets run out they are automatically re-ordered.
Only Samsung, Bosch, Siemens, Whirlpool and Grundig are investing in this in the UK.
For FMCG brands, this presents an entirely new challenge which they will now need to consider when it comes to media plans.
"The launch highlights the importance of creating value for customers outside of price and promotion," said Matthew Knight, head of strategic innovation at Carat.
"If the battle is no longer on the shelf, brands will need to engage with their audiences in different ways. This means going beyond their purchasing of core products, and genuinely building relationships with their customers. If brands aren't thinking about how their products can be purchased via non-human interfaces, like buttons, voice or automatic replenishment, they'll be losing a significant edge in the new landscape of buying behaviours."