Image Source: Forbes
The only thing more inconvenient than trips to the grocery store is keeping up with your grocery list. Whether you scribble it on a notepad tacked to your refrigerator or you use an app like Grocery IQ or Out of Milk, the process can be time consuming. Imagine if you could add items to your list by just pressing a button once you realize you’re out.
The Amazon Dash Button aims to give you just that service. The invitation-only service gives selected Amazon Prime members buttons for the items they frequently order. They can then stick the buttons on walls, countertops, cabinets, and appliances for easy access. If any member of the household notices an item is getting low, one push of the button sends a notification to the designated smartphone, allowing the family member to approve it for ordering.
A Smart Move for Amazon
For Amazon, the move is a smart one. If it takes off, customers will be ordering products regularly from them, rather than picking them up at a local grocery store or big-box retailer. The buttons link directly to the product on the site rather than Amazon’s new Prime Pantry grocery delivery service, although an earlier version of Dash was advertised as part of Amazon Fresh.
For consumers, though, the question is one of product dedication. Amazon’s buttons are far from discreet, which means customers must be fairly committed to an item to stick a button for it in a highly-visible area of the home. A household may only need to reorder detergent once a month, for instance, so a customer may not want to mess up a home’s décor in exchange for occasional convenience.
Smart Homes, Smart Ordering
As the concept of the smart home evolves, the Amazon Dash concept is likely one that will be a part of every home. However, the format could use some tweaking. Between the many items in an average home’s pantry, refrigerator, cabinets, and laundry areas, customers likely would need dozens of buttons for every item they use.
The Amazon Dash Wand probably made more sense for many households than the buttons. Simply wave the wand over an item to reorder it. You could also speak into the wand to reorder the items you needed. However, beyond its initial novelty, how many households would eventually grow tired of searching for the wand and revert to their original methods of grocery list-making? Amazon’s goal is to make ordering as easy as everything else in a smart home, but sticking buttons all over the house may not be the most feasible way.
Making Grocery Delivery Affordable
Amazon’s step toward integrating smart homes with grocery delivery is likely only the beginning of what consumers will eventually see. The buttons certainly illustrate the need to take the smart home in a new direction. However, grocery ordering only becomes easy once the items actually show up at a consumer’s door, sans exorbitant shipping fees. While Amazon has managed to make grocery delivery affordable by providing free two-day shipping for Prime members, anyone who has tried to shop for groceries on Amazon knows the selection is limited, even with Prime Pantry.
In order to truly succeed at its efforts to win smart home customers, Amazon will have to make its Amazon Prime Now service available across the country, to both rural and urban customers. Once customers get accustomed to ordering milk, canned goods, laundry detergent, meats and vegetables online, then they’ll begin to take interest in getting those items at the press of a button.
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