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Amazon dashes into your home

Running low on coffee? You can get more delivered with the simple push of a button – a Dash button, that is. The premise of the Dash button is pretty simple; a single button features a logo associated with an everyday item, such as shampoo or toilet paper. Pressing the button results in an automatic reorder, and the product is immediately dispatched. Dash buttons are currently being trialled with Amazon Prime customers.

Amazon is extending this functionality to manufacturers, allowing them to create connected devices such as smart toasters and coffee makers which will automatically reorder fresh bread and grounds, using the Dash Replenishment Service.

There’s no denying that Dash would make life easier, especially for forgetful shoppers, but Nathaniel Mott at Pando has some concerns: “What if Amazon decides to use them to advertise new goods?” He asks. “Might a company eventually be able to hijack my regular shipment of dog food with a sample of their product? And will the company take changing financial circumstances into account?”

In addition to providing touch-of-a-button ordering power to consumers, the retail giant’s big step into the home also means going into direct competition with the likes of Yelp. Amazon Home Services launched this week and aims to connect individuals with service providers in their area, be they electrician, plumber, gardener or cleaner.

All service providers will undergo background checks, and competitive prices are a key part of the deal, with Amazon offering a price match guarantee. “Third party estimates show that customers spend four times more on services each year than they do on physical products,” says Amazon Marketplace VP Peter Faricy. “So for us the opportunity is very big.”

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