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The Amazon Dash button is simply an electronic device, quite small in size, that makes buying and ordering products online easy. The dash button is very real though and for less than five dollars, Prime members can choose from one of several varieties at this moment.
Why Amazon Dash Button?
It’s easy to see the thought process that leads to the Dash button.
The Dash Button was designed to be placed in your home. At the moment there are a few different dash buttons that offer products like detergents, bottled water and even Kraft macaroni and cheese. A push of a button and an order of the desired product will be charged to your card and sent directly to your home. It is a big step to go from shopping for food in a supermarket to ordering online.
Whether it’s a weekly shopping ritual or a visit to a local shop, many people enjoy their lifestyle – whether they admit it or not. Amazon needs a way to convince people to try their service, and the Dash button may just be the gateway device for the job. It is a great advantage for the fact that it has novelty value. When we look back on visions of the future from the middle of the 20th century, we see where the roots of the Dash Button lie. It seems that people were quite busy with the ideas of the flashing buttons that line every room and the low-level tasks, such as shopping.
There is the emergence of the Dash button. It’s the next generation of grocery shopping. However, using the device shows that the future is not as well realized as Amazon might hope it to be.
How It Works
When opening a Dash button, you will find the device itself together with some adhesive applicators and a short instruction manual. Most of the setup is based on a smartphone app, and that’s where the beginning of the difficulties you might face. Amazon has clearly tried to make this process as easy as possible, but there are definitely kinks that need to be fixed.
First, it requires use with certain devices. You would think that you’d be able to set it up on your computer because it’s just app. But it has been quite hard for many since Amazon’s app itself is not updated on every device which has obviously caused problems.
Now, it does make ordering things much easier because you no longer have to search for that exact item but pretty much already have it in your cart just waiting to be purchased every single time. But that being said, with how long it takes you to set it up and everything else during the process, it may just be easier to get whatever you need from your local grocery store unless you were making a very big order or ordering something you need but not absolutely immediately.
Nevertheless, it is not a total failure. This is an early repetition of a service that could soon have a higher value. Shopping for the convenience of your computer or smartphone, even for the most commonplace items, could be the future. Amazon’s button could do more to push this cause, but it’s an important first step.
And of course, as time goes on, we’re only to see more improved versions of it.
A Few Problems
The problem with a product like the Dash button is that it has to be thoroughly tested. Their function interrupts the standard collection system for supermarkets that has been established in our culture for decades. People only change when the experience is absolutely smooth. For example, consider the branding of each button.
Something that looks good on an Amazon product page may look completely out of place in a home.
With branding, companies can subtly advertise and familiarize us with logos and color schemes to help them make purchases later on. To mount a branded button on a wall in your home feels like you are giving in to the gods of consumption and that is unpleasant. In addition, Amazon recommends that you place these buttons where individual products are stored to facilitate refilling.
The thought of having those little one-button shops in your house waiting for you to buy something is, I might agree, just a tad bit disturbing. It makes a big difference whether you can shop from the comfort of your own home and turn your home into a shop. The current dash button turns too close to the latter to be more comfortable.
But, Maybe It’s The Future
A product like the Dash Button has to spend some time in real homes of real users before it finds its true identity. It makes perfect sense that the first iteration better addresses the needs of Amazon than the users because it came out of their racks. In addition, there is the fact that people tend to buy differently.
Some people like Amazon’s suggestion that the Dash button for laundry detergent should be placed next to the washing machine, so you can reorder as soon as you realize you’re out of it. While others preferred for the Amazon Dash button to be hidden somewhere and grouped together with the other buttons. A small panel of Dash keys hidden in a cabinet or in a seldom-seen corner of a pantry removes much of the invasive nature of the product and that “in your face” feeling it may have especially if you display it everywhere.
In fact, there is a certain Batcave-like appeal to a range of controls that are out of sight and can instantly order household items and snacks. It is difficult to recommend the Dash Button in its current state, but its use has given the impression that there is something to be considered in the future. If this first run of the device is to be a true beta test, then that’s a good sign of what the second generation holds.