Digital shopping, meet physical buttons

By Ben Geier
March 31, 2015

Amazon is completely redefining “one click buying,” making it possible for customers to buy more of an item by clicking a physical button in their house.

The new “Dash Buttons” will target customers who generally use Amazon to buy certain products — like paper towels, for instance — but sometimes end up going to physical stores for those items instead. The Dash Buttons could help Amazon keep more of those sales on its platform by encouraging customers to keep the devices near where they store or use a particular item.

Amazon says the Dash Buttons work by syncing to your smartphone:

Dash Button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi network and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered.

 

For now, the Dash Buttons are only available to customers who are invited to order them, and each customer can have a maximum of three. They will initially be available for around 18 products, including laundry detergent and garbage bags, among other items.

The service will also be available to product makers, CNET reports:

Brother printers, Brita water filters and Whirlpool clothes washers and dryers will be among the first to integrate automated or easy ordering into the products. Amazon is working with a company called Quirky, which helps people build products like pet food dispensers. The way it works is that if, for instance, the Brita container notices its water filter has reached the end of its life, it can automatically order a new one — without you needing to do anything.

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