Amazon.com has spent over a year trying to convince shoppers to fill their homes with dozens of Wi-Fi-enabled devices meant to make shopping easier with just the push of a button. And pretty soon, even more brands will reportedly jump on the bandwagon.
The e-commerce giant’s Dash Buttons first debuted last year, devices that are meant to make it easier for a loyal Amazon (AMZN) shopper to place an order for snacks, sodas, and detergent when those common items are running low. Brands quickly jumped at yet another opportunity to get their brands in consumers’ homes—and hopefully inspire a more consistent pattern of repeat purchases.
Shoppers will possibly stay more loyal to say, Tide, if there’s a button on the washing machine making it easy to buy a replacement when the suds are running low. Amazon already sells more than 100 of these buttons, though more are reportedly on the way.
The Wall Street Journal says this week the company will unveil more brands to the Dash fold, citing internal documents and people familiar with the matter. The publication also pointed out a problem with this strategy: some executives concede the venture might not actually work, but they don’t want to risk not staying in the Internet company’s good graces.
Some big names have signed up to Dash, including Clorox (CLX), PepsiCo (PEP), Starbucks (SBUX) and Procter & Gamble (PG). WSJ says they pay $15 for each button sold and 15% of each Dash product sales, on top of the normal commission, which can range between 8% to 15%. Consumers, meanwhile, pay $5 per button but receive a $5 credit on a purchase as well.
But ultimately, what Amazon and consumer goods manufacturers are asking is this: place Internet-enabled devices with branded logos all over your home. Imagine a bathroom with as many as 15 or 20 buttons to make it ‘easier’ to replace soaps, facial cremes, shampoos and toothpaste. While it sounds great in theory to never forget to replace those goods, it is hard to imagine that consumers will want to pay for that convenience by giving companies like Procter & Gamble free marketing on their vanity.