Amazon Wants You To Push The Button

Amazon Wants You To Push The Button

In a world of lazy solutions to eliminate consumer effort and increase orders, we’re faced with the likes of Deliveroo, Uber, Netflix; even Starbucks has an “order your coffee before you arrive” app to cut out the queue. The use of the internet and apps have played no small part in the successes of these services; and the downfall of the big name UK high-street brands like Woolworths, BHS and HMV. Not content with being the domineering force that has replaced these stores, Amazon has set its sights on a new market to dominate: groceries.

So what are Amazon offering?

There are two core offerings of the new Amazon Dash service. The first is a barcode scanner which allows you to scan your household goods when you need to replenish your supply of them. The product will then be listed in your Amazon app and ready for you to checkout. 

Amazon Dash Wand

This little stick has an added feature to dictate your shopping needs to it by simply pushing the button and talking.

The other core offering is a little different, using physical buttons to order your staple household goods, using wifi to add the item to you Amazon app shopping basket. The downside to the button is that is costs £4.99 to buy each button and you need a different button per item, although you do get that five pounds back off the goods when you order them. The idea behind this is that you place the button next to where you keep the products, and when you’re running low, push the button and have more arrive before you are caught short. 

Amazon Dash Tide

The range has already grown to feature some big name brands:

Amazon Dash List1 Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 11.41.37

The setup with the app is really straight forward too, once you connect it via wifi to your phone, just select which of that brand’s products you want it linked to.

Amazon Dash App

The below video shows this in action.


The simplicity of the tech

This is a true demonstration of how multiple specialisms can fuse together to create a great service. Our interest here is the tech, although it is important to note all the logistical work at play here too. The most important element of Amazon’s offering is that they have taken UI/UX design to the next level. Designers are constantly working on making UX/UI clean, concise and simple. The introduction of the buttons that can be placed around your house are an incredibly basic tool but they make a significant reduction in the effort required by users. The app itself isn’t too much effort to use but the lazier people out there would still not go and add items to their weekly e-shop over the course of the week. This is the answer to a problem we didn’t know we had. The wand operates in much the same way. I as a non-e-grocery shopper have stayed away as it is just too slow to shop online, having a wand that means I can replenish regular items with ease is a highly appealing prospect. 

Although Amazon isn’t the only one jumping on this trend. Carling too has launched a “Beer Button” that links to any online grocery store of your choosing and places an order for beer in your shopping basket. Arguably buttons like these are likely to be popular in student accommodations, we just need to get our boss to sign off one of these in our office too.


Although the potential isn’t limited to ordering groceries, check out the hacks done by these developers, including a Domino’s pizza orderer and a hacked button that will set your cars air-conditioning to cool the car before you leave your home. 


It doesn’t end there

Amazon Dash is the latest in a long line of new Amazon innovations. London has become the latest city to get Amazon’s 1-hour food delivery service. Only available in certain areas for the time being, such as the City and West End, Whitechapel, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea and Southwark but it said there are plans to expand coverage.

The service doesn’t have the same scope as their established competitors, instead, they have targeted approximately 100 high-quality establishments, although this will no doubt grow in volume as the postcode areas expand. In an industry pegged to be worth eight billion a year by the end of the decade, one would assume there is enough space for all of the big players to co-exist. Although Amazon doesn’t do things by halves and so we should prepare for a world that may not include takeaway parody songs in the near future. 

Amazon Takeaway

The second other market disruption is one that the Amazon Dash feature compliments perfectly. Amazon (through a deal with Morrisons) are offering same day groceries if ordered before 1pm. Although it is only for your weekly shop, costing an extra £7.99 a month on top of your £79.99 Prime subscription, there is a delivery charge applicable on orders under £40. 

Concluding thoughts

Amazon isn’t the behemoth it is by happenstance. It has grown because it has identified and led the way for our electronic shopping needs. Whilst we’re not signed up yet, I think it’s only a matter of time before this becomes the norm and not just for domestic purposes. The office cleaner here at Whitehall is constantly writing notes requesting new cleaning supplies as he is running low, I seem to burn through paper and ink for the printer and we collectively seem to forever be running out of coffee. It would be so much easier if there were buttons that we could press and they go straight to the company account ready to be reordered, with a notification going to the account holder that there are items in their shopping basket, instead of fifteen different staff all asking for things.

Stephen Collins