March 5, 2019
Amazon announced that it would stop selling its Dash buttons, small devices for the connected home that were designed to help consumers easily update orders of needed household items. Usefulness and interest in the Dash buttons has slowed, so the company has decided to halt global sales. However, Amazon explained that it plans to continue support for new orders through existing Dash buttons as long as consumers use them. The company claims that more options in the connected home helped to cause the device’s demise.
According to CNET, “by Amazon’s telling, the device was a victim of its own success, since it helped nudge forward the concept of the connected home to what it is today. Daniel Rausch, an Amazon vice president who helped grow the Dash program from its start, said that back in early 2015, when the Dash button first came out, there were far fewer options for connected home gadgets.”
Amazon was aiming to simplify the average consumer’s grocery shopping for items such as paper towels and printer ink. For example, users would stick an Internet-connected Dash button on a washing machine for easily re-ordering laundry detergent when necessary.
“Brands liked them as a way of reinforcing customer loyalty and affixing mini ads for their wares in people’s bathrooms and linen closets,” notes CNET. “Rausch said the most popular Dash buttons were for necessities that folks run out of a lot, like paper towels, toilet paper and bottled water.”
However, the novelty of Dash buttons has dissipated and a myriad of smart home appliances and other connected devices has replaced its functionality.
“Amazon also integrated its Dash Replenishment Service into hundreds of products from major manufacturers like Whirlpool and Samsung,” CNET adds. “DRS lets appliances automatically reorder the stuff they need, like a printer purchasing new ink. Plus, Amazon created virtual Dash buttons on its website and developed voice shopping through its Alexa voice assistant, which have both grown in popularity.”