Blog: Dean BestAmazon pulls plug on Dash buttons

Dean Best | 4 March 2019

Amazon has decided to stop selling its Dash buttons, which had allowed consumers to re-order products with one push of a finger.

Dash made its debut in the US in 2015 and then taken to a clutch of markets in Europe a year later.

The wifi-connected buttons were available to subscribers to Amazon's membership scheme Prime, with FMCG manufacturers from Kraft Heinz and Reckitt Benckiser to Procter & Gamble to Heineken signing up to the service to form part of their strategies to grow sales online.

One of the European markets in which the Dash buttons were launched in 2016 was Germany. Earlier this year, a court in Munich ruled the Dash buttons did not give shoppers enough information on product or price and therefore violated laws on consumer protection.

Asked today why Amazon had decided to end purchase of Dash buttons (the service will continue to work for existing buttons), the US giant said shoppers had changed the way they used technology to order. 

"We've ... seen customers increasingly using programmes like Alexa Shopping, which provides a hands-free shopping experience, and Subscribe & Save, which lets customers automatically receive their favourite items every month. With this in mind, we’ve decided to shift the Dash programme's focus," Amazon told just-food. "Dash Button devices will no longer be available for purchase on Amazon globally. Existing Dash Button customers can continue to use their Dash Button devices. We look forward to continuing support for our customers’ shopping needs, including growing our Dash Replenishment product line-up and expanding [the] availability of virtual Dash Buttons."

Amazon, meanwhile, was less forthcoming about a report in The Wall Street Journal it was planning to open grocery stores in the US. The publication said Amazon was planning to open the first outlet in Los Angeles potentially before the year is out.

"We don’t comment on rumours or speculation," an Amazon spokesperson said.

Of course, Amazon is the owner of upmarket grocer Whole Foods Market but the WSJ said the new stores would be separate from that chain. Amazon also has nine cashless stores under the Amazon Go banner in the US, with rumours the concept could be taken to the UK.

just-food deep dive: How your brand can win on Amazon in the UK

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