Push to buy: Amazon’s Dash buttons turn your house into a store

amazon dash expands button
Imagine you’re doing laundry (sorry, it’s not a fun daydream scenario). You notice you’re running low on detergent. You could either make a mental note to pick some up at the store, whip out your phone and place an online order, or, easiest of all, press a button that will automatically send your favorite brand to your doorstep. Amazon’s hoping the last option is the one that gets you excited.

The firm’s new Dash Button is like a Staples Easy Button for product delivery. Just press it, and a single item, be it dog food, laundry detergent, soda, toilet paper, or diapers, will be on its way to your home. Amazon clearly pictures you sticking the button, which comes with a reusable adhesive backing and hook, right on the washer for easy access.

Using the Amazon mobile app, you’ll choose which item you want the Dash Button linked to. Thereafter, whenever you press it, Amazon’s system will send the granola bars or moisturizer to your home and charge your card. If you accidentally press the button in the midst of laundry madness, you can cancel the order when an alert reaches your smartphone. Pressing the button 42 times will still only result in a single order, up until it’s delivered.

But the button is a one-trick, or one-product, pony. Your branded button will have Tide emblazoned right on it, and if that’s the product you assigned, it will not summon forth Gillette razor blade refills, for example, nor even a laundry detergent that happens to be cheaper that week.

The Dash Button is a little different from Amazon’s previously launched Amazon Dash. Instead of a button tied to a single item, the Dash is a barcode scanner that will automatically order whatever is waved across its optical path.

Right now, the Dash Button is free for Prime members, and the program is by invite only. If you’re picturing a cupboard door festooned with rows of buttons, we’ll have to burst your bubble: Customers are limited to three buttons.

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