Amazon has decided to stop selling its diminutive Dash device that lets you order everyday items with the push of a button.
Amazon’s Wi-Fi-connected button launched in 2015 and cost $5, though you got that back with your first purchase.
Each Dash button is linked to a particular product, so, for example, you might have one for laundry detergent stuck on your washing machine. When the supply runs low, you can place an order simply by pressing the button, with Amazon automatically billing your account.
Dash buttons also exist for diapers, pet food, coffee, and trash bags, among many other items. In fact, Amazon offered hundreds of them, each one linked to a different product.
Brands seemed to like the button as it reinforced customer loyalty, while for customers it offered a super-easy way to request new supplies. Amazon hoped the platform would lock consumers into using its shopping site for pretty much all household items, but now the company has announced the device no longer fits its business strategy.
Why? Well, put simply, advances in smart home technology and the popularity of Amazon’s own Alexa-powered smart speakers — through which you can place shopping orders on the ecommerce site via voice — have diminished the need for Dash buttons. The technology that powers the Dash button has also been built into a number of smart home products using Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service, further reducing the usefulness of the small plastic device.
In fact, Amazon’s Daniel Rausch, VP of Smart Home, told Cnet it was never a long-term plan to fill a home with Dash buttons, instead describing the platform as “a stepping stone into the world of the connected home.”
The online shopping giant has never revealed how many of the Dash buttons it managed to sell, and probably never will. A couple of years ago it claimed that four of them were being pressed every minute, suggesting either that people were running out of stuff a lot, or that the kids were running riot in numerous homes across the country, ordering things without Mom and Dad’s consent.
Amazon says it will continue to support the Dash device for as long as people want to use it, but it won’t be selling any more of them.