Amazon Dash launches in the UK to make it even easier to spend money online
Part of the success of Amazon over the years has been how frictionless it has made the shopping experience. Realising that more time to think means less revenue (a phenomenon known in the business as “shopping cart abandonment”), the retail giant introduced one-click ordering and one-day delivery. Amazon Dash – a button that sits above a product and reorders it when you run low – is the peak of this money-maximiser masked as convenience, and it’s now available in the UK.
It has been out in America since last year, and was initially dismissed by many as an April Fool’s Day prank, but it clearly proved popular enough to launch elsewhere. Here is how it works: you order one of the 48 available buttons from Amazon. Each button is programmed to order a different product from Fairy washing tablets to Durex condoms (and bafflingly Play-Doh, should your child be eating more than is strictly healthy). When you’re running low of the product, you push the button and a fresh box will arrive on your doorstep the very next day, with Amazon automatically charging your account. It’s for Prime customers only.
The idea is that you’ll fill your house with these buttons, and it’s easy to see how an obsessive Amazon user might. While each button costs £4.99 each, every one comes with £4.99 off its first order, essentially meaning that Amazon is giving them out free to ensure customers can’t help but be loyal to the company in future, and renew their Prime membership when the time comes. That is, unless you decide to hack the button and use it for something else.
I’d personally sign up to this in a heartbeat if it weren’t for the fact that parcels tend to be big and bulky, and turn up when I’m not in the house. If Amazon could fix that problem for me, the company may as well set up a monthly direct debit in my name until one of us dies.