Dash shows innovation is more marathon than sprint

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3

When they first appeared in 2015 there was some uncertainty about whether they really were a serious tool or just a joke. The Amazon Dash button might have been the victim of a little bit of ridicule early on but they soon found an audience of appreciative fans.

The small Wi-Fi-connected buttons could reorder specific goods – mostly commodity items like washing power and pet foods – with a simple press. Only one year after launch they enjoyed a 650% year-on-year increase in orders and although they only ever registered modest volumes in the general scheme of things for the Amazon behemoth it was the case that for some brands Dash sales represented more than half of their total Amazon orders. Hundreds of brands ultimately had dedicated Dash buttons for their products.

Although existing Dash buttons will continue to be supported, Amazon has called time on the distribution of any new buttons as the company feels it is time to move on. As with many things at Amazon the Dash buttons have only been simply staging posts on the continuous journey of innovation.

They were designed to provide some element of connectivity in the home – albeit very basic – and despite their demise they have ultimately been massively successful at conveying the principle of the ‘connected home’.

Over the past four years virtual Dash buttons have appeared on the Amazon website and the Dash Replenishment System has been integrated into many hardware products from suppliers including Whirlpool and Samsung. And there is no doubt that some of the findings from the base Dash buttons, and subsequent related tools, will have been fed into Amazon’s Alexa.

In contrast, many other connected home devices over the years have fared less well because they were simply too ambitious. The number of connected fridges that have appeared with the objective of prompting a revolution in the kitchen is embarrassing. There is no point in being too cutting edge because in many cases adoption levels will be inversely proportional to the level of innovation. Push things too far and customers will shove them away.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider

K3 Retail partners with businesses to provide connected technologies based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 so retailers can reach their goals now and in the future. In a size that best fits future plans wherever you need it – Cloud, Hybrid or On-premise. Our solutions drive more than 800 international retail brands from Charles Tyrwhitt and The White Company to Ryman and Sue Ryder, Hobbycraft, Wasabi and Ted Baker, K3 Retail is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the UK’s leading Microsoft Dynamics retail partner.