Imagine a world where your consumer has the power to move from thinking they need an item, to placing an order in seconds, and it being dispatched within 30 minutes. Imagine the revolutionary power for retailers, but also for the entire supply chain. This isn’t futuristic thinking: it’s here, in the UK, with Amazon Dash.
Amazon Dash – For the Consumer
For consumers with busy lives Amazon Dash revolutionises home shopping. It operates for consumers in two key ways:
- The Amazon Dash Button: For certain products consumers can use a physical button which they place near the product in their home. When they are running low, a simply click of the button and the item is ordered through their Amazon account. So for example, you have a Fairy button situated next to your kitchen sink. When you realise you’re running low on washing up liquid you simply press the button and a new washing up liquid begins its journey to you. These buttons cost £4.99 a pop but you get that credited to your account, so effectively they are free. You configure the button to suit your needs in terms of exact product and quantity.
- The Amazon Dash Wand: The bigger brother of Amazon Dash has only recently been launched and this is a handheld wand that you keep within reach in the home. When you realise you’re running low on a product you simply scan the item. This then puts the item in a wish list on your Amazon account. When you go to do your shopping it’s then a few clicks and the item is in your shopping order.
The Pros: No more scribbles on paper, whiteboards, or trying to keep an item in your memory until you order it. It is intuitive, on-the-moment shopping technology. Amazon have also made the button child-proof and only the first click counts, so you won’t arrive home one day to 5000 nappies on your doorstep. There is also a 30-minute cancellation function.
Amazon Dash – How Does it Work?
Amazon Dash relies on the home Wi-Fi. It’s only available to Prime members and you’ll need the Amazon app on your Android or iOS smartphone.
Amazon Dash in the UK
Whilst Amazon Dash has been available in the US for a few years, and growing steadily in that time, Amazon Dash is pretty new to UK shores. Whilst there are over 100 brands signed up in the US, in the UK it’s just 40 brands currently. However, they do include big names such as Fairy, Huggies and Pedigree.
The Amazon Dash wand means you can literally order anything, not just groceries. This works more as a bar code scanner, and is less limited than the Amazon Dash buttons. It also responds to your voice, so you can speak to the device to place an item on your order list.
Amazon Dash – For the Supply Chain
It’s not just consumers who stand to see their shopping behaviour completely revolutionised. The knock-on effect of Amazon Dash on the supply chain stands to be monumental depending on the uptake. Companies that respond quickly to technological innovation and work out how to get on board will likely discover they are the first in line to benefit from the tech-savvy consumers.
Whilst there are notable difficulties that supply chains will need to overcome, there is no doubt that programmable smart shopping technology stands to make the entire supply chain both leaner and more responsive.
For manufacturers and retailers they need to be aware of the Amazon Dash Replenishment Service. This is a way for manufacturers to incorporate actual buttons, or detection devices for the Dash Wand, in their products. Potentially these devices could be programmed to have an auto-detection capability to automatically order, or prompt an order, when supplies are running low. You stand to be able to meet consumer need before they even know they need it.
Additionally, Amazon Dash could lead to much more accurate forecasting all the way up the supply chain, not simply for retailers. All of a sudden, the manufacturer stands to have an eye in the home of their consumers and able to ascertain patterns and predictions with greater accuracy.
Dash Ordering – The Future
It’s still very early days for Amazon Dash. Other businesses are likely to want to get on board with their version if possible, but for the moment Amazon’s outside-of-the-box thinking has put themselves in a world of their own. However, despite the mixed response and uptake of Amazon Dash, supply chains should not ignore the changes to consumer behaviour that are likely to happen both with Dash Ordering, and off the back of it. Supply Chains must respond to the technological advances in order to stay one step ahead of their competitors.