Amazon brings Dash button and APIs to the UK

Amazon has announced it is rolling out its Dash Button to UK Prime members.

The physical button allows customers to replenish household items from brands, such as Ariel, Andrex, Gillette and Nescafe, with the single click of a button.

The adhesive Dash Buttons are exclusively available to Prime members at the cost of £4.99 and customers then receive £4.99 off their first order to offset the cost of the device.

Customers connect the devices to Wi-Fi and press one of the branded buttons when they are running low on household products. They then receive an alert to their Amazon account of the order – allowing them to review the order and cancel if they change their mind.

"The Dash Button makes it easier than ever to stay stocked-up on the essential items you use every day, and we've seen great engagement from our customers in the US," said Taryn Mitchell, global VP digital sales, Reckitt Benckiser.

The buttons were launched in the US early last year and Mitchell said a significant number of orders for the FMCG group are placed via the devices.  

"It's a remarkably convenient way for customers to reorder everyday items, and even adds a bit of fun to the process," he said.

Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash, added: "We've all experienced the frustration of running out of something we need – Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service are designed to make that moment a thing of the past. Dash Buttons offer the convenience of 1-Click shopping from anywhere in the home – they can be placed near those frequently used items you don't want to run out of, and when you see supplies running low, the Dash Button makes it easier than ever to order more. Just press the button and your item is on its way."

In the last two months, the total number of Dash Button orders have increased by three fold and two Amazon orders per minute are being placed via these devices.

The Dash Buttons will accompany the Dash hand-held grocery device which was unveiled to UK Amazon Fresh shoppers last month.  The voice-controlled device adds products to online baskets and also allows customers to scan product barcodes or say product names in order to add items to their grocery orders.

The introduction of these Dash replenishment devices reflects the industry trend of subscription models, like Netflix and Graze boxes, combined with automation and the Internet of Things (IoT), which all aim to make consumers' lives easier.

According to research from Deloitte, more than half (56%) of UK consumers currently own a connected device in their home, and around a third (30%) of consumers are likely to replace their traditional fridges with a smart device in the future.

Internet of Things

In a bid to encourage the Internet of Things, Amazon also announced today the UK launch of its cloud-based Amazon Dash Replenishment Service (DRS). The service provides a set of APIs to white goods and household appliance manufacturers to connect them to the Amazon ecosystem. Amazon used the example of a washing machine that could reorder detergent or a printer which could replenish ink.

The service is aimed at everyone from large corporations – including Bosch, Siemens, Grundig, Samsung and Whirlpool – to hobbyists. The API places the order on behalf of the customer and Amazon leverages authentication, payments, customer services and fulfilment.

"Dash Button gives you the convenience of one-Click ordering in your home, and with Dash Replenishment we're taking it one-step further – enabling connected appliances to automatically reorder supplies on your behalf," said Jorrit Van der Meulen, VP at Amazon EU. "We've found that Prime members in the US love the ease that both Dash Replenishment and Dash Buttons offer, and we're delighted to bring that same convenience to our customers in the UK—with dozens of brands available today and more to come."

Mario Pieper, chief digital officer at BSH Home Appliances Group, explained: "Everyone's lives are busy, but with our Home Connect app, we're giving more time for what's important to you. By integrating the Home Connect app with Amazon Dash Replenishment, customers have one less thing to worry about—through Dash Replenishment, Bosch and Siemens dishwashers with Home Connect function can automatically reorder Dishwasher tablets—so you never run out." 

Samsung is allowing owners of its home office printers to sign up for Amazon Dash replenishment through its Mobile Print app. Customers can select which toner is automatically replenished and the printer monitors when ink levels are low, and before running out, an order is placed and shipped by Amazon.

Similarly with Grundig's new washing machines and dishwashers which are connected to customers' smart devices. Users can manage laundry from their smartphone and the new dishwashers will automatically order dishwasher salt, rinse aid and tablet detergent through DRS if configured to do so.

Whirlpool is offering similar connected functionalities, Norb Schmidt, VP of products and brands of Whirlpool EMEA, said: "At Whirlpool, we believe that connected appliances should enhance the lives of users, working to practically make daily activities easier and more pleasurable. This vision has driven the creation of our 6TH SENSE Live appliances. The integration of Amazon Dash Replenishment Service is fully aligned with this purposeful innovation, bringing two powerful services together to make the connected home more intuitive and better able to anticipate the evolving needs of our consumers."

UPDATE: In the last two years since this article was published, Amazon has increased the number of partners on its Dash programme in the UK.

New devices from Bosch, Kyocera and Siemens are now available with Dash Replenishment, while Beko, Candy, Haier, Hoover, illy, Sharp and Toshiba will soon have smart connected products that will allow for automatic reordering.

It is an example of further progress being made in the internet of things movement which industry commentators have been saying for years will have a profound effect on consumer behaviour and, consequently the wider retail industry.

To read the latest article on Amazon Dash, click here.