Amazon Dash:    P-and-P Ranking

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 9.01.48 AM     2.5 out of 5

Enter the Amazon Dash

I went on to Amazon recently and saw a new splash ad for the Amazon Dash. A little wireless device that automatically orders products you are running low on. Each button represents a different product. All you need to do is push a button and voila, the item is bought and shipped to your house. I thought it was interesting and decided to give it a try , partly out of curiosity and partly because of my love for gadgets. BTW, you must be a Prime member to be able to purchase the device.

I purchased one for $4.99.  My first impression before even clicking the purchase button: Why are they charging me for a button to purchase more product from their store. Now, I love Amazon. It is by far, my favorite store in the world. The idea of doing my shopping at the computer without paying for shipping every time really appeals to me. This however, is a little bit disappointing. It is costing me money to shop conveniently ?  I decided I would try this but I was already wary of this.

I feel like this is the first wave of this type of service and is likely to change dramatically over time. It is a button now, but I can envision Amazon echo being used for this. I have also heard rumors that Amazon will be allowing companies to embed this into their products. How cool would that be?  If you need more dishwashing soap, just press the built in button on your dishwasher to order soap from Amazon without having to do anything. I think this has excellent future potential for Amazon to generate more sales and to offer more convenience to their customers.

Amazon Dash Setup

So I picked the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Amazon Dash button as my daughter lives for this food-like substance and we are constantly buying this. I got the package yesterday and it came in a padded envelope. closedPackageDashInside the envelope was a little box. It was a secure package and arrived undamaged as usual from Amazon. I opened it up and saw the button on top, and the instructions folded underneath. The instruction booklet was short, which I liked. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time figuring this out. I noticed on the back of the button is a peel away sticker to allow for mounting near the location the product is kept. This is a nice thought but if we need a button for each product, isn’t space going to be at a premium? Seems like maybe this is going to be only for select items or the mechanism is going to change, as outlined above.

openPackageDash

Setup was fairly easy. I downloaded the Amazon shopping app on my Android phone (also an ios version), and fired it up. First you go to your account and press “Set up a new Device” under Amazon Dash devices.  It will then tell you to press the button until the blue light blinks on the device. We also entered our wireless network password when we were prompted. So now, the phone will find the device and you are then able to select which product configuration you want. My daughter chose the cups that you add water and microwave, Yuck ! We set it up for a 10 pack to be delivered and honestly, the price for the merchandise was not good, but I wanted to try this out of curiosity, so we did it.  IMG_1577As soon as we hit the button the order was placed. I checked the phone and saw the order.  It showed the order being placed in the shopping app using a familiar Amazon look and feel. It was quick, although the phone was right next to the button. I have no idea of the range of this and I am not planning on re-ordering anytime soon. I may update this post when the need for Mac & Cheese arises. I haven’t decided if I am going to mount it, despite my daughter’s plea to put it out in the open so she can press it whenever she wants. I then logged on the computer and went to my Amazon account to see if there was a reference to the order and voila, there is was. The order showed it was complete and that it hadn’t shipped yet. My guess this is processed exactly as all other orders are and it will be sent shortly. amznStoreReceiptOne thing I forgot to mention is that Amazon is offering a one time $5.00 credit with first purchase.  That lessened the blow of the terrible price I got. It is a one time deal though so it is not per product as far as I can tell, but I may be wrong. The website is not clear on that point. That was it, done. Fairly anti-climactic. It was easy to setup and ordering worked flawlessly. For a logistics standpoint, Amazon nailed it. Unfortunately, that is only one piece of the puzzle. Read on to hear my conclusion.

Conclusion

So overall, even though I love technology that makes my life easier, I am not sure the Amazon Dash fits the bill entirely. I think if you are buying a larger, heavier product, it may work better for you. If you don’t have to lug big items from the store to the house, it may feel like a better deal, but for small items like I ordered, it just doesn’t make sense. First of all, you have to pay for the button. That is absurd. I can’t tell you how much that bothered me. They work very hard to undercut almost everyone to benefit the customer, including shaking down authors and musicians, but then charge me $4.99 for a button to buy their stuff they sell. That was a big middle finger as far as I was concerned. Remember it is $4.99 for each product button. Second, you have to have a button somewhere to press for each product. On a dishwasher, washing machine or large appliance, it seems to make sense, but not for Mac & Cheese or items stored in kitchen cabinets. It is a minor upgrade of convenience for some things but not for everything. If all the products are as overpriced as the mac and cheese I bought, I will not utilize this. I would like to see it integrated into Amazon Echo, or into products directly. That makes more sense. Having buttons around the house stinks and I will not be doing that.

Score

This was an experiment and I can say I am giving it a thumbs down with the caveat that there is potential here if done right. I expect Amazon to use this as a test and to get it right. They always seem to hit the sweet spot eventually.

I am giving the Amazon Dash a P and P ranking of 2.5/5 .  Amazon scored points for execution and innovation but lost a lot , mostly due to price, and it being the first rev of a concept. As stated, this has great potential, but not in its current form. I expect Amazon to use this gather data and to make it perfect at some point. Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your experiences with this product and whether or not you agree with my review.