Amazon this morning announced an expansion of its Dash Buttons program, as well as incentives to encourage more Amazon Prime members to bring these new hardware devices into their home. Amazon’s Dash Buttons, the small Wi-Fi connected hardware devices that let you order products from Amazon with just a tap, launched earlier this summer with support for eighteen brands, allowing Prime members to purchase everyday items like paper towels or laundry detergent through these $4.99 dongles. Now Amazon says it’s adding 11 more brands to the program, and it will refund the $4.99 button cost to customers with their first purchase.
When Amazon’s first announced its plans for Dash buttons, many thought this could be just an April Fool’s joke – after all, are people really so lazy that even ordering from Amazon.com has gotten to be too cumbersome?
But Dash Buttons turned out to be very real (we tested them), and simple to use. And frankly, since I’ve installed a handful around my own home, I don’t know whether I now want Dash buttons for everything, or if I think they are the worst thing ever. They’re just too easy.
The initial line-up of brands supporting the Dash buttons included big names in household items like Bounty, Tide, Cottonelle, Glad, Clorox, Gatorade, Maxwell House, smartwater, Izze, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Larabar, Olay, Gillette, L’Oreal, Gerber, Huggies and Wellness.
Today’s expanded line-up, however, introduces new categories like gum, trash bags, table wear and nutritional elements, and includes brands like Ice Breakers Mint, Orbit Gum, GREENIES Dental Chews and GREENIES Pill Pocket Treats, Hefty Trash and Storage Bags, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Ziploc, Depend, Finish Dishwashing Detergent, Digestive Advantage Probiotic Supplements, Dixie Tableware products, and Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein.
Excuse me for a moment while I contemplate needing a Dash button for gum. For gum!
In total, Amazon Dash buttons are available for 29 different brands, representing over 500 products.
Says Amazon, “we are being thoughtful as we scale the program and we’re focused on increasing the breadth of the categories for customers.”
A button for gum!
In addition to the expanded support from brand partners, Amazon is also announcing that it intends to subsidize the cost of the buttons for those who sign up. This addresses one of the early complaints about the program – people thought it seemed odd that they should have to pay Amazon for the privilege of more easily shopping from Amazon.
Now, Amazon says that the $4.99 button purchase price will be credited back to a customer’s account after their first order. That makes the Amazon Dash buttons effectively free, as the credit applies to each button they’ve purchased. (In other words, it’s not a one-time credit, but rather a per-button credit.)
Older customers who already purchased buttons will be eligible for the credit as well, Amazon tells us. They’ll receive a $4.99 credit back on their account with their next button purchase.
The company isn’t sharing details on how many buttons it has sold, but notes that the devices are now broadly available to Amazon Prime Members. Previously, they were available on an invite-only basis, but Amazon began moving off the invitation system in July. Today, the system is fully open, says Amazon.