Confirming reports from earlier this week, Amazon announced this morning an expansion of its Dash button program – the small, push-button devices that allow consumers to place orders of specific products, ranging from paper towels to trash bags to even bubble gum and condoms, via Amazon.com. The retailer says today it’s adding over 50 new brands to the service, which now includes an expanded selection of consumer packaged goods, like soup, soap and crackers, as well as toys and musical equipment from brands like NERF, Play-doh and D’Addario.
The line-up of new names includes Campbell’s Soup, Cascade, Clif Bar, D’Addario, Dial Liquid Hand Soap, FIJI Water, FoodSaver, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, Hubert’s Lemonade, Lavazza, Mentos, Nutiva, Puffs, Quilted Northern, simplehuman, Trident, V8 Vegetable Juice, and others.
In total, there are now over 150 Dash Buttons available to Amazon Prime members, up from 29 last year.
Despite their wide availability, it’s unclear how popular Dash buttons are with consumers. While it’s one thing to press to re-order a household staple, like toilet paper, it’s more difficult to think that someone would need a button to re-order something like Play-doh. (Unless, perhaps, you’re a daycare center?)
According to Slice Intelligence data cited by The WSJ, fewer than half of people who bought a Dash button since March of last year have used it to place an order. However, Slice’s data is third-party data – it collects information on retail transactions by analyzing the emails of those who have its Shopping app installed, or who use the Unroll.Me service to unsubscribe from emails.
Meanwhile, Amazon is claiming continuing momentum for Dash buttons. It says this morning that, over the last three months, it has seen orders doubling among those Prime members who use the Dash button to place orders. It says it’s seeing orders now taking place over twice a minute – that’s up from once per minute just three months ago.
In addition, Amazon says that total Dash button orders grew by 70 percent in that same time frame.
Dash buttons are basically free to Amazon Prime shoppers. Though there is a $4.99 charge to order, which is credited back after the first Dash button order.
For brands, they see the buttons as a means of connecting with their most loyal customers. They’re happy to tout how great the buttons are in Amazon’s release, but don’t reveal how much these orders actually impact their bottom lines by sharing hard numbers.
That being said, the buttons’ mere existence has prompted other startups to enter the same space of push-button orders. Tel Aviv-based Kwik, which just raised $3 million, is working on its own buttons, with brands like Domino’s, Budweiser, Huggies, and others already on board.
Still, Dash buttons are largely still an experiment for the time being. Though Amazon’s numbers indicate more consumers have been willing to try the buttons, to what extent those consumers will return to use them over time remains less certain.
Anecdotally, I haven’t used my own buttons as much lately, as I tend to have my groceries and other household staples delivered through an on-demand grocery delivery service…which, come to think about it, would be more useful to use if I could push a button to add items to their shopping list. Hmmm.