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Amazon discontinued its push-to-order physical Dash buttons earlier this year, and now is completely shuttering the program, with the company set to stop taking orders from any Dash buttons left starting on August 31st.
Amazon is officially killing a Dash button. The online giant first discontinued Dash button sales in February but had said it would support product reorders if customer demand was there.
However, it seems that this didn’t happen since Amazon’s spokesperson said that usage “has significantly slowed”.
It was just a single button next to a brand’s logo on a rounded bit of plastic, used usually by customers who had pretty specific reorders in the specific given moment – meaning it would take them a few minutes less than it would if they chose to open the Amazon app instead. Starting from August 31, the buttons will no longer work.
However, virtually, the button will still be around. As an Amazon spokesperson Robyn Stewart told in a statement:
“Since sales of Dash Button devices ceased earlier this year, we have seen continued growth of other shopping options to meet customer needs, including Virtual Dash Button, Dash Replenishment, Alexa Shopping, and Subscribe & Save With this in mind, starting August 31, 2019, customers will no longer be able to place orders through Dash Button devices globally.”
However, Stewart added that customers will be able to continue reordering products using their free virtual Dash Buttons on the Amazon.com website and mobile app, which are available for the same great brands customers love from Dash Button devices. Customers should, by her words, see that virtual Dash Buttons have already been created to replace current physical Dash Button devices.
Instead Dash Buttons the company is offering the Amazon Dash Wand for sale. That $34 product is essentially a stick with a button, built-in microphone for speaking to the Alexa voice assistant, and barcode scanner for shopping.
Back in 2015, these buttons were Amazon’s way of adding a little bit of smart-home magic into people’s appliances, bathrooms, and closets. Amazon executive Daniel Rausch, who helped build up the Dash button program, said the most popular buttons were for necessities that often run out, like toilet paper and bottled water.
Some other typical hits included pet food and printer ink. Since then, the smart home market has expanded so much so you could order not just the 6-pack of Fiji water or finest ‘Cezar’ food for your Westie, but also some smart-home gear to include Ring video doorbells, Fire TV Edition televisions and a slew of Echo smart speakers.
However, that seems not to be good enough. Even though plenty of printers and washing machines now essentially include Dash buttons built into them – you don’t need it anymore. You want a fabric softener but you’re in your car? Just let Alexa do this for you. There are about 80,000 Alexa skills on the market, capable of helping consumers do everything from booking an Uber to listening to music. When 2018 rang in, Alexa was compatible with just over 4,000 devices.
Retailers as Walmart and Target, have also offered voice shopping through the Google Assistant and fasten their delivery times to convince Amazon shoppers to buy with them instead.
Nevertheless, even though voice commands are pretty popular, using smart devices to shop is still pretty much slow. For example, last year, just a quarter to a third of U.S. smart speaker owners had ever purchased something using voice – and just 2 percent of Alexa owners had made a purchase via Alexa.