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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Amazon Dash Button – the continued success

Amazon Dash Button – the continued success
Last year’s announcement of Amazon Dash was yet another example of how Amazon continues to be one step ahead of the retail game. And despite the apprehension around how the concept would work logistically, they have now announced that they have doubled the amount of buttons available to the consumers.

This retail initiative was another realisation of an ever-connected world and the increasing use of IoT amongst consumers. But is this the future of retail or just another fad? As over 150 well-known brands have now signed up to the initiative and the uptake of UK consumers continues, it appears to be the former. So should other retailers look into this instant gratification retailing.

Retail is not as black and white as it used to be and ecommerce, the digitally connected consumer and the desire for retail on demand has made it increasingly difficult for the more traditional retailers to keep up. Many retailers have embraced the digital environment and successfully migrated their multiple channels into one seamless journey for the consumer, but there is still a way to go for others who have been less forward thinking.

The success of the Dash button shows that customers want an experience that is at their disposal, efficient, personalised, relevant and cost efficient. And with more retailers and innovative start-ups thinking up new initiatives every day to help them retain market share, there will be little room for those retailers not investing in the future.

Amazon recently announced that Dash orders in the US are up to one order placed every 30 seconds, with the UK not far behind having ordered 300,000 toilet rolls using Dash since the end of June. It is clear that this type of retailing is proving a success, but how does all of this work logistically?

Technologies of this nature will work perfectly for everyday consumable items such as toiletries and food, but what about goods that typically need to be researched, viewed, tested or tried on before consumers press the buy button? When there are multiple styles, sizes, colours involved it will inevitably become more complex to manage from a fulfilment and warehouse management perspective, but this could also result in a logistical nightmare for some. And even though Amazon announced their trial of Prime Wardrobe, a service that allows you to try items before choosing to buy, they are not quite advanced enough to have a button for replenishment of more consumable clothing like underwear or tights for example.

This is where retailers have an edge and can get ahead of Amazon with the right logistical infrastructure. The consumers that are using Dash will not stop at toiletries and food, they will soon get a taste for this convenient way of shopping; demanding the same service for all the goods they purchase. Those that can innovate and implement a way to accommodate this logistically will be those that can take on the competition head on.