April Fools’ Day. A day when whoopee cushions once chorused through classrooms and fake barf flew in public domains now brings nothing but false promises and disappointment. Every year, I brace for the farfetched product innovations that will surely flood my newsfeed and every year I fall for them, sharing them across my social networks and proclaiming I have found “the next big thing,” only to retract my finding after noticing that dreaded “04/01” date.
I have to come to this conclusion: marketers have ruined April Fools’ Day.
However, one brand used April 1st as an opportunity to launch a product that seemed farfetched, but in actuality is ready for launch: Amazon Dash Buttons.
The Dash Button is quite literally the magical button we have all been waiting for that you push to make life easier. Essentially, you place the button around your home next to the products that run out the quickest. With a simple click of the button, you are ordering a predetermined amount of the product through your Amazon Prime account. Your order will then be shipped to your front door the next day.
The goal of the new platform is to help consumers avoid the terror of ever running out household necessities (there is nothing worse than being stuck in the bathroom without any more toilet paper).
For now, Amazon is marketing the Dash Button as a quick fix for household shopping, but it’s hard not to notice the potential impact it could have on future devices and technologies.
Let’s take a look at just how big these impacts could be.
- Brand Capitalization
When it comes to emerging technologies, just because something is new doesn’t mean it will be adopted. Just look at Google Glass. We often talk about useful being the new cool and at first glance, the Dash Buttons look pretty useful in keeping your home stocked on the necessities. Dash buttons will make shopping essentially effortless, but it will be up to the individual brands to continue to push integration and optimization to make the shopping experience easier.
Additionally, there is huge opportunity for brands to leverage the Dash Replenishment Service to fuel brand recognition. For example, if I place a Dash Button next to my coffee maker, I am not pushing for more coffee; I am pushing for more Maxwell House brand coffee. In other words, brands have the ability to capitalize on recognition and can become synonymous with the products they produce such as Kleenex has done with bath tissue.
- The Retail Response
CPG brands are always big winners in both the digital and physical space. However, the Dash Button is bringing a whole new level of convenience directly to the consumer. This brings us to the question, what changes will brick and mortar retail brands need to make in order to compete with this new level of online convenience? Some grocery chains like Wegmans and Dash’s Markets (not to be confused with the Dash Button) are releasing a new store app that will feature an online ordering system for groceries. The app will allow users to pick up they’re predetermined list of groceries or have them delivered that same day.
According to a report from IBISWorld, online grocery shopping is expected to grow to a $17.2 billion industry by 2019. With numbers climbing so rapidly, it’s becoming increasingly clear that grocery and retail stores will have to adapt to the growing demand for convenience among millennial shoppers
- Home Integration and Same Day Delivery
Ultimately, it is important to remember that Amazon has not reinvented the wheel here – the Dash Button is, in fact, just a button. What Amazon has done, however, is changed the way we think about the shopping process. To a millennial mom who is running low on diapers pushing a button is much easier than running to the store. It is even easier than logging into an online account and going through the ordering process.
As these technologies continue to develop, more consumers will expect brands to track replenishment levels and automate the shopping process. The proof in Amazon’s success won’t be how many people use the button; rather, it will be how the button changes the entire shopping mindset.