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Amazon Dash Buttons: More Convenient Than Convenience Stores?

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With Amazon tripling the number of brands available on its Dash Buttons, Prime members now have more than 100 options to select from, all designed to make purchases from home ultra-convenient. The Dash Buttons are available for retail and CPG categories including snacks, beverages, coffee, office products, batteries and personal care items.

Once consumers see that their supplies are running low, they can simply press their WiFi-connected Dash Button to automatically reorder the item from Amazon, and have it delivered within two days for free.

The buttons appear to be growing in popularity, due to their relatively low price ($4.99 per button, which gets refunded to user accounts the first time they use it). Over the last three months, Dash Button orders have grown by more than 75%, according to a statement by Daniel Rausch, Director of Amazon Dash. A RetailWire webinar indicated that Amazon had already sold nearly 400,000 Dash Buttons in 2015, so their future does look promising.

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The buttons represent another step by Amazon to boost consumer convenience and eliminate hurdles to making purchases. Whereas Amazon has long been a thorn in the side of many retailers, Dash Buttons appear to be Amazon’s first direct shot at the convenience store model. Unlike many retail experiences that may require longer trips and more thought-out purchases, convenience stores are designed for immediate, grab-and-go service focused on a few select items.

Considering the types of brands associated with the Dash Buttons, many products are in fact those that would normally occasion a trip to a convenience store. Hypothetically, a consumer could have four or five Dash Buttons for ordering paper towels, laundry detergent and coffee all at once, without ever having to leave their house.

Of course, Amazon has only covered a sliver of the major brands that would be sold in a convenience store, but the fast adoption of the buttons and the dramatic addition of brands suggests that the e-Commerce giant is confident about the model going forward. The 7-Eleven’s and Circle K’s of the world may not be worried about this trend just yet, especially since consumers will still look to convenience stores when they need items immediately.

But with Amazon’s expansion of the Prime Now one-hour and two-hour delivery service, the retailer may be able to integrate the service with the Dash Buttons if both options remain successful. With the potential for near-immediate delivery, it would be a more realistic possibility to think that consumers may avoid convenience store trips in the future if they don’t have to leave their home to restock simple items.

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