Amazon releases Dash button, expands Prime Now

Although the April 1 arrival of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) new Dash Button drew initial circumstantial skepticism, the product is believed to be real, as are its push-of-a-button delivery options. 

Amazon publicized the launch of the Dash Button with the release of a video showcasing Dash Button inventory options, such as Gillette razors, Glad trash bags and Huggies diapers—all everyday essentials that typical consumers might replenish on at least a weekly basis, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Dash Buttons are available to Amazon Prime subscribers via a program invitation. Prime members simply send a request to the retailer and, if accepted, recieve a set of branded buttons at no added cost.

Once received, the Buttons can be mounted with an adhesive strip and programmed using the Amazon mobile app. The device connects to the outside world with Wi-Fi, and users can order more of a product with each additional press of the button. Once the button is pressed, users get a smartphone notification, at which point orders can be cancelled within 30 minutes.

Amazon is already working on improving the technology. The Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) will eventually be built into the button to anticipate when the user is running low on a product and automatically order more.

"You see the Tide button, you know it's for Tide and the same amount you buy every time shows up on your doorstep two days later," Kinley Pearsall, an Amazon spokeswoman, told the Wall Street Journal. "But the real long-term goal is that you never have to worry about hitting that button."

Amazon is working to flesh out its repleneshment through its developing "Dash Replenishment Service," which works in tandem with electronics makers that produce handy household items. For example, Whirlpool is working on a washer and dryer that will order detergent and dryer sheets when needed; Brita is developing a pitcher that orders new filters; Brother is building a printer that orders ink; and Quirky is designing similar devices that dispence coffee, baby formula and pet food.

Every replenishment will be supplied by Amazon.

Amazon also announced that the expansion of its Prime Now program, which offers one-hour delivery, is now available in the Atlanta area. Shoppers can choose from tens of thousands of daily essential items, purchase them through Amazon's mobile app and receive them within one hour for $7.99, or in two hours free of charge.

Prime members in Atlanta with access to the service now join those in Baltimore, Miami, Brooklyn, Dallas and Manhattan.

For more:
-See this Amazon press release
-See this Wall Street Journal article

Related stories:
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Amazon launches Home Services
Amazon expands one-hour delivery to Dallas
Amazon in acquisition talks with Net-a-Porter
Amazon to shut down Webstore

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