Amazon introduced this week the Dash Button, an extension of last year’s Dash device which lets users order by voice or scanning. The button – to be placed on Whirlpool washer and dryers, Brita water filters and Brother printers – allows users to order what they run out of in one step. Amazon has insured against accidental orders: only one order at a time will be accepted (for those worried about toddlers playing with the button) and users will receive a smartphone notification with a half hour cancelation window.
This invention – made in partnership with Quirky – is another step in Amazon’s plan to have a pipeline to every home. But for brands, does this spell opportunity or being muscled out of the view of potential consumers? Dash only allows replenishment of a single brand, and Gatorade, Kraft mac and cheese, Glad trash bags, Gillette razors, Cottonelle toilet paper, Clorox Wipes, Huggies diapers and Tide detergent (owned by PepsiCo, Kraft Brands, The Clorox Company, Procter & Gamble) are the first brands to become available on Dash, a contrast to Amazon Prime Pantry where assortment is skewed towards smaller brands.
Laundry Care is the only Home Care category on Prime Pantry where product availability correlates to market share: 43% of products are P&G brands. In other categories, Prime Pantry offers an opportunity for smaller brands open to experimentation. For example, 40% of dishwashing products on Prime Pantry are Method items.
Assuming Dash Button becomes a success, there will be a race for placement. And available items are likely to skew towards larger brands that can invest in strengthening their Amazon ties.