Technology

Amazon launches 'Dash' home ordering kit

Dash Image copyright Amazon

In an attempt to attract more household goods shoppers, retail giant Amazon has unveiled a device that can place orders to replenish items such as washing powder and razors.

The Dash Button can be attached to appliances around the home, and when pushed, processes a delivery request.

The service will only be available to users of Amazon's premium subscription service, Prime.

The tech giant has recently focused on speeding up its ordering processes.

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Media captionWATCH: Dave Lee explained how Dash buttons worked when they launched in 2015

Prime Now, which guarantees one-hour delivery on essential daily items, is available in four US cities, and the company has also been trialling deliveries by drone.

On Monday, the firm launched Amazon Home Services, which allows customers to order professional services such as a handyman or computer technician.

The timing of Dash's launch led some to initially believe it might be an April Fool's joke. Even after it was confirmed as real, some were uncertain what to make of it.

"I'm not sure whether this is genius, or the stupidest thing Amazon has tried yet," commented John Gruber on the Daring Fireball blog.

But one expert was impressed.

"This is absolutely not a gimmick," Aidan Bocci, chief executive of the Commercial Advantage consultancy, told the BBC.

"It may have to go through iterations before it really works, but this is a way to disrupt the linkage that exists between consumption and purchase.

"People typically write a shopping list and then go to the supermarket, but this gives Amazon a way to break in before any of that happens. And it's exactly what the firm should be doing if it wants to have a different approach in the grocery sector."

Image copyright Amazon
Image caption Amazon hopes shoppers will use the device to replenish their cosmetics

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