The Secret Power Of Amazon's Dash Buttons: Not Sales, But Data
By: Fast Company
One year after launch, Amazon’s Dash Buttons continue to bewilder.
The palm-sized, battery-powered buttons, announced last year just before April Fool’s Day, allow users to order goods from Amazon with one press. Each button bears the label of a specific brand like Huggies or Tide, and Amazon’s mobile app lets users choose the type and quantity of product that a button press brings.
Plenty of tech pundits have scoffed at the concept, and it’s unclear if the buttons are a hit. While Amazon says Dash Button orders have grown by 70% in three months, it hasn’t given a baseline figure for sales or presses. And last week, ahead of an expansion with 50 new buttons—Amazon now offers more than 150 total—market research firm Slice Intelligence claimed that fewer than half of people who own a Dash Button have bothered to press it.
But to analyze Dash Button sales is to miss the bigger picture. These buttons probably aren’t meant to drive significant revenue for Amazon. The true goal, in all likelihood, is to generate data. By understanding the shopping habits of brands’ most loyal customers, Amazon has a better chance to create the shopping business of the future.