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Amazon Puts Dash Buttons out to Pasture

05 March 2019 - 13:48 by David Aiken

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The short-lived Amazon Dash device range has been taken out of rotation by the US e-commerce giant in the wake of a shift in trends governing safe shopping online.

Introduced almost four years ago, the idea behind the Dash button was to give Amazon customers an instant way to place an order for essential products used around the home, from washing powder to food and bathroom essentials.

These semi-smart devices were fairly simple in design and in some parts of the world were even outlawed altogether, so it is perhaps unsurprising that they were removed from sale at the end of last month.

Part of the reason behind this decision is the fact that Amazon is shifting its focus towards voice search, powered by its own Alexa service. This is something that consumers across the country are adopting, with the success of the Echo smart speaker range effectively rendering the Dash buttons redundant before they had really got a chance to get off the ground.

While the principles of the Dash button may not have worked especially well in an e-commerce context, the technology has also been adopted in other areas of the growing smart home market. Indeed, shortly after the launch of the button in 2015 there were various adaptations carried out by amateurs to harness them for other purposes, such as activating devices elsewhere.

Consumers who shop online are looking for convenience, and while voice search remains relatively small in terms of the wider e-commerce market, it is still proving to be an important niche for the likes of Amazon and Google. Being able to ask a smart speaker to order more washing-up liquid when it runs out, rather than pressing a single-purpose button, is clearly the preference of most people.