UPDATE: Amazon made it official, announcing that it’s adding 50 new brands to the Dash lineup.
Amazon undoubtedly has many different business strategies in play, what with it being an online commerce giant and all. And while we can’t say exactly what the company’s strategy book looks like, it seems the play when it comes to Dash Buttons — plastic dongles that let Prime members reorder products like detergent and diapers with one push — is, “even if no one is asking for more buttons, give them more buttons.”
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the ecommerce company is planning to add dozens more brands to its Dash lineup — despite the fact that they haven’t proven all that popular among customers.
Fewer than half the people who bought a Dash button since they debuted in March 2015 have used it to actually order something, according to an estimate from market research firm Slice Intelligence. Even those who do use it only do so once every two months.
For example: one woman who bought buttons for Tide, Gatorade and Greenies dog treats when they first came out told the WSJ that she now only uses the Tide button, while the rest languish in the family junk drawer. She doesn’t like how prices aren’t displayed on the buttons, because you never know if something that cost $9 one day will shoot up to $22 the next.
“If I have to check on the price every time,” she told the WSJ, “it’s not actually saving me time.”
But consumer product companies are still signing up to get their own brand a Dash button, mostly because it’s a good marketing move.
“It may not be the most intuitive feature,” Ken McFarland, director of e-commerce for Seventh Generation Inc., which has Dash buttons for its cleaning products and diapers told the WSJ. “But Amazon is trying so many things and you don’t want to miss out on the ones that work. You want to be out there if it does happen to be a hit.”
Another reason new companies may be signing up because Amazon dropped a buy-in fee of about $200,000 that the first companies who joined had to pay, according to the insiders the WSJ spoke to.
Amazon declined to comment.
Amazon to Add Dozens of Brands to Dash Buttons, but Do Shoppers Want Them? [The Wall Street Journal]