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Big brands rush to Dash

News, 06 April 2015

NEW YORK: Amazon Dash may have been met with a wave of scepticism by commentators, but the brands participating in the trials of the new push-button reordering service – including Procter & Gamble's Tide and Kimberly-Clark's Huggies – are quite serious.

The Dash Button is a wifi-enabled 'buy' button that allows consumers to reorder an essential household item they have run out of, or are running low on, by simply pressing it. The idea that people would happily decorate their homes with a range of branded 'buy' buttons met with such initial incredulity that Amazon had to deny suggestions it was an April Fool's Day joke.

But as Time noted, the idea behind Dash – 'Place it, Press it, Get it' – is merely an extension of "the model of instant, reflexive consumption [Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos] has already successfully promoted with Prime and One-Click (and soon, drones)".

And a closer look at how ecommerce operates in the consumer packaged goods sector points to some possibly significant benefits for major brands.

According to Advertising Age, smaller and specialty brands in this sector typically outperform bigger rivals when it comes to ecommerce, as compared to bricks and mortar, since they are not fighting for shelf space.

That picture could change if brands end up bidding for buttons, "which would be like miniature end-caps in millions of homes".

For now, however, the service is being tested with some Amazon Prime members. Brands participating include Procter & Gamble's Tide, Gillette, Bounty and Olay, Clorox's Clorox Wipes and Glad Trash Bags, Kraft's Maxwell House and Mac & Cheese, Coca-Cola Co.'s Smartwater, and Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle and Huggies.

"Dash could be a way for the big brands to hold their footing in e-commerce," said Jason Caine, e-commerce sector lead for Millward Brown, and especially so with loyal Amazon Prime members.

He highlighted their shopping habits, contrasting their 60% conversion rate on Amazon with the 6% rate the same people registered when visiting Walmart.com.

For some brands, Dash is seen as a way of making existing home-delivery subscription models work better, but for some commentators it represents "another step in a broader diminishment of everyday competencies".

Data sourced from Time, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff