Amazon has stopped sales of its physical Dash buttons, saying that the convenience of them has largely been replaced by new ways to shop for particular products such as Alexa voice shopping.

We spoke to Daniel Rausch, vice president of Smart Home at Amazon, about the development which has come about largely because it’s replaced by other services such as Alexa shopping in particular. We're also guessing that Amazon wasn't selling a huge amount of the buttons, either (even though you got the money back on your first order).

Indeed, it’s this experience that will surely become the focus of quick ordering from now on. If you ask it to – Alexa will look at your recent orders and order the same product you’ve recently purchased.

Rausch says that Alexa shopping is growing significantly: “That did so well in the holiday period, the number of customers using it tripled.”

Rausch also spoke about virtual Dash buttons, available in-app and increasingly on other smart devices. In the US, virtual Dash buttons are also available on Echo Show and other smart appliances with screens, such as the Samsung Smart Fridge (below). “It’s the extreme version of the One Click shopping experience,” says Rausch.

“When we launched Dash buttons, we never imagined that customers would have hundreds of buttons in their cabinets and around their home. That was never the future as we saw it…we imagined helping the home take care of itself so-to-speak.”

Amazon is heavily investing in Dash Replenishment Services (DRS), which was originally launched alongside the Dash buttons in 2015. The service for connected appliances such as dishwashers or printers to order consumables when you run out.

“The vision was to make shopping disappear”, says Rausch. If you look around your house and you catalogue all the things that flow in and out of your home…none of these are fun to shop for and customers consider it work.

“For customers, the best shopping experience for everyday items is one that doesn’t exist yet at all.”

What’s really changed [since launching DRS] is that there was literally one washing machine from one device maker originally [Whirlpool]. If you come forward to today, we’ve got every major appliance manufacturer committing to connected appliances. We’ve signed all those up to work alongside us on…Dash replenishment.”

“You’ve got over 100 different devices that have Dash replenishment build right into them. The number of customers using Dash replenishment has actually doubled year-over-year.”

But, we ask, what about those people who don’t want connected devices and appliances in their home? Rausch is optimistic and comes back to convenience. “Once customers realise how convenient any of these experiences are, they automatically find their way to others.”

“With any technical change, you see different rates of adoption. We give customers a lot of choice and then it’s up to them.”

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