Could Amazon’s Dash Button disrupt grocery shopping in Europe?

31 Aug 2016

Could the Dash Button capture a large share of the UK and European online grocery shopping market? Image source: ParcelHero

Amazon revealed today (31 August) that it is bringing its innovative Dash Button internet of things (IoT) device to the UK, Germany and Austria, in a move that could upend traditional grocery shopping as we know it.

The Dash Button is a Wi-Fi-connected IoT device that lets users order from popular brands at a touch of a button.

The Amazon Dash Button allows users to automatically reorder essential items, such as toilet papers, nappies, shaving blades or coffee.

‘If Amazon can take a 20pc slice of that online grocery market pie it’s going to leave at least one lower margin supermarket chain struggling longer term, as shoppers desert the high street’

The Wi-Fi buttons were first introduced to users in the US last year and Amazon has been adding dozens of brands to the service.

Amazon Prime members can get Dash Buttons from popular brands including Ariel, Gillette,Olay, Pedigree, Rimmel, Kleenex, and Listerine, to name a few.

As well as the buttons, the Amazon Dash Replenishment cloud-based service also enables devices to automatically reorder essential consumables, with Bosch and Siemens home appliances, Grundig, Samsung and Whirlpool already integrating the service into their connected devices

The dash buttons cost £4.99 but are essentially free because users receive a £5 discount off their first order.

“We’ve all experienced the frustration of running out of something we need—Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service are designed to make that moment a thing of the past,” said Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash.

“Dash Buttons offer the convenience of one-click shopping from anywhere in the home,” said Rausch.“They can be placed near those frequently-used items you don’t want to run out of and, when you see supplies running low, the Dash Button makes it easier than ever to order more. Just press the button and your item is on its way.”

IoT and the future of grocery shopping

While some industry experts are predicting the Dash Button will capture just 3pc of the grocery market for Amazon, e-tail delivery specialist ParcelHero believes the launch of Dash could capture Amazon a 20pc share of the online grocery market in the UK by 2020.

“Dash is an ultra-convenient device. With the simple push of a button – or even by speaking to the gizmo for some versions – it will reorder your washing powder or your coffee or one of 40 products at launch,” explained ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks.

“It’s great news for busy people as it takes care of routine shopping chores automatically, but it’s very bad news for supermarkets as it ties consumers into Amazon for even more products.’

“It’s perhaps not recognised as much as it should be, but Tesco is now the second-largest online UK retailer with online sales of £2.9bn, Asda is the sixth largest with sales of £1.2bn, followed hard by Sainsbury’s with similar figures, and Ocado is ninth with £1.1bn. These are significant sums, but we believe Amazon is about to take a serious bite out of this income.

“If Amazon can take a 20pc slice of that online grocery market pie it’s going to leave at least one lower-margin supermarket chain struggling longer term, as shoppers desert the high street.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years