Amazon is pushing Erin's buttons


March 14, 2017

by Erin Riddell

​I don’t know yet if this is a brilliant idea on the part of Amazon, or the beginning of the end of days. At least for my waistline.

Amazon, delivering direct to your door with minimal effort on your part, has now figured out a new way to take consumption to the heights (or depths) of mindlessness. Introducing the Amazon Dash Button.

The button is an electronic device, solely used to order a specific product from Amazon, and can be placed anywhere you have a need. Every time you press the button, your Amazon Prime account places an order for the product, then delivers it straight to your door (and the bill straight to your credit card). Theoretically you could own many buttons, strategically placed around your home or office so that you can immediately place the order once you see the need.

Run out of laundry soap? Press the Tide Button on your washer.

Running out of dog food? Press the Purina Button next to the bowl.

Running out of toilet paper? Press the Charmin Button on the bathroom wall.

Hot date? Press the…you get the picture.

This is potentially a brilliant money-making extravaganza for Amazon. Not only am I sure that companies are paying quite handsome amounts to get Dash Buttons dedicated to their own particular products, but they're also getting the consumer to pay handsomely for the convenience. At $4.99 each, you could lay out a pretty penny to have them positioned all over your house. All for the convenience of not having to make a list and physically go onto the Amazon website to order these necessary supplies.

But what about the other cost? My daughter just “kind of, sort of, might have gotten a button” to grace her college apartment. As I am usually the primary source for her groceries and laundry supplies, I at first didn’t see the point of her having a button she could push to have things delivered. She already has Mom’s delivery service for that.

“Well, it’s kind of a sweets button,” she told me. When asked to elaborate, she explained that one of the new buttons being offered, when pushed, would deliver a curated box of a mixture of sweets to her door.

A range of horrible imaginings ran through my head. My daughter is not the most patient of people, especially in the arena of sweets. And especially around exam time. Something tells me that by the time the box arrives two days later, there may not be an accurate count of how many times exactly the button has been pushed in the interim!

And somehow, one of those sweets buttons seems to have mysteriously made it's way into my Amazon basket too...

Don’t judge me.

Erin is Sensory Research Manager, MMR US