Will Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf drive auto-replenishment from SMBs and consumers?
Costing $19.99 each, Dash Smart Shelf is a weight-sensing, Wi-Fi-enabled auto-replenishment scale. When placed on a flat surface, such as a warehouse rack, it can track inventory for commonly used products. When it senses supplies are running low, a replenishment order or notification is automatically sent.
The system offers three scale sizes; each scale can only be paired with one product at a time. Amazon says that “thousands of popular products” including most household and workplace staples can be replenished under the program.
For SMBs, Amazon is pitching the program as an upgrade from vendor-managed auto-replenishment programs that can be inflexible, hampered by restrictions based on minimum orders or service area, and tailored for industrial applications.
“Dash Smart Shelf is our solution so that SMBs don’t have to choose between spending time with their customers or taking trips to the store to restock inventory” wrote Amazon in a blog entry.
Amazon, piloting the technology with SMBs since last fall, found consumers also interested in being freed up from the mundane task of replenishing their household essentials, such as toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, baby supplies and pet food. Amazon wrote, “Not only will it save them trips to the store, Dash Smart Shelf provides convenience and ongoing discounts on select products that customers purchase frequently.”
For both SMBs and households, the Dash Smart Shelf will have to hold more appeal than the Dash Button, the small stick-on buttons that allowed customers to reorder popular household items with a press. The Dash Button was retired after a four-year run as reordering became easier with Alexa’s arrival and as auto-replenishment features were incorporated into many smart devices, including printers and washing machines.
- Dash Smart Shelf is Now Available – Amazon.com
- Dash Smart Shelf | Auto-replenishment scale for home and business | Medium – Amazon.com
- Introducing Dash Smart Shelf – Amazon.com
- Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf can re-order almost anything you can fit on it and now you don’t have to be a business to use one. – Engadget
- Auto Restock – Staples
- Office Depot Automatic – Office Depot
- Amazon kills its Dash button – what comes next? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does the Dash Smart Shelf mark a leap forward from the Dash Button and for auto-replenishment? Will the Dash Smart Shelf likely offer more appeal to SMBs or households?