The Re-Order Revolution

Photo by Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

In 2014, Amazon announced Dash Buttons. This came alongside the Dash Replenishment API. Six years on and the re-order revolution hasn’t hit. It’s still Amazon’s dream to automatically order items for us but that challenge hasn’t been cracked yet.

The Dash was to usher in an era of super easy ordering. The Dash Wand allowed for voice ordering and scanning barcodes (we thought this was Amazon’s secret big project before the Echo was released). In the end, they shuttered the buttons and Wand in 2019 and 2020. The buttons did have an later reincarnation as a method to kick off AWS processes.

There were many hidden gems in the devices as well, including audio-based setup. However, the key was just being able to re-order items before you ran out.

Re-ordering for ink and paper or other consumables within a device makes sense. However, milk, toilet paper, and other household items might be more difficult. It would take a few months to figure out a pattern and that would only reveal itself if someone didn’t use some other source to purchase an item.

Maybe the re-order revolution is out there but it might be an Instacart or direct to consumer brand that ends up embedding some IoT sensors into products to make them re-orderable.



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Leor Grebler

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at