On Dash Buttons
From Benedict Evans in The Facebook of ecommerce ( ref )
You put an Amazon Dash on the machine, or perhaps it can measure what you’re used and re-order by itself, and so you in effect subscribe to the product, and once done you’ll probably never bother to change brand. Or, say to Siri or Alexa or Google Assistant ‘Hey, order some more soap powder’ and the same brand is added to your next delivery. (And in both cases your choice of channel is just as now locked in as your choice of soap powder, once you’ve set the default.) Either way, an impulse purchase in one of 2 or 3 retailers you might have stopped in at, based on real-estate portfolio on one hand and eye-level placement and brand equity on the other, shifts to auto-renewal or a natural language parser. Given that P&G and Unilever’s combined ad budget is larger than the global revenue of the recorded music industry, this means that subscription soap powder could be a much bigger deal than subscription music. What will you have to pay to be Google Assistant’s default choice of dishwasher tablets?
I use The Sweet Home & The Wirecutter as a starting point for most purchases nowadays, but there’s a cadre of basics where I don’t care to comparison shop & have been happy with whatever I landed at. Soap, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, etc. A future where the usual box at the supermarket includes a Dash button or equivalent is compelling. A Dash button is already sub five dollars. Between pressing a button or forgetting to get more toothpaste three or four times? I’ll take any brand of button.
Eventually, there may not even be an initial choice. Keurig wanted to DRM their K-Cups. My fridge prominently flashes “ORDER FILTER” at me. Fast forward a bit, and I would be surprised if the appliances themselves didn’t build in Dash like functionality.