Amazon released their new Dash Button on April 1st, but it is definitely something to take seriously.
USA Today calls it “brilliant.” The Verge says it’s “dangerous.” CNet says it is designed to “lure shoppers” toward specific brands. The New Yorker calls the Amazon Dash Button part of a “real dystopia.” So here’s the question: what is so “brilliant” about the Dash Button that makes it so “dangerous?”
The Amazon Dash Button brings online shopping to the physical world with a thin, plastic button that is synced to a specific brand and product. The Dash button is designed to speed up the time we take to refill our supplies of household products, and it will, for those who get one. They are currently free for Amazon Prime subscribers, and there are eighteen specifically tailored buttons including Huggies and Tide.
For consumers who like to save time, this seems like an amazing or even “brilliant” tool. Automating certain parts of our lives is useful and even beneficial, but at some point there comes enough. In the short term the Dash button seems simple and harmless, but in the long run, it will provide Amazon with a monopoly on the household supplies market. It will also benefit the companies, like Tide, that Amazon is partnering with to supply these buttons. So why is all this bad; it seems so useful and simple?
Well, Amazon has already put huge bookstore chains out of business and has hurt the business of smaller stores as well, so when they begin encroaching on the convenience market, we should start to think about putting a stop to Amazon’s market growth. If their drone program passes with the FAA, Amazon will be able to supply customers with household supplies in the same amount of time it would take them to go and shop for them themselves, except this would take no work for the customer. In the end, the Amazon Dash Button will strengthen Amazon’s market share immensely, increasing their lobbying power, buying power, and opponent smushing power. The Amazon Dash Button is a huge tipping point in Amazon’s corporate career.
So what do you think? Is the Amazon Dash Button more a beneficial new device or a monopoly strengthening tool? Add your opinions below.
(Copyright Tys Sweeney 2015)