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Amazon has announced the UK launch of its Dash instant purchase buttons. These wirelessly enabled buttons are linked to a user’s Amazon account, allowing them to add certain items to their Amazon basket once pressed. Following the US launch in March 2015, Amazon has rolled out 40 Dash Buttons in the UK. Here, Mintel’s expert analysts explore whether consumers are willing to push the button…

ncarollNick Carroll, Senior Retail Analyst

The Dash Buttons are the latest in a string of launches from Amazon designed to capture a greater market share in the household and grocery categories. From the launch of Amazon Pantry in November 2015 to the launch of Amazon Fresh in June 2016, and the launch of the original Amazon Dash device in July 2016, Amazon is certainly serious about its move into the household and grocery categories.

Crucially, all of their new launches require an Amazon Prime subscription, meaning if the retailer can encourage new consumers into the business through these new services it will be likely to be to the benefit of the wider business by locking consumers into the Amazon ecosystem. It will take time to roll out these services across the UK and build a successful business to compete with market leaders, but Amazon has started off strong by offering competent and convenient services.

Catherine Cottney, Trends Manager Europe CC (1)

Convenience is a key concern for today’s consumers, and they’re looking for platforms and devices that can streamline their lives in order to better maximise their time. The Dash Buttons have already proved a success in the US as they offer an easy way for consumers to order a range of everyday essentials online without needing to unlock their phone or open their laptop.

As Amazon continues to roll out Dash Buttons globally, we’ll see this technology develop further. Brands are already taking steps to better integrate Dash Buttons into the hardware itself. In January 2016, Whirlpool announced that its connected appliances will have Amazon Dash Buttons integrated into their functionality. We’ve also seen this technology employed beyond Amazon: German e-tailer Otto has released internet-connected stickers to make one-touch ordering possible.

Brands that can monitor usage, prompt consumers as to when they are running low on a certain product and simplify the path to purchase will not only appeal to time-pressed individuals but will also ensure their own custom.

rhoppingRichard Hopping, Brand and Social Media Analyst

Mintel’s Shopping for Household Care Products UK 2015 report found that only 3% of household care shoppers used online retailers to make a purchase. Instead, consumers tend to shop for household products at the same time as they are grocery shopping, highlighting that convenience is a key influencer on shopping in this sector.

While the UK launch of Amazon Dash taps into this demand for convenience, the cost of shopping for household products is a key factor for many, and may well be one of the main barriers to take-up of Amazon Dash. Mintel research shows that savvy consumers are willing to buy cheaper own-label products, often considered to do just as good a job as branded products, as well as use cheaper discounter stores. In addition, our research indicates that consumers like to stock up on products when they are on special offer. Amazon Dash’s focus on higher priced household brands goes against this cost-saving trend and limits some of the flexibility to look for better value deals.

For some, Amazon Dash will take the strain out of buying household products, albeit at a potentially higher cost. For those who prefer to look for household bargains, the convenience of Amazon Dash may not be worth the extra cost that the limited selection of brands and products results in. As such, Amazon Dash is likely to be limited to wealthier consumers who are willing to spend more on convenient ways to purchase household staples.

Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel, Nick Carroll currently writes a range of UK & European retail reports and is regularly called upon to comment on breaking retail stories in the UK’s leading media. Prior to joining Mintel Nick worked for over eight years in retail for both Jones Bootmaker and Barratts.

Catherine Cottney, Trends Manager Europe at Mintel, works at the forefront of detecting trends, innovations and consumer behaviour from across the globe and manages a team of contributors in the Asia-Pacific region. She has provided analysis on topical issues and events from a Trends perspective for a number of media outlets and publications including BBC Radio 4ʼs Today programme, the Financial Times and Women & Home.

Brand and Social Media Analyst at Mintel, Richard Hopping specialises in researching and providing insight around UK brands across a number of different categories, and in January 2016 also became Mintel’s Household Care Analyst.