Amazon announced that device manufacturers GeniCan, Honeywell, Nestle and WePlenish have been added to the Amazon Dash Replenishment program, also unveiling new Dash-enabled products from Whirlpool and PUR.
GeniCan can enable its smart trash can/recycling technology with Dash Replenishment to automatically re-order popular household and office supplies as they are thrown out; Honeywell Connected Devices will calculate when a new air filter is needed and re-order from Amazon; Nestle’s BabyNes system helps track a baby’s nutritional intake and uses Dash to replenish formula capsules; and WePlenish Java can reorder coffee capsules, while WePlenish Fetch stores pet food, learns pets’ consumption patterns and uses Dash to re-order fresh pet food when needed.
Regarding newly available products, PUR’s new Ultimate Bluetooth-enabled faucet filtration system tracks water consumption, filter usage and more from a smartphone, and uses Amazon Dash Replenishment to automatically order replacement filters when needed. The forthcoming Whirlpool Smart Dishwasher with Dash Replenishment, scheduled to be available next month, automatically reorders dishwasher detergent when supplies run low.
Amazon’s Dash Replenishment program is building up a good head of steam as new brands continue to join, and existing members continue to develop new products. We haven’t heard a whole lot of specifics about the level of success brand partners are realizing from the program, and Amazon only has offered vague claims about its own success with Dash, such as the one about Dash orders experiencing a five-times increase as of last month.
But Dash Replenishment membership continues to grow, and it's worth wondering if it’s possible that some companies might be feeling competitive pressure to join, or the feeling that turning down an opportunity to participate in an Amazon-driven sales program these days could more likely than not be a self-defeating gesture. Still, that sort of pressure is probably not enough by itself to get big brands to commit to Dash. Many of them are making significant investments in developing new appliances and other devices with Dash support embedded from the start. At this point, they must see enough in the program that it seems like an investment worth making.
Curiously, Amazon recently put its original line of Dash buttons on sale for 99 cents along with a $4.99 credit for customers, meaning it was actually paying people to buy the buttons and start using them. That doesn't necessarily seem like a move by a company that is comfortable with the success of its program. Then again, Amazon always has played the long game of building up volume and market share at almost any price.
If it sounds like we're giving Dash a wide berth to prove itself, it's only because Amazon has rarely failed to zig where others zag, willing its programs, practices and products to be successful even when the odds appeared to be against them.
At this stage, Amazon also is doing one more thing to go the extra mile to make Dash to prevalent to ignore: It's driving interest among the developer community as it looks to build a self-sustaining ecosystem around Dash. It has issued an open challenge to developers to enter a contest “to create something that helps advance the vision of automatic or low-friction replenishment,” according to Amazon’s announcement. Developers can submit entries through Dec. 31. Winners will be announced by Jan. 13, 2017, and the grand prize is a 27-inch iMac 5K, $1500 and a personalized trophy.
Who doesn't want a trophy?