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Amazon Dash UK launches: which products are available to shoppers?

amazon-dash-button

Amazon launched its Amazon Dash service in the UK on 31 August 2016. The launch follows the successful release of the US service last year. Amazon Dash in the US continues to grow at a rapid pace – in the last two months, Dash button orders have increased threefold and orders via Dash buttons occur over twice a minute (Amazon).

Amazon will hope to achieve similar success in the UK, with an initial offering of 48 branded Dash buttons available for Amazon Prime members to use to replenish ‘essential’ goods. The Wi-Fi connected buttons which cost £4.99 (the cost of which is credited to the first order) are each linked to a single product, of the respective buttons’ brand, of the shoppers choosing.

The Director of Amazon Dash, Daniel Rausch, commented, “there is no retail therapy in buying toilet roll or bin bags. It’s just work. We wanted to take the one-click experience from our website and put it right where people need it most, in the home, near the products that run out. So that buying them is no longer work.”

amazon dash banner uk
www.amazon.co.uk

 

Alongside the Dash buttons, Amazon is also launching what it calls the Dash Replenishment Service (DRS). DRS is a cloud-based service that allows manufacturers to enable their connected devices to automatically re-order physical goods from Amazon – for example, a washing machine that re-orders laundry detergent or a printer that re-orders ink.

Which products are available on Amazon Dash?

On 31 August, there were 48 branded Dash buttons available. A potential key limitation is that Dash buttons can only be associated with one SKU at any one time. For example, if a shopper wants to re-order both Rimmel lipstick and foundation, they can only assign one SKU to be associated with the button, at any one time (shoppers chose and can change which SKU to assign to the button). Similarly, if they wish to purchase Rimmel lipstick and Pedigree dog food regularly, they will need to purchase two separate branded Dash buttons.

Brand View analysed the 48 brands listed on Amazon Dash and counted the number of associated SKUs available on 31 August 2016. The chart shows the top 16 brands with the most SKUs available via an Amazon Dash button.

There were four brands with only a single SKU listed: Fairy Non Bio, Fiesta, Johnson’s Baby Wipes and Play-Doh.

Which manufacturers had the most brands represented?

Brands will be keen to position themselves as shoppers’ product of choice on Amazon. Geoff Blaber, Vice President of Research for the Americas, for CCS Insight commented, “brands need to be onboard from the start. Amazon is seeking to establish itself as the scale supplier of high frequency purchase goods.”

Many of the 48 brands available on Amazon Dash on 31 August 2016 were manufactured by the same companies. The manufacturers with the greatest number of brands available were:

  • Johnson & Johnson – Aveeno, Johnson’s Baby Wipes, Listerine, Neutrogena, Nicorette and Regaine
  • Kimberly-Clark – Andrex, Depend, DryNites, Fiesta, Huggies and Kleenex
  • Mars Petcare – Catsan, Cesar, Dreamies, Pedigree, Sheba and Whiskas
  • Procter & Gamble – Ariel, Fairy, Fairy Non Bio, Gillette, Lenor and Olay

Reckitt Benckiser, which had five brands available, is also an enthusiastic participant in the Dash scheme following success in the US. Taryn Mitchell, Global Vice President of Digital Sales, said, “a significant number of the orders we see through Amazon today (in the US) are placed via the Amazon Dash button. It’s a remarkably convenient way for customers to re-order everyday items, and even adds a bit of fun to the process.”

Rival manufacturer, Unilever, did not yet have a Dash button for any of its brands either in the UK or the US.

There was very little competition between the manufacturers. For example, Mars Petcare was the only petcare manufacturer and Hasbro was the only toy manufacturer. Many types of products had only one brand available – if a shopper wanted to buy mouthwash they were only able to buy Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine Dash button.

Rival branded buttons included Olay and Rodial and Gillette and Wilkinson Sword – although Rodial was targeted towards shoppers willing to pay much higher prices.

How competitive is Amazon’s pricing?

Philips Sonicare

Brand View reviewed the prices of Philips Sonicare products available on the Amazon Dash service and compared these to rival retailers on 31 August 2016.

Amazon offered competitive pricing on Philips Sonicare products – the e-tailer had the lowest price for four of the seven products analysed and matched the prices of rivals on one product. However, the ‘Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro Interdental Replacement Nozzles – Pack of 3’ was cheaper in Boots and the ‘Philips Sonicare Adaptive Clean Brush Heads, 4 Heads’ was cheaper in John Lewis.

*Shelf price displayed on retailer sites on 31 August 2016
*Amazon prices relate to ‘Amazon Prime’ prices, not ‘subscribe and save’ prices

 

Finish

Amazon launched its AmazonFresh subscription service to dozens of London postcodes earlier this year and released the Dash Barcode Scanner – with continued efforts and expansion of this service Amazon will hope to become the FMCG retailer of choice for UK shoppers.

Brand View analysed the pricing of Reckitt Benckiser’s Finish branded products, available on the Amazon Dash service and compared this to rival retailers, to investigate how competitive Amazon’s pricing was compared with the UK’s major online supermarkets.

*Shelf price displayed on retailer sites on 31 August 2016
*Amazon prices relate to ‘Amazon Prime’ prices, not ‘subscribe and save’ prices

 

Amazon had the lowest price for two of the seven products analysed, the ‘Finish Quantum Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 80)’ and the ‘Finish Dishwasher Cleaner Twin Pack, 2 x 250ml’. It matched the lowest price on one product, the ‘Finish Quantum Max Dishwasher Tablets – Lemon (Total 45 Tablets)’. On four of the seven products Amazon was beaten on price by at least one of its rival retailers.

What does the future hold for Amazon Dash?

In the selection of Amazon Dash products available on 31 August 2016, Brand View identified some products which the shopper perhaps wouldn’t expect to be available for a push-button replenishment service.

“Teaming up with Amazon to create Amazon Dash Buttons for two of our most popular brands, Nerf and Play-Doh, gives families the unique opportunity to ensure that the fun never stops even when Nerf darts and Play-Doh supplies begin to run low,” said Craig Wilkins, Marketing Director for Hasbro UK.

There were products available on Amazon Dash that would be repurchased infrequently – these included a ‘GBC CombBind C200 Binding Machine’ listed for £119.99 and a ‘Philips Sonicare HX8331/51 AirFloss Ultra Nozzle’ listed for £75.69. Amazon was quick to remove the ‘Philips Sonicare HX8331/51 AirFloss Ultra Nozzle’ – it was de-listed by the afternoon of 31 August 2016.

gbc combbind binder amazon dash uk
GBC CombBind C200 Binding Machine: Amazon UK website 31 August 2016

 

Following its launch Amazon Dash UK will likely expand its availability – since launch in March 2015 the number of brands available in the US Dash service has grown to 150. The Amazon US site currently has six headline categories ‘Beverage & Grocery’, ‘Health & Personal Care’, ‘Beauty’, ‘Pet’ and ‘Kids & Baby’, as well as an ‘All-New Dash Buttons’ section. There were no ‘Beverage & Grocery’ items available on the UK site, other than coffee and supplements – brands such as Doritos, Red Bull, Smartwater and Nature Valley could be introduced in the UK as Amazon Dash expands and as AmazonFresh grows.

Alongside the Dash buttons, Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service is likely to expand. Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, Amazon EU, said, “Dash buttons gives you the convenience of one-click ordering in your home, and with Dash Replenishment we’re taking it one step further – enabling connected appliances to automatically re-order supplies on your behalf.”

Four manufacturers are signed up and already creating products with Dash built in – Grundig, Bosch, Whirlpool and Samsung. Samsung is building a printer that will automatically order new printer ink once it has run out. In the US, DRS products include a Brother printer that monitors levels of toner and ink and a General Electric washing machine with a built-in detergent dispenser.

The popularity of Amazon Dash remains to be seen – despite Amazon’s report of more than two orders a minute via Dash, fewer than half of those who bought a Dash button since its US launch have placed an order using the feature (Wall Street Journal). Despite having a monopoly in the auto-replenishment market today, Amazon will ultimately face competition. Carling launched a trial of the ‘Beer Button’ this week, which syncs with a mobile app to order beer via participating supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose – other brand and retailer schemes will likely follow soon.

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