Amazon expands IoT consumables automated ordering service

Giant internet retailer Amazon has announced a number of new companies have signed up for its Dash Replacement Service, which seeks to automate the ordering of certain products.

DRS was unveiled on 1 April this year, but proved to be no joke. Amazon is apparently pleased with its first six months and has added the following to the DRS stable: General Electric, Samsung, August, Gmate, Oster, Obe, Petnet, CleverPet, Sutro, Thync, and Sealed Air, leading to much excitement.

“We are excited to introduce 11 new device makers to the Dash Replenishment Service program,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “DRS adds convenience and ease for both customers and device makers alike. Customers don’t have to do anything—they can simply rely on the connected device to automatically reorder the consumables that keep their homes running smoothly. For device makers, DRS makes it easy to add re-ordering functionality to their devices to deliver a helpful and differentiated experience for customers.”

“We are excited to be at re:Invent and preview the DRS for our Soft Care connected hand soap dispensers,” said Dr. Ilham Kadri, President of Diversey Care (part of Sealed Air). “Connectivity enables our customers to use data to enhance hand wash compliance and thus food safety levels, and Dash Replenishment Service delivers an unprecedented level of convenience so they’re never out of soap.”

DRS can be fully automated, integrated into an app, or activated via a special programmable Amazon Dash Button. The current focus is entirely on consumables used by machines, such as detergent, coffee and toner.

For example Obe’s Pro Bowl weighs the amount of food consumed by a pet and subtracts that amount from the in-home inventory balance. When supply runs low, Obe’s Pro Bowl uses DRS to automatically place the order for the pre-selected pet food on behalf of the customer.

While this is clearly a handy service for Amazon and consumables suppliers, it remains to be seen how keen consumers will be. Take launch partner Brita, for example. Who doesn’t extend the life of their water filter beyond the recommended time? Culturally it will probably take a while before consumers are ready to surrender their purchasing discretion.

Incidentally it looks like Amazon is prepared to stop selling products that interfere with its grand plans, with Bloomberg reporting it is vetoing Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast as they don’t ‘interact well’ with its own Prime Video service. This sets an ominous precedent for other product categories, including consumables.

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