The virtual Dash Button is a feature in the Amazon Shopping App available to all Prime members. You can save your favorite products as a shortcut and reorder them with one click. Let’s take a closer look at the virtual order buttons from a consumer and vendor perspective:
- What is the Amazon Dash Button?
- How does the virtual Dash Button work?
- How can providers use it for themselves?
- What potential does it offer in practice?
What is the Amazon Dash Button?
On August 31, 2016, Amazon introduced the physical Dash Buttons in Germany. They enabled customers to re-order everyday products such as detergents and cleaning agents or cosmetics directly with the push of a button. All you needed was an Amazon Prime account. Each button was linked to a specific product of a brand that was previously selected.
In January 2019, however, the Munich Higher State Court decided that the small buttons should be abolished: The reasons were a lack of price transparency and information regarding the product contents. At the end of August the physical Dash Buttons will be completely disconnected and therefore unusable.
Here the virtual order buttons come into play as an alternative. They offer the convenience of the physical Dash Button and the advantage that consumers can order their products while on the move.
How does the virtual Dash Button work for Prime users?
In the Amazon Shopping App, Prime members can independently generate a virtual Dash Button for each product available via Prime. This is done via the product detail page. The saved shortcuts can be viewed in the app or on the website under “My Account”. Users can then decide for themselves there how they prefer to order and name them.
Note: The virtual Dash Button is usually suitable for products that are ordered over and over again. The shortcuts are also created automatically for these products.
In contrast, the physical Dash Buttons were only available for a small selection of brands and products. Access to the program was only granted to brands at Amazon’s invitation.
The virtual Dash Button for vendors
More transparency with the virtual order button?
According to the retail giant, virtual dash buttons are not around because of the ban on physical order buttons, but because of their worldwide success. Nevertheless, the virtual Dash Button addresses the biggest point of criticism: the lack of price transparency. Before each order, consumers can click on the left button to access information on price and delivery, and then click on the right button to make a purchase.
Strengths of the virtual Dash Button
Although the physical dash button failed due to legal requirements, the online order button has potential. Consumers do not have to search for a product in the search bar or in a list, but can directly access the desired product and place the order. The path from “add to shopping cart” to the completion of the purchase is minimized. These factors can promote repeat purchases and customer loyalty. However, in contrast to the physical dash button, an interface is again required for the order.
Theoretically, the Virtual Dash button offers great potential. However, the circumstances for the realization of this potential are not (yet) in place. First, the target group is limited to prime customers who use the Amazon Shopping App. Second, the advantages are not clearly communicated to users. At the moment they come across the function by chance. Additionally, the selection of products for which a Dash Button can theoretically be generated is enormous. It contains too many articles that are usually not suitable for a repeat purchase – and are therefore irrelevant for the concept. This contributes to the fact that consumers do not immediately grasp the meaning of the order buttons.
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