Unilever holds out as Amazon Dash button arrives in the UK with Nestlé, P&G brands

Amazon's Dash buttons have arrived in the UK, allowing users to re-order household items at the literal touch of a button.

Amazon Dash: Amazon's one-touch ordering service has come to the UK
Amazon Dash: Amazon's one-touch ordering service has come to the UK

The Dash is a physical button linked to a user's Amazon Prime account and powered by Wi-Fi. When pressed, the button will order a specified household item for delivery the next day.

A key limitation is that Dash buttons can only be associated with one line of products. For example, if a user wants to re-order both Fairy washing-up liquid and Huggies nappies regularly, they will need two separate branded Dash buttons. It isn't possible to order a Dash button branded with Huggies and reset it to order Fairy liquid.

Buttons cost £4.99 each, though Amazon effectively gives them away for free by knocking £4.99 off the next order.

The brand list sees Amazon partnering household giants Nestlé, P&G, Reckitt Benckiser, Kimberly-Clark and Mars, among others across 48 brands.

Unilever appears to have held out both in the UK and US, possibly because it's exploring its own options.

The 48 brands span toys, personal care, home care, drinks and pet food. These include Andrex, Dettol, Durex, Fairy, Finish, Play-Doh, Olay and Rimmel, among many others. The full list is available here.

The Dash button arrives in the UK after launching in the US last March. Amazon has remained tight-lipped about how the buttons are doing, but has now revealed some statistics.

According to the shopping giant, orders made through the Dash button have increased threefold in the last two months, with orders taking place more than twice a minute.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, fewer than half of those who bought a Dash button since its US launch have placed an order.

"The Dash button makes it easier than ever to stay stocked-up on the essential items you use every day, and we've seen great engagement from our customers in the US," said Taryn Mitchell, global vice president of digital sales at Reckitt Benckiser.

"In fact, a significant number of the orders we see through Amazon today are placed via the Amazon Dash button. It's a remarkably convenient way for customers to reorder everyday items, and even adds a bit of fun to the process."

Opening up the Internet of Things

Amazon also announced the expansion of its Dash Replenishment Programme, arguably a more significant development for the Internet of Things than the Dash button.

These APIs allow manufacturers to integrate Dash functionality into their own items. For example, Brita in the US launched a self-replenishing water filter.

Other brands on the programme include Bosch, Siemens, Samsung and Whirlpool.

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