A version of this article first appeared in Marketing Magazine, 7/5/2015
Breaking technology stories in early April is a challenge. The pace of change is so extreme, the advances in blurring the boundaries between real world and online experiences so extraordinary that it’s difficult to tell innovation from April Fool. So when Amazon Dash launched its buttons product late on March 31st, the confusion was understandable.
Physical “Buy Now” buttons for all your favourite brands, conveniently located around your home and synched to your Amazon Prime account seemed like an obvious-if well executed-prank. Of course so too do delivery drones, a Google store on Tottenham Court Road, a bank account you unlock with your heartbeat and an Argos “concept store” that looks like a boutique hotel. In today’s retail environment, truth really is stranger than fiction.
The reality is an audacious play by Amazon to seize control of the grocery shopping experience. It’s a move that brings in to sharp focus some of the fundamental changes happening in the world of commerce. Continue reading