Amazon Dash buttons, which reorder household consumables at a single press, will stop working globally from later this month, the online retailer has confirmed.
The wi-fi connected devices were launched in 2015, each for reordering a specific product, with the brand name shown on the button. An adhesive backing allowed them to be stuck in convenient places around the home, for example on a washing machine for powder or a bathroom wall for toothpaste.
But in March this year they were withdrawn from sale, and now Amazon has said it will stop supporting existing ones from 31 August, leaving users to take them down and reorder another way.
A spokeswoman for the company pointed to alternatives, including machines that automatically reorder their own refills, as the reason for the decision. “Amazon is constantly evaluating our product and service offerings to best serve customers,” she said.
Dash buttons were hailed as a move towards the ‘connected home’ in which products that regularly run out are replenished without customers having to remember to buy them. They cost £4.99 each, a charge that was refunded after the first use.
By the end of 2017, there were 100 participating brands in the UK, including Bold, Nescafé, English Tea Shop and Head & Shoulders. The most popular buttons were for Finish, Tassimo, Ariel and Duracell, and Amazon said an order was placed with one every 30 seconds.
But 2018 saw the arrival in the UK of the Amazon Dash Replenishment programme, with the launch of dishwashers that automatically reorder detergent and a printer that orders its own ink cartridges.
The spokeswoman also pointed to other alternatives, including the virtual Dash button on Amazon’s website, which would remain.
“Since sales of Dash button devices ceased earlier this year, we have seen continued growth of other shopping options to meet customer needs, including virtual Dash button, Dash Replenishment, Alexa Shopping and Subscribe & Save,” she said.
“With this in mind, starting 31 August 2019, customers will no longer be able to place orders through Dash Button devices globally.
“Customers can continue reordering products using their free virtual Dash buttons on the Amazon.co.uk website and mobile app, which are available for the same great brands customers love from Dash button devices.
“Customers will see that virtual Dash buttons have already been created to replace current physical Dash button devices.”