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GeekWire reports that Amazon, which retired its physical Dash button replenishment program earlier this year, has come up with a new take on the automatic replenishment business - "smart shelf that knows when supplies are low and automatically reorders them."

From the GeekWire story: "The Dash Smart Shelf is a WiFi-enabled scale for office supplies. When common supplies like printer paper, pens, or coffee are running low, the shelf can automatically re-stock them or send a notification to put in a manual order.

"Amazon envisions offices replete with several of the thin black scales placed in break rooms, supply closets and other locations. The scales are only an inch tall and come in three sizes: seven inches by seven inches, 12 inches by 10 inches and 18 inches by 13 inches.

"The device will be available to customers of Amazon Business - the company’s marketplace for business, government, healthcare and educational organizations - next year. Amazon did not say how much the shelves will cost."

The Dash button program was launched in 2015, and offered consumers the ability to buy the buttons for $4.99 each and place them in relevant places - a Tide button on a washing machine, a Pamper button on a baby changing table, etc… The $4.99 would then be deducted from the first purchase made using the button.

While Amazon discontinued the sale of new buttons, it has continued servicing the ones that are already out there, plus has offered virtual Dash buttons online.
KC's View:
Another brick in the replenishment wall, which Amazon would like to build in order top wall in some percentage of sales that, once it has captured them, will never, ever return to the retail venues where they used to be transacted.

Amazon's Subscribe-and-Save business is, all by itself, easily a top 20 retailer … completely based on replenishment. Why more retailers haven't made a concerted effort to grab some of this business … which allows them to create sustained relationships with shoppers … is utterly beyond me.

When the history books are written about this era, I think that retailers' unwillingness to engage with a replenishment model will be an entire chapter … and it'll be a chapter about denial and defeat.