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Amazon Powers Appliance Commerce to Reduce Shopping Drudgery

The machines and appliances in our homes and at our jobs will soon be doing some of the online shopping for us, and Amazon is at the forefront of the movement to take the drudgery out of replenishing frequently-ordered supplies.

Amazon released a press release on Tuesday announcing the “First Amazon Dash Replenishment Devices Now Available” – including select Brother printers, a GE washer, and the Gmate SMART blood glucose monitor.

You can be forgiven for possibly forgetting about Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) heralded last April and the news that shortly thereafter, Amazon acquired an IoT platform called 2lemetry.

Amazon explained DRS again in Tuesday’s announcement:

“Dash Replenishment Service enables connected devices to automatically order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low – for example, a Brother printer that will order toner or ink when it’s needed. Customers who already own a compatible Brother printer can start taking advantage of Dash Replenishment immediately, and the General Electric washer and Gmate device will be ready by the end of the month – there is no need to buy a new device – just sign up to activate Amazon Dash Replenishment.”

Media were already buzzing about Amazon’s role in what’s being called the Internet of Things (IoT) technology thanks to the recent Consumer Electronics Show where manufacturers showed off their integrations with the Amazon Echo device.

The Director of Amazon Devices Daniel Rausch was quoted Tuesday saying the company wants to help prevent customers from running out of items like laundry detergent, pet food or printer ink – “customers simply activate Dash Replenishment when they are setting up their connected device and then rely on Amazon to automatically deliver those everyday essentials.”

Those without a smart appliance can use Dash buttons to experience the ease of Dash shopping.

The technology may be tempting, but will price-sensitive consumers give up their coupon-clipping and bargain shopping? Or will the machines do that as well?

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.