Amazon has started to roll out its Dash Replenishment Service to the general public and all potentially partnering companies after testing the service since April of last year with a limited set of partners. The Dash Replenishment Service is the platform behind the Dash buttons. It provides a frictionless way to (re-)order consumables via the Dash buttons or via integrated features in connected devices (like washing machines for example).
On Tuesday Amazon kicked the program up several notches. In addition to launching the first three products supporting Dash Replenishment Services (the Brother printers, the GE washer and the Gmate SMART blood glucose monitor for diabetics); it expanded the number of participants to Purell so hand sanitizers around the country could now ping Amazon to get more gel. The company also opened access for its Dash Replenishment Service to consumers.
That last move is the big one. Amazon will now let anyone, from a huge company like Procter & Gamble to everyday hobbyists, connect to its Dash Replenishment Service. Like the Amazon Echo—the Internet-connected speaker and personal assistant, which has become a stealth home automation platform—Dash Replenishment Service stands to become another platform for the Internet of things. And unlike other efforts on the market, Amazon’s platform could become an essential one, because it’s attached to a viable business model.
Already the list of upcoming partners is impressive:
Several other companies have said they will participate in the Dash Replenishment Service, including Samsung, Brita, Whirlpool, August, Oster, Obe, Petnet, Clever Pet, Sutro, Thync, and Sealed Air.
From the FAQ:
How is DRS different from Dash Button?
For consumables that aren’t associated with a device (such as sport drinks or paper towels), Dash Button provides a simple standalone solution for DRS integration. For consumables that are associated with a device (such as water filters or printer cartridges), device makers have two options for integrating with DRS: they can integrate a physical button right into their device for reordering, or they can measure consumable usage so that reordering happens automatically. (..)
Amazon doesn’t sell the consumable that goes with my device. Can I still participate?
Yes. You can sell your own consumable items on Amazon using Fulfillment by Amazon. You can then integrate DRS with your connected device to reorder those consumables.
Can we really implement DRS with 10 lines of code?
Yes. Device makers can start using DRS with as few as 10 lines of code using simple HTML containers and REST API calls. Device makers can place orders on behalf of their customers without having to manage addresses, payment instruments, or billing systems.
Within a few years the Dash Replenishment Service could become a major business for Amazon, with, last not least, a veritable moat that is only going to get wider the bigger the whole system becomes.
More on Amazon’s several platform ambitions: