It’s not a joke, The New Yorker assures us. “Many people assumed it was,” they wrote yesterday, “mostly because the announcement came the day before April Fool’s, but also because the idea seemed to poke fun at Amazon’s omnipresence, making it visibly manifest with little plastic one-click shopping buttons adhered to surfaces all over your home.” But yes, this really is happening. You can now install a little button in your home which will automatically order you products from Amazon.
It’s free for Amazon Prime members, if you request an invitation from Amazon at that URL. The “Dash” buttons are even customized with the logos of products you might want to order (like Tide detergent or Bounty paper towels), according to a promotional video Amazon’s included on the page. “A simple way to re-order the important things you always run low on,” its friendly narrator explains, “so you’ll never run out.” And apparently you can set up the button to order any product that you want (using the Amazon app on your smartphone).
Amazon always sends a confirmation to your phone, so you’ll have a chance to review your order after it’s been placed. And don’t worry — by default, the button is set up to place only one order (even if you press it more than once!) Amazon is reaching out to manufacturers now about how they can include Amazon’s magical button as part of their own marketing plans. And what’s really amazing is that after pushing the button, your order will sometimes arrive at your house in less than one hour!
Amazon’s announcing a new one-hour delivery window for members of their Prime shipping service in select target markets. The “Prime Now” service is available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Manhattan and Miami — in select zip codes — for thousands of products that you’d order from Amazon. “We are excited to continue delivering to customers in record-breaking time…” brags Amazon’s senior VP of worldwide operations. “It means you can skip a trip to the store and get the items you need delivered right to your door in under an hour…”
“Since launching, we’ve seen high demand on everything from essentials like water and paper towels to more surprising deliveries like getting a customer a hard-to-find, top-selling toy in 23 minutes!”
The New Yorker had some fun with the announcement, wondering how people would configure their Amazon buttons — and which items they’d re-order again and again? “So far, other than coffee, Amazon appears to be steering clear of offering addictive products with the service. There is no Cheetos button. No Oreos button… And the buttons are set up to place only one order at a time, no matter how many times you press them, which means that Fido or your five-year-old can’t order ten thousand rolls of paper towels when you’re not paying attention.”
My biggest problem was that I thought the whole thing was a joke! Especially since for April Fool’s Day, the link-sharing site Reddit announced a button of their own. When you press this button, it resets a timer that’s counting down from 60 seconds. So far over half a million people have clicked on it, always resetting the timer before it reahes zero — so no one knows what will happen when its timer finally drops to zero.
But if this were Amazon’s button, they all could’ve ordered a half million boxes of Tide!