Seeking Alpha

Amazon introduces device to ease weekly shopping

  • Amazon (AMZN) has unveiled a wand device called Amazon Dash that lets users add items to shopping lists in their accounts on AmazonFresh, the company's same-day delivery service.
  • Consumers can say what they need via a microphone or use a bar-code reader on the device to scan the product they want to buy.
  • Dash then puts the items on the shopping list via a Wi-Fi connection.
  • However, Dash is by invitation-only at the moment and is limited to AmazonFresh's catchment areas of Seattle, Southern California and San Francisco.
Comments (7)
  • Jeffry Chmielewski
    , contributor
    Comments (600) | Send Message
     
    Because that bar-code scanning app wasn't good enough?

     

    Never mind that anyone who can afford the Fresh annual fee has a Smartphone.

     

    Another distraction orchestrated by Bezos. Just like FireTV and the Prime Fee increase.

     

    Give the analysts something new to talk about so they don't realize retail growth is anemic and the Cloud is doomed. They borrowed billions from Vendors as Accounts Payable to do build AWS. And now Google and Microsoft have started a price war in the cloud. Big, big problem.

     

    Someday they will write a Harvard Business School Case study about Amazon. And it won't be pretty.
    6 Apr 2014, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • Mort19
    , contributor
    Comments (287) | Send Message
     
    I totally agree Jeffry. It looks like the public jump the shark moment was the drone story on 60 Minutes.

     

    Thanks for your articles in addition to others who continue to shine a light on the awful fundamentals here.

     

    Amazon is the stock and 2014 is the year IT TANKS.
    6 Apr 2014, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • $vix
    , contributor
    Comments (522) | Send Message
     
    Your are spot on
    6 Apr 2014, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • joelkatz
    , contributor
    Comments (528) | Send Message
     
    Amazon do look attractive these days
    6 Apr 2014, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • Budavar
    , contributor
    Comments (1388) | Send Message
     
    Amazon, female
    Yea! Also the male
    Bezos...
    But be wary of
    Amazon the stock
    With a PER amok!

     

    (No copy-right claim on my latest ditty but multiple puns intended indeed]
    6 Apr 2014, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • User 21366181
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
     
    I don't mean to offend, but I find it amusing how every time Amazon does ANYTHING, someone predicts its End Times are nigh.

     

    Look, Amazon has done some pretty remarkable things, including making such a runaway success of e-ink ebook readers that they ended up getting accused of monopoly (and the big six publishers had to resort to ILLEGAL COLLUSION to get them to stop). Every other company to have tried e-readers had failed to create a viable market. (And I well remember pundits at the time claiming that the Kindle was pure foolishness and would never catch on!)

     

    Do you think Amazon would have gotten as far as it has if it didn't have a better idea than all the pundits what was smart and what wasn't?

     

    As for the Dash, never underestimate the power of convenience. Forbes had a great feature on Bezos the other day explaining how he'd essentially built his empire on making things as easy for the customers as possible. It's easy to see how Dash plays into that. What's easier, fishing your smartphone out of your pocket, fiddling with your launcher to find the app, waiting for it to load, centering the camera on the bar code, waiting...and waiting...and WAITING for it to focus and recognize the UPC...

     

    ...or just grabbing a wand, pushing a button, and BEEP! done?

     

    Furthermore, the Dash looks sturdy enough that little kids could be trusted to use it. It doesn't have an expensive LCD screen to go smash if they drop it on the floor. That's a bonus for any family. Kids LOVE gadgets like that. (Plus, more cynically, it'll help hook kids on Amazon while they're still young, then when they grow up and have incomes of their own...)

     

    As for Amazon Fresh itself, I'm a little more skeptical...but remember, it's only in three markets right now. It doesn't have a nationwide economy of scale yet. I suspect if Bezos decides to go wide with it, he'll figure out how to shave down that price some. He's got to compete with services like Peapod that charge a per-delivery fee of $10 or less. That's thirty or more grocery deliveries for the cost of signing up with Fresh. But Bezos being Bezos, I suspect he'll figure out how to do it.

     

    And even if Fresh and Dash DO turn out to be a white elephant, remember that Amazon's big enough that it can afford to fail every now and then. Bezos understands that if you're going to DO new things, you have to TRY new things...including things that fail. Then you let those failures teach you their lessons, then you turn around and try the NEXT new thing with a little more experience under your belt. Sometimes those things are going to look totally crazy...but if you don't try it because you don't think it'll work, you never get pleasantly surprised (or surprise everyone else) when it does.
    7 Apr 2014, 03:40 AM Reply Like
  • Andrewjc2
    , contributor
    Comments (146) | Send Message
     
    Golly, a shopping device that toddlers can use. Why didn't I think of that! Your right though, perhaps the sarcasm has reached an unhealthy level. Perhaps if the CEO hadn't come out with the drone story things would be different; hard to say for sure.

     

    I am not sure how you translate their shady e-book practices as a sign of success.

     

    You are right about the kindle. It was an innovative product and it gained wide market share. Amazon didn't make any money on it and those days are over. As for other "innovations" did you read the part about the cuecat? Do you understand that other companies have already created box top tv devices? Do you think Amazon is coming out with the first smart phone?
    7 Apr 2014, 09:39 AM Reply Like
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