Being the largest online retailer on the planet isn’t enough for Amazon, as the company intends to also become the world’s largest grocery store with the help of Amazon Dash.
We might not get a food replicator a la Star Trek, but Amazon still means to bring some innovation at least to the way we buy food, if not to the way we eat it. The magic wand henceforth known as Amazon Dash will provide quick access to the e-tailer’s grocery shopping service that was launched last Friday. AmazonFresh is currently invite-only, but the service will most likely expand to include more customers, as well as more areas of the US, currently being available only in Southern California, in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Seattle (this makes sense, since this is the retailer’s hometown).
Amazon Dash connects to your home’s WiFi network and enables you to create shopping lists simply by scanning the barcode of a product that ran out. If for some odd reason scanning barcodes is too difficult of a task for you, then Dash’s microphone will allow you to add items to the list verbally.
The barcode scanner-shopping list combo has been done before by tens of mobile apps, so this is definitely not the aspect that makes Dash’s take on grocery shopping revolutionary. What makes the magic wand that great is its direct link to AmazonFresh. All the items you’re going to scan with the Dash will show up in the AmazonFresh account. This feature could prove really useful for people who buy the same stuff all over again.
While Amazon claims that the Dash is that easy to use that even a child would know how to handle it, that’s particularly one of the things you need to pay attention to. There are cases when kids bought on eBay or on Amazon very expensive things using their parents’ cards, so if you decide to leave the Dash around the house, don’t be surprised if a truck full of groceries pulls in your driveway.
AmazonFresh will be offered as a subscription-based service, and people will have to pay $300 annually to access it. Whether that subscription will be recovered from cheaper groceries remains to be seen, though. If it makes any difference, Amazon Dash is offered for free to whoever buys a subscription to the e-tailer’s grocery shopping service.