Amazon Dash gets a smart button rival

Photos: Kwik
Jun 27, 2016

Promising to be a viable alternative for consumers to Amazon Dash, Tel Aviv-based Kwik is launching a “one-tap” smart button and delivery service in the U.S.

Launched in 2015, Kwik provides one-tap delivery for Domino’s Pizza, Huggies Diapers, and Eden Springs Water in Israel. Kwik also won a pilot program with Anheuser-Busch during the AB InBev & ZX Ventures Startup Pitch Competition at SxSW.

Customers register for a button, connect it to their home Wi-Fi, choose their default product(s), and push the button to place their order. In seconds, a text message arrives for confirmation, and the product arrives shortly thereafter. Kwik earns a cut from each purchase.

Among the touted advantages are Kwik’s open ecosystem that enables brands to choose their delivery and payment partners.

“As the very first open ‘click and deliver’ service, we can work with any brand, retailer, payments processor, or delivery service, making it possible for all brands to better understand the needs of and develop deeper direct relationships with their consumers,” said Ofer Klein, CEO and co-founder, Kwik, in a statement.

The buttons are free to consumers. Amazon’s cost $4.99, although fees are later credited based on purchases. Launched in April 2015, Amazon Dash has more than 100 buttons available across a wide variety of CPG categories.

Mr. Klein told TechCrunch that while smartphone apps are offering similar one-tap ordering, physical buttons are just easier overall. Mr. Klein asserts “people would like to just not think” and see pizza, beer and other recurring orders arrive.

Kwik has recently closed a $3 million round of seed funding led by Norwest Venture Partners to accelerate its U.S. expansion.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a wide opportunity for smart buttons, beyond Amazon Dash? Should CPG brands be open to Dash competitors and how should other retailer’s respond?

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20 Comments on "Amazon Dash gets a smart button rival"

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Paula Rosenblum

Perhaps I am missing something but I think these buttons are the stupidest idea ever. Even someone with short-term memory issues like me can remember to add laundry detergent to their shopping list without aid of a button. Or I can just record it on my phone.

Who wants these buttons? Why do they need them? Are they willing to pay for them? Show me some data. Alexa, I can understand. The buttons? Totally lost on me.

Ben Ball

“Need” a button? I don’t know about that.

“Want” a button? Not sure about that either. And Amazon isn’t giving out the numbers that I know of.

But there were some very interesting data points shared in a Slice Intelligence webinar here on RetailWire last April. When a Dash button is in the house, only 50 percent of consumers use them. But those 50 percent fulfill virtually 100 percent of their requirements with that brand and the brand commands over a 90 percent share of all category purchases for the household — regardless of who makes them or where. So it’s pretty easy to see why manufacturers aren’t willing to stay out of this game for now.

Ken Lonyai

Not a surprise about competitors. Kwik’s advantage is also its disadvantage: brands choose their delivery and payment partners. Amazon is super strong on fulfillment which is their real differentiation, not IoT. Fumbles and missteps in the post-button push aspect of Kwik buttons are going to reflect on Kwik and may disappoint the brands that choose to use their system.

Keith Anderson

Real-world buy buttons are a transitional trend. They do shorten the re-order cycle and help lock shoppers into a given brand. But they’re nowhere near as frictionless as voice re-ordering, which is already becoming more widely accessible as Amazon introduces lower-priced hardware like the Echo Tap and Dot and other players (including Google and Apple) make moves.

Dash competitors like Kwik will need to consider a few of Amazon’s key advantages, which go way beyond the buttons themselves: price, selection and convenience. Shoppers believe Amazon carries the products they want at low prices, and Amazon delivers faster than the competition.

While Kwik will offer much more flexibility, it may offer a lot less consistency and reliability than Amazon’s “closed-loop” platform.

Shep Hyken

We live in a world that wants convenience. Smart buttons are simple to use. So why not just have an app on your smartphone that does the same thing? Especially because once you push the button, you’ll have to verify on your smartphone anyway. The simple answer is, once again, convenience.

The simpler it is for the consumer, the better. Run out of detergent and push the button. You don’t have to pull out your phone, put in your password, flip to the screen with the app, open the app, find the product and then tap on it. The button eliminates those steps, and maybe one or two I may have missed.

How easy can you make it for the customer? It’s that simple.

Steve Montgomery

Button, button, who’s got the button? Today this might be revised to who’s got the best button. I’m with Paula on this. My answer is, who cares?

Tom Redd

I am with Paula … stupid button. There are many reasons — Millennials and Generation X love games but that only goes so far. These buttons will become a hacker’s paradise! These are a marketing idea gone too far. If you need buttons to help you because you are SO busy then you need a new life. Avoid the scam and the hackers and the marketing measurement tools … RUN FROM THE BUTTON ATTACK! RUN!

Kim Garretson
6 years 8 months ago

I’m with Keith. The buttons are transitional, and voice will have longer legs. The even longer path is one that Dries Buytarert, the inventor of Drupal, calls The Big Reverse of the Web. He says: “The current web is ‘pull-based,’ meaning we visit websites or download mobile applications.” (Or push buttons and use voice commands.) He continues:

“The future of the web is ‘push-based,’ meaning the web will be coming to us. In the next 10 years, we will witness a transformation from a pull-based web to a push-based web. When this ‘Big Reverse’ is complete, the web will disappear into the background much like our electricity or water supply.”

Ken Lonyai

Kim — good point quoting Dries. Push has started and it’s a major reason why apps have peaked and are sliding downwards on the bell curve. Push is coming primarily from voice based assistants, bots, and text. Funny though, when I’ve stated here that click and touch interfaces are so yesterday, many BrainTrust colleagues don’t want to believe it. 😉

Gene Detroyer

Shopping today is about speed and convenience. What is more perfect than a button?

Ken Lonyai


Bob Phibbs

As the Wall Street Journal noted today, “fewer than half of people who bought a Dash button since March 2015 have used it to place an actual order … ”

This again looks like a solution hoping to find a problem. More providers of non-needed solutions for non-existent problems don’t make it a good idea.

Lee Kent

While I get the ease of it, at some point we need to get back to being responsible. By that I mean, we have no problem clicking a button and having one item sent to us for free but, people, at what cost? Is this really the best way to use other people’s time and resources?

Who cares how many it takes for picking and packing as long as someone else is paying for it? If we had to pay for each shipment would we do it this way? I think not …

I know I’m on the soap box but seems to me like we’re just letting our own convenience and maybe even decadence get a little out of hand.

But that’s just my 2 cents

Ken Cassar
Ken Cassar
Principal, Cassarco Strategy & Analytic Consultants
6 years 8 months ago

We’ve been following Dash buttons pretty closely since they launched here at Slice Intelligence. Our view is that Dash buttons are really the first mainstream consumer implementation of IoT commerce. Sure, the set-up process is a little bit complicated (fewer than half of the people that buy a Dash button actually use it), but it is the first step that many consumers have taken. If I’m a brand or a retailer, I want to be there with consumers as they’re doing new and exciting/scary things. I want consumers to associate my brand with innovation, even if it’s not something that changes their lives. You can find our report here.

Phil Rubin
Phil Rubin
Founder, Grey Space Matters
6 years 8 months ago

While buttons might work for some, if the trend on wearables (declining sharply) extends to in-home automation like buttons, this might be a challenge. That said, there is certainly room for one or maybe a few “buttons” for those consumers with such a preference. The challenge for Kwik is acceptance with merchant partners but if they can do that they can certainly carve out a niche away from Amazon, at the least (e.g., with Domino’s and other brands that don’t distribute via Amazon … at least yet!).

Al McClain

If this doesn’t work, something else similar will. We live in a hedonistic society, where many consumers can’t be bothered to actually write out a list, go to the store, or even pick up the phone. The fact that they can push a button to get pizza and/or beer says it all. Reminds me a lot of the Simpsons, only for real. Remember, emojis accomplish pretty much nothing and they are everywhere now.

Jeff Hall

The button concept — simple, convenient and quick — is appealing, though in reality likely to be embraced by a very small segment of the market. Who truly wants to have several buttons stuck to their walls, inside cabinets, etc. all around their house? As others have made note, voice-activated ordering will likely emerge as the dominant winner in this tech race.

James Tenser

Kwik and Dash buttons are single-function IoT devices. Imagine using one for every product or service that you buy repeatedly. Taken to the extreme, it would require an entire closet — or ad messages scattered all over your house.

Of course buy buttons seem attractive for brands. It’s the promise of disintermediation all over again. Looking closer, however, it’s really just re-intermediation, substituting a new middle-man for an old one, with a concurrent increase in fulfillment complexity.

So I too am in the “stupidest idea ever” camp on these. Sure, a few folks will adopt them for a few items, but while they create apparent simplicity for those selected purchases, they actually expand complexity overall.

Chuck Palmer

The marketer in me is intrigued by the personal, behavioral data that might come from Kwik/Dash buttons, but I have trouble seeing it as significant in the overall marketing and selling mix.

I like the open nature of Kwik. BUT there are a lot of logistics between the button-push and the satisfaction. This, of course, is why Amazon can play with the tech the way it is.

I expect Amazon is using the data to triangulate with Alexa and traditional ordering. It might just be another interface, but as my Dad taught me, make it as easy as possible to separate a man from his money.

Meyar Sheik

In today’s e-commerce world, we continue to see consumers craving instant gratification throughout their shopping journey. However, what consumers fail to realize is that nothing is free and instant gratification hinders other aspects of the customer experience. Critical elements like personalization are negatively impacted when such a big emphasis is put on delivering products at lightning fast speed. In the case of Amazon’s Dash button, products are guaranteed to arrive in a convenient time frame but consumers must sacrifice a broad product selection for this convenience. As Amazon continues to expand the program and boost usage rates, they might want to consider finding a way to personalize offerings for each individual consumer instead of rolling out a “one size, fits all” program.


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