Retail

Amazon Unveils Smart Shelves For Re-Ordering

To help companies automatically purchase office supplies when they run low, Amazon announced the Amazon Dash Smart Shelf. The device is a new scale that also serves as a shelf for office supplies, and, when the weight falls, it can realize that companies are running low and re-order products from the eCommerce retailer automatically, CNBC reported. 

Amazon will offer small, medium and large shelf versions that will run on a wall plug or four AAA batteries and link to a Wi-Fi network. The product is intended for small businesses, and purchasers will need a U.S. business license to acquire one. Amazon can tell what supplies are on the shelf and what it should re-order once the device is connected to an Amazon Shopping or Amazon Business account.

If the shelf has many notepads on it, for instance, it will notice when a company needs more supplies when it determines that the weight of notepads has fallen. Users that don’t want the shelf to automatically re-order supplies can have it send a notification in its place. As a result, users could purchase supplies elsewhere. In the event they buy the shelf, they receive an up to 15 percent discount on select brands.

The idea reportedly began with Amazon Dash buttons that users could tap to place orders for common household goods and products. The eCommerce retailer has stopped offering the buttons. The concept, however, has reportedly morphed into the Amazon Dash Replenishment Service inside select appliances. A printer could, for instance, know that a user is running out of ink and order new cartridges automatically. 

The Dash button was rolled out in 2015, a year after Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa. The push-button device let shoppers to easily re-order frequently-used products such as coffee and pet food. Within two years, it had become one of Amazon’s fastest-growing services with nearly 6,000 orders each day. But despite big brands linking to Dash, such as Tylenol, Listerine and even Calvin Klein, Amazon shifted its strategy to focus on Alexa instead. 

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