Retail giant Amazon has launched a wand-style scanner that allows users to shop directly from their homes, simply by swiping the barcodes of the products they're running out of, or using voice commands.
Dash has a built-in barcode scanner and microphone, meaning that users can do their weekly shop by physically scanning the barcodes of items round the house that they are running low on, or by saying the name of an item into the microphone.
The tool connects to a smartphone or laptop via wi-fi, meaning that each swiped item is automatically added to the customer's basket on Amazon Fresh – the company's US-based next-day-delivery grocery site. In addition to groceries, Amazon Fresh sells electronics, household tools, software, games and entertainment, giving users access to around 500,000 items.
Dash is free for users of Amazon Fresh but is currently only available in Southern California, San Francisco and certain neighbourhoods in Seattle.
The company also integrated Flow – image-recognition shopping technology – into its main app in February, allowing users to scan any item with their smartphone's camera to find out more about it and shop it directly.
New technologies, service initiatives and apps are transforming the retail experience, allowing consumers to shop regardless of the time or location. Read more about this in Out-of-Hours Shopping and Future Innovations, both part of the Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend.
For more on ways in which online grocery retailers are upgrading the shopping experience by introducing sophisticated branded content and new service strategies, see Grocery E-Commerce. To see how technology is influencing in-store grocery shopping, see Digitisation of the Supermarket.