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Amazon yesterday announced that it has added 50-plus new brands to its Dash Button program, bringing the total to more than 250.

Among the new companies now selling product via the Dash Buttons are Colgate, Iams, Seventh Generation, Clorox, Kingsford, Nexium, Rogaine and KY.

The Dash Buttons are part of Amazon's broader replenishment strategy. Customers can buy buttons for $4.99 apiece, and then place them in convenient locations. (A Colgate toothpaste button would go in the medicine chest, for example. The Kingsford charcoal button would be attached to the grill. And the KY button would ... well, use your imagination.) Then, when the customer needs to instantly re-order a product, he or she can just push the button, and the order is placed ... and the cost of the button is refunded with the first order.
KC's View:
The idea is that in every case where you use the button for an item, you will rarely, if ever, need to buy that product at an actual store again. The research I've seen shows that while it can take some time for a person to actually use the button even after he or she has purchased it, once it has been used, the button tends to quickly become a habit.

I've always seen the Dash Button as a kind of gateway drug for the Subscribe & Save program, which provides for automatic replenishment ... no button necessary. Another next step is building the technology into appliances so that they can automatically reorder products when running low. (A coffee maker could reorder filters, for example, or a washing machine could reorder detergent.)

But let's be clear. All this stuff is about getting people to buy more stuff from Amazon, and less stuff in traditional stores.

Whether you love it or hate it, you have to concede that it is brilliant.