Among many other things, connected objects will allow consumers to buy things more easily.
The Amazon Dash button introduced several months back is a good example of at least the start of this.
The highly publicized buttons can be mounted pretty much anywhere, such as on a washing machine or near a coffee maker to remind a consumer to re-order supplies while in the context of using the particular device or appliance.
Somewhere between 300,000 and a half million of the buttons have been shipped since Amazon started sending them to Amazon Prime service members, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who sees them heading into the millions going forward.
But the buttons are simply a precursor of what buying via the Internet of Things will be like.
Amazon is adding new partners including Samsung and GE to its Dash Replenishment Service, which will have ordering built into an appliance rather than being a separate stick-on button.
Selling through mechanisms like Amazon Dash and appliances themselves are important to CPG brands. For example, Procter & Gamble sells 42% of its products directly on Amazon, according to L2's Digital IQ Index.
Interestingly, the top performers on Amazon are P&G, Kimberly-Clark and Philips, all of which perform well on Walmart and Target, according to L2, indicating the brands have to capitalize on all selling outlets.
Dash buttons are an early iteration of how connected objects will integrate with consumer purchasing patterns and start to automate repetitive tasks, such as routine household item replenishment. To be determined is where advertising and messaging integrates into the equation.
At the moment, the connected object purchasing process still involves a smartphone to confirm the purchase. But these still are the early days of IoT, when appliances don’t yet automatically sense when they need supplies.
But from the consumer standpoint, it’s not about the button. It’s about the technology, infrastructure and behavioral change being built behind it.