The evolution of the Dash Button, Customer ratings, the factors that influence Amazon Choice and how to find out if Alexa is listening

The evolution of the Dash Button


The evolution of the Amazon Dash Button is here -- and it's a container. Smart containers can sense you're running low on inventory and keep you stocked up, automatically ordering refills from Amazon. A South Florida start-up company called WePlenish created a container that does just that, and it has Amazon's support.  You can't just have the container reorder any item you wish. Right now it's only compatible with about 90 (and growing) preapproved Amazon items. At the moment, the majority of options are disposable coffee or other coffee-type-things like packets of sweeteners and creamers.

You can imagine how this would be a great innovation for customers, especially business users - saving the hassle of monitoring and replenishing stock levels. Another example of Amazon striving to enhance customer experience.


Amazon Customer Ratings


Amazon is collecting data of all your transactions, to make sure you are a good customer. This is good news for sellers, as it improves the quality of Amazon customers and reduces the number of returns you have to deal with. 

The algorithm will flag up those customers with a high frequency and volume of returns and issue a warning. If they don't comply, there is a chance they will shut their account down. Aside from the desire for Amazon to have a good and profitable customer on the platform, it is also intended to flush out those people that are ordering products to generate reviews and then returning items immediately afterwards. It would not be surprising if Amazon takes this further and follows Uber's lead, rating customers based on their buying behaviour. Yet another social media statistics to worry about!

Amazon increases usage of Amazon Choice


The "Amazon's Choice" label, with its sleek graphite background and orange-and-white lettering, has been popping up on more and more items on Amazon as they look to make selection easier for customers. Furthermore, Amazon is starting to display the reasons why a product has been chosen. The selections are attached to searches for generic and specific search terms and even brand terms. For a product to have the chance of getting the Amazon Choice logo, it must be popular and frequently bought by customers on a specific search term, have a high customer rating, is available to be shipped with Prime, have a low return rate and have a competitive price. Apart from that, Amazon's methods for selecting these items are shrouded in mystery.

Amazon's Choice items are becoming more important as these are the items Amazon's search engine will deliver when you ask Alexa, Amazon's voice-shopping service, to search for you 

Find out whether your conversations are being listened too


Amazon has been in hot water recently after a family discovered that Alex had accidentally recorded a conversation and sent it out to a contact. Disastrous PR for Amazon, given the sensitivity around the impact of voice assistants on privacy.

I was curious to hear what conversations Alex had recorded in my home. In most cases, it was my kids requesting jokes and playing music and me,  asking for the news or weather information. However, there were instances where it had picked up conversations where Alexa was mentioned. Fortunately, all conversations were related to Alexa searches, and not random. If you're curious about what Amazon Echo smart devices have recorded while in your home — as I was — you can use the Alexa app to find out. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone. Tap the menu button on the top-left side of the screen. Scroll down and select 'Settings.' Scroll down the page and tap 'History. You'll be able to see all of the commands Alexa has heard. If you select a recording, you can choose the option to delete it.