How Amazon Dash button could hurt brands

Amazon Dash's influence
Amazon Dash's influence   

Amazon's Dash button could hurt new brands if it becomes widely used to re-order old favorites, according to one economist.

Amazon Dash works like the e-commerce site's Buy It Now button on the web, except it will be an actual button sent to the customer. With a push of the button, consumers can order the products they need without having to visit the Amazon website or app, according to the company's website.

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But it could trap Amazon shoppers into sticking with specific brands and force them to do extra work in order to discover new—and potentially better—products, according to Max Wolff, chief economist at Manhattan Venture Partners in an interview with CNBC.

So far, well-known brands such as Whirlpool and Brita are participating in the Amazon Dash Replenishment Service program.

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The buttons are currently available for Amazon Prime subscribers by invitation only, Amazon said on its website. Its Dash Replenishment Service will be widely available this fall, according to the company.

"The question is, how much is it a gimmick that really busy technophiles go for and how much can you make it a lifestyle product for millions of busy people to streamline their purchase," Wolff said.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the Dash button program to CNBC on Wednesday.