You’re out of diapers and the baby has just … you know. Or your poodle has eaten all his kibble and is looking at you with those sad puppy-dog eyes. Or you’re short a six-pack of beer for the after-game blowout.

Help is just the click of a button away. Literally.

Israeli startup Kwik makes buttons to place on the changing table, next to the dog dish or on your fridge. Tap the button and it sends a message to your preferred supplier. Refills are on their way within the hour.

Physical buttons that make an electronic call for a re-order are not unique to Kwik. Amazon’s nearly identical Dash buttons have been gaining traction with 150 name brands including Tide, Kraft and Red Bull.

Kwik adds an important tweak: cutting out the middleman.

“Amazon doesn’t share any data on its customers; they keep it all on their platform, ” Kwik CEO and cofounder Ofer Klein tells ISRAEL21c. “So brands don’t know who is ordering their products, they don’t know when or where, and they can’t do cross sales.”

Kwik has its own roster of well-known brands – among them Huggies, Domino’s and Budweiser – which can distribute buttons directly to their customers. They’re all in Israel so far as part of Kwik’s beta test. But with a $3 million investment from Norwest Venture Partners last June, the company is getting ready to click through to the US and Europe.

 

Buttons vs. apps

Are buttons really necessary? Why not just open up the Domino’s app on your smartphone to order a pizza?

“Ninety percent of users will not consistently use their app after 30 days, even if they download the specific Purina app for re-ordering dog food, ” Klein says. “Their phones are just too stuffed with other apps.”

Hence the opportunity for intuitive, interactive buttons.

 

kwik-button-Kwik CEO Ofer Klein

“If you come home after a party half drunk and you want to turn on the light, you feel for the switch on the wall. You know how to do it. Now imagine your whole home is digital. You have to open your phone and the app, press on ‘kitchen, ’ then ‘light on.’ That’s not intuitive. If you can’t do it in less than 30 seconds with no mistakes, it’s not good enough, ” Klein says.