Part of the allure of a Smart Home system, which can be managed with a mobile app and Wi-Fi, is that the printers, washing machines, or refrigerators will automate mundane tasks. However, even smart appliances require smart supplies (laundry detergent, oven racks, printer cartridges, etc).
That’s where Amazon’s Smart Reordering service comes into play. This article provides an overview of Smart Reorders, and how it all works. We’ll also include an example of how to use Smart Reordering with a commonly-used smart product (in this case a Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer).
What Is Amazon’s Smart Reordering Service?
Amazon’s Alexa has the ability to sense when your Smart Home needs something. For example, when your printer ink is running low, she’ll automatically have the correct cartridge shipped out to you.
Everyone knows that an out-of-ink printer can be a show-stopper. When you need to print something, you’ll need to drop everything you’re doing and run to the store. At the store, you may have difficulty finding the right printer cartridge. And while it’s easy to find a printer cartridge online, you have to wait for it to ship.
Thankfully, with Amazon’s Smart Reordering service, you’ll find it on your doorstep before you need it, and you can place it in a drawer, ready and waiting for the next time your printer runs out of ink. You’ll also get a 10% discount on ink or toner through Amazon.
Amazon has been tinkering with the smart reordering concept for years, previously offering Dash buttons which you could place in your supply storage area (maybe on the side of your clothes washer). You simply pressed the button, and the detergent you need would ship to you from Amazon.
When they were first announced, some people thought the Dash buttons were a hoax, and there were obvious concerns with using the buttons. Suppose you had kids who were at the age when they love pressing buttons? You might return home one day to find 150 boxes of laundry detergent stacked on your front porch.
Amazon has phased out Dash Buttons, and has built upon existing smart reordering ideas. Some smart product manufacturers provide subscription and delivery services for restocking your smart home system.
Hewlett-Packard offers Instant Ink, which restocks your printer cartridges for a fee based on how many pages you print per month. Amazon’s Smart Reordering service centralizes and improves upon these options, and you can control the process through Alexa.
LG Joins Amazon’s Smart Reordering Service
Amazon is building partnerships with mutiple smart appliance manufacturers to integrate more smart reorders. And everything from trash liners to electric toothbrush heads will (eventually) be covered.
LG has already joined this effort with the new Thinq app. Integrated with the new LG Thinq app, Alexa will sense when you need detergent or water filters for your smart appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines).
LG and the Smart Reordering service can also help when you need to order an accessory. For example, when you need a new oven rack, you’ll need to make sure you order the right part. The Thinq app will confirm that what you’re ordering is a fit for the specific oven model you own.
How to Use Smart Reordering
Setting up Smart Reordering is easy. Typically you’ll add your smart appliance app within the Alexa skills list. Here’s how to set up smart reordering with an HP printer:
- Download the HP Smart app.
- Set up your printer within the HP app.
- In the Alexa app, navigate to the Devices section in the bottom right-hand corner, and tap the plus “+” sign.
- Tap Add Device.
- Scroll down and tap Printer.
- Tap Discover Devices.
- Press Next and enable the HP skill within the skill store to discover your printer.
- Tap the Launch button.
- Agree to the readable terms of service, and tap the HP Account button.
- You’ll need to sign into your HP account.
- Tap the Connect button.
If all goes well, you’ll see a message indicating your HP printer account has been linked to Alexa.
Setting Up Smart Reorders
Once your printer is linked with Alexa, you should see it listed in its Devices section, and you can change the Smart Reorder settings. Here’s how:
- In the Alexa app home screen, tap the Devices button in the lower-right corner.
- At the top, slide the device type buttons to the left until you see All Devices.
- Under All Devices, scroll down until you see your printer model listed, and tap there.
- Tap the Supply link to change Smart Reorder settings.
- Tap the When my supplies are running low link.
You’ll have three setting options: Smart Reorder, Just notify me, and Do not reorder or notify. Tap Smart Reorder, and then tap the Select button.
From here you can select the product that you want automatically reordered from a list. You’ll also have some helpful detail; current ink levels, information on the last time the Smart Reorder product was shipped to you, the most popular reorder products, and product reviews.
You can check the product price to make sure you’re not paying too much for something which will automatically ship. If the price has gone up by more than the 10% reduction you’re awarded through Amazon, the Smart Reorder Service will notify you.
Keeping the Things You Need in Stock Is Smart
Amazon and Smart appliance manufacturers understand the importance of keeping your Smart Home system well-provisioned, and have an easy to use, efficient system.
You don’t need to research prices. You don’t need to wade through codes and information to find the cartridge that will work in your printer. You don’t need to match the accessory part number with the model number of your smart product.
And you don’t have to manually go through the process of ordering these things. You just need the Smart Reorder service. You can spend time, which would otherwise be wasted on researching, shopping and buying, on productivity and the things you enjoy doing.
Apple is reportedly looking to expand its smart home portfolio. We’re taking look at two rumored products in the pipeline.
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