Amazon wants to be your plumber. And landscaper. And piano teacher.
The company announced today that it's launching a new section of the site aimed at on-demand "Home Services." What that means is Amazon intends to do for home maintenance what it has already done for home delivery. It's a huge push into a new area by one of the world's largest retailers.
At launch, Amazon is offering more than 700 services that include just about anything that might require a professional to come to your door. Tasks are searchable on Amazon, just like any other product, and there are no estimates — offers will be priced by the professional before the job takes place. Amazon says it vets all the professionals for the invite-only program before inclusion. The big idea is that the e-commerce mainstay wants to remove any pain points in the process of getting your drain fixed — or anything you can think of, really — and make it as relentlessly easy as ordering a book on drain repair.
"It's a pretty natural extension of our business to move into the service space," said Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace. In the last year, Amazon had more than 85 million customers order a product that would require service to install. Amazon Home Services started as a way to make that easier; when you order a TV, you have the option to have someone mount it on the wall for you when it arrives.
Once the pilot program began in Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles, however, Amazon began to experiment with offering services that were not directly tied to its commerce business. "In talking to customers, they don't feel like anyone serves their needs end to end," said Faricy. "You can pay a subscription to get reviews, but why not just do that on Amazon for free?"
Amazon will not release the number of service professionals it has included in the Home Services program at launch. However, Faricy said, 95% of its service providers are local neighborhood businesses, with a few national providers as well. Amazon Home Service will also include a partnership with TaskRabbit.
Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
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