No one can ever guess what Amazon would do next. When everyone were busy expecting more retail outlets/delivery points, it has launched Amazon Home Services. Amazon Home Service is a new online market place for shoppers to book handyman and other professionals to do various household tasks. To everyone’s surprise, it even includes goat grazers to trim the lawn and aerial dancing lessons.
The new Amazon Home Services said it would offer more than 700 services from licensed professionals though these services could be availed in big cities like New York, San Francisco and Seattle, which is Amazon’s birthplace. The move makes sense for Amazon, said Jason Daigler, an analyst with Gartner. “It’s a huge market and Amazon sells many products that have logical complementary services, like flat-screen TV that requires wall mounting,” he said.
The demand and the complexity of finding a professional to do things inside the home gives Amazon an advantage, because of its already gained goodwill and trust among the customers. In the Amazon Home Service market place the shoppers can schedule and pay for their services through Amazon website itself. Prices for each service is mentioned on the site itself, for the customer to know how much each service would cost. Customer can post reviews after they have availed the services just like any other product which would be helpful for the other customers to decide. The company has promised that it would take just a minute to buy pre-packaged services through marketplace. It also provides refund of the amount paid if the customer is not satisfied with the work.
Amazon conducts a background check on the professional service providers to check their quality and license to do the work. Amazon charges the businesses a selling fee of 10% to 20%.
Amazon’s services is not all that new. Angie’s List founded in 1995, Craiglist, Yelp and other have been offering listing services which means Amazon is not free from competitors. However, Amazon does have key advantages in taking over these old players. Users need to pay to read reviews and listings at Angie’s List, whereas Amazon allows anyone to use the services and read the reviews. Yelp allows its users to read the reviews for free but there no way to book the services from the site which is not the case with Amazon.
Amazon’s massive scale of products and customers itself serve as a greater advantage. When a customer shops for item that needed installation, the sites lists alongside the product the services available. This would probe the customer to book for installation then and there rather than hunting for it in another site.
This latest launch of Amazon, it tries to expand its territory beyond what its known for. Though the success is not assured, but its readiness to enter into unexpected new markets is one of its greatest strength. It refuses to hold back with some perceptions and statements from its critics like Amazon is over-diversified. But the company’s technology chief Werner Vogels recently described the firm to a 20-year old startup, despite of being mocked, and works on towards what it can grab next.