Amazon May Launch a Local Services Marketplace
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Traditionally known as a finished goods retailer of media, apparel, furniture and food, Amazon is now putting the call out to babysitters, handymen and birthday clowns as it prepares -- later this year -- to launch a local services marketplace.
As certain Amazon inventories seem to be shrinking by the minute due to contract disputes with Hachette books and Warner movies, its foray into local services would mark a brand new channel for the e-tailing giant.
The rumored venture -- whose aim would be to connect customers with local providers -- will commence in “a single market,” reports Reuters, before rolling out nationwide. This is similar to the tactic the company took when it debuted its grocery service Amazon Fresh in Seattle before bringing the concept to San Francisco and Los Angeles several years later.
Entering the services channel, Amazon will place itself squarely in competition with Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Depot and Lowe’s -- all of whom provide links between customers and local services, according to the report.
However, Amazon would reportedly go one step further by aiming to add a service component to every single product sold on its site, per Reuters. Recently, the company tested this model by offering an installation option to users who bought Nest thermostats.
While local services can be an expensive arena because efforts need to be tailored to individual regions, Amazon has reportedly been reaching out directly to service companies in Seattle and San Francisco as well as startups that themselves provide local service marketplaces.