Amazon Home Services is an “on-demand economy” model marketplace (some have nicknamed them “Uber-for-X” companies) that matches customers with independent workers who provide services ranging from room-painting to home entertainment system installation. Amazon announced yesterday (July 22, 2015) that the service is now available in 15 major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
Amazon continues to go local with the expansion of Amazon Home Services. The company says it will provide two ways for customers to shop: custom and pre-packaged services.
Custom services: Customers create requests by describing what needs to be done using text and photos and submitting a request for estimates from local independent workers. Custom projects can include anything from painting a room to home entertainment setup to central air installation.
Pre-packaged services: Services such as TV wall mounting, basketball hoop assembly or faucet replacement.
Why Amazon is expanding Home Services
While there is an explosion in the number of start-up on-demand services that are competing with (or supporting, in many cases) traditional service providers, Amazon has a special challenge as its products become larger and require professional installation, or merely handy-man product assembly skills. Home Services enables Amazon to outsource such services to local providers, with the customer picking up the cost.
Is there a coming war for on-demand talent?
A previous analysis by SmallBusiness.com contributor Steve King explored the question, “Are there enough independent contractors to meet the demand for the on-demand workers necessary to operate all of the emerging marketplaces for independent workers?”
Here are the challenges:
- They all have business models built on the use of independent contractors as service providers.
- Most of companies are trying to attract independent contractors from roughly the same pool—people looking for flexible, independent work in the service sector.
- A lot of these types of workers are only interested in part time work.
The answer seems obvious: There needs to be an Uber for Ubers.