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CNN has a story about Amazon’s venture into the home services business, noting that “while Amazon has been trying to make hiring help as easy as ordering paper towels, services are a much more complex market than physical goods. Parameters aren't always clear, labor can't be shipped instantly wherever it's needed, and purchases can't be returned.” Still, Amazon says it “now offers a range of home services — everything from pressure washing to iPhone repair — in 45,000 US zip codes and parts of India and Europe. It says that in the ‘low tens of thousands’ of businesses operate on the services platform, and that customer ratings are high.”

But … little else is known about the division's performance,” CNN reports. “Amazon has declined to disclose other metrics, such as revenue for the fledgling business or average service provider income. It also hasn't spoken much about the division during earnings calls. RJ Hottovy, a retail analyst at Morningstar, says it seems that Amazon is still trying to figure out the market.”
KC's View:
One of the things that CNN correctly suggests is that “Amazon's competitive advantage lies in offering services bundled with other products. For example, if you order a widescreen TV or Weber gas grill on Amazon, you can also find someone who can come install it. Lately, they've been offering $30 discounts on home cleaning services. But to consistently deliver on that promise, Amazon has to attract people to perform the services, many of whom have varying levels of availability and are already overwhelmed by the number of platforms to choose from.”

I totally agree with that, but would observe that I don’t think Amazon does a particularly good job of marketing these services. For example, I actually need to buy a grill … but it never occurred to me a) to buy it on Amazon (not sure why it didn’t), and b) that I could get someone via Amazon to put it together (which apparently I can).