The venture could not only increase Amazon’s hold in e-commerce but also wipe out competitors like Craigslist.
Remember the days when you turned to the yellow pages to find ‘home repair service’ companies? Or asked the girl next door to babysit your kids? Those days ended when websites began listing specialized services, where we can instantly compare prices, history, and reviews. We live in a world where everything digital seems better, so instead of browsing the local listings, we visit Craigslist, Angie’s List, Homeadvisor.com, or any of the multiple service-listing websites currently on the market. Regardless of which site you choose to visit, however, you feel confident in deciding on a service using this method, but with Amazon aiming to debut the sale of these kinds of services by the end of this year, there soon might not be much consideration of which site you visit.
Since its founding in 1994, Amazon.com has gone on to become the largest online retail company in the world. Beginning with books, Amazon expanded to include consumer goods, groceries, a local daily deals service, and a marketplace where the company serves as a middle-man to third party sellers. According to Reuters, Amazon has been testing different kinds of services people might be interested in. For example, one recent promotion offered installation services to anyone who purchased a Nest thermostat.
Many service websites are currently struggling to make a profit, which might make Amazon‘s decision to head in this direction a strange one, but it’s actually very strategic. Unlike Yelp and Thumbtack, Amazon.com is so big that even if the venture doesn’t garner a huge profit, the move is still a win. Afterall, If you happen to be on Amazon.com ordering a book, and are also is the market for a painter, why wouldn’t you search for both on the same site?
Despite the fact that this play increases Amazon’s range of competitors, it also creates new opportunities for small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs to market their services. Most importantly, Amazon’s decision to offer the sale of services gifts us with a glimpse of what will almost inevitably be the future. This moves shows the public that sooner or later, Amazon will be more than a powerhouse in online retail, it might just be the only house.