An online marketplace wants in on the home installation game

BY DEENA M. AMATO-MCCOY

eBay just made a move that could help it compete with the likes of Amazon, Ikea, Walmart and Best Buy.

Through partnership with leading home services providers, the online marketplace is enabling customers to book installation services on a vast selection of eBay inventory. The company is working with housecleaning and handyman app Handy; Porch, an online platform that connects homeowners with local home repair services, and InstallerNet, an installation solutions provider for the consumer electronics industry.

When purchasing items that require installation or assembly, eBay shoppers will have the ability to add a service from the most appropriate provider during the checkout process. If services are chosen, the selected company will connect eBay shoppers with pre-screened local service professionals available across their national network.

The new services coincide with eBay’s recent launch of tire installation services in late 2017. Through the service, eBay shoppers can bundle new tire purchases with professional installation available in their local area.

“A massive amount of home and electronic items are sold on eBay daily, many of which require professional installation,” said Alyssa Steele, VP of merchandising at eBay. “With these new partnerships, we’re able to combine our incredible selection of inventory with easy access to affordable and trusted service professionals, making eBay a one-stop shop for our customers.”

The deals will help eBay compete with other companies that offer similar services. For example, Walmart offers customers both in-store and online the option to purchase in-home installation and assembly services for merchandise, including furniture and electronics. The program is available through its partnership with home services provider Handy.

Meanwhile, Ikea introduced its TaskRabbit At-Home Assembly Service in a pilot in 2016. The company introduced the program online in select markets, and in six stores in the San Francisco and New York City area. The retailer said additional stores will add the service in 2018, including those in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Boston, Washington, D.C., and more.

Best Buy offers similar services through its Geek Squad. Amazon also features assembly services for merchandise including furniture, fitness equipment, and recreational items, including pool tables.

“This wise initiative … shows that retailers en masse are looking to differentiate themselves by offering services that help consumers use the products they buy,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, U.S. CEO and co-founder of Mirakl.

“As consumers continue to push for more options and convenience, offering services is a natural extension that allows retailers to be a bigger part of the customer’s journey. It’s not a new model,” Nussenbaum added. “What’s new is the ability to bring many more service providers to the table using the online marketplace model. As the retail industry continues to experience a services revolution, the marketplace model provides a unique opportunity to offer a comprehensive list of third-party service provider which complete the purchase experience.”

 

Originally published on November 12th, 2019 in Chain Store Age