Amazon is testing a premium service that would have its drivers assemble furniture and install appliances, Bloomberg reports today.
Furthermore, Bloomberg’s sources say that if the customer is not happy with the product, the driver could initiate the return. It is unclear from the reporting if the driver could start the return after assembly/installation, adding a significant new wrinkle to this idea.
Apparently, Amazon is experimenting with this idea to better compete with big-box home improvement, furniture, and appliances retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, and online retailers such as Wayfair.
Amazon is not new to assembly and light installation services. It already offers some of these services through AmazonHome Services, but this would mark a significant change as the company looks toward its drivers to handle these services and even expand on them.
If one would replace the other, or if drivers would handle only the “easier” or “lighter” jobs is unknown. There are many other questions on how this would actually work, especially since it would require different training, scheduling, and the delivery vans are not really designed for this kind of operation.
Threat to Other Marketplaces?
As already mentioned, the potential integration of assembly and installation services to its delivery network is aimed at large big-box retailers selling brand name new mass merchandise.
However, the drive to constantly improve the buying experience does have a trickle-down effect on all sellers as it elevates online shoppers’ expectations. Convenience is king, and this Amazon service addition would make it more convenient for buyers, placing more pressure on sellers to offer these services.
If implemented, it would also offer Amazon another feature to provide to sellers on its marketplace, again distancing the Amazon marketplace from other marketplaces. That gap is pretty big already.
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