Amazon is taking on Best Buy in the home installation and service market where Geek Squad has dominated by quietly rolling out its own service unit.
Recode, citing multiple sources and job postings, reported news that during the last few months the eCommerce giant has been hiring a gaggle of gadget experts who will offer free consultations for Alexa, its voice-activated virtual assistant and will also install products for a fee inside consumers’ homes. The services, which Recode reports are currently available in seven markets, are aimed at helping customers put together a smart home in which everything from the heating to the lighting is controlled via a mobile app or increasingly a voice command. The price for an installation of an Alexa-enabled smart thermostat is $99, and multi-device installations that take longer than an hour could cost more, reported Recode. Customers in the cities that offer the service can arrange the installation during checkout, making it easier to book the services.
Amazon for sometime has offered customers access to in-home installations through third parties, but with smart home devices picking up in demand, it’s logical that Amazon would want to own that segment of the market. After all it is very apt at entering a market and dominating it. Recode also pointed to job listings by the company for field technicians in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas and Hoboken, N.J. Amazon’s move to amass a team of technicians will save consumers money over the long run, but it is a major blow to Best Buy, which has been struggling like most other brick-and-mortar retailers to compete with the eCommerce giant. Best Buy’s Geek Squad offers similar services to what Amazon now has and is placing a greater emphasis on smart home gadgets given the expected growth of that market.