Amazon is experimenting with a change to Amazon Home Services, its division that connects customers with local home improvement professionals and other service providers.
The change is currently a housekeeping pilot project in Seattle, but could indicate a transition in how the company approaches business in some sectors, including home improvement, Bloomberg reports.
Amazon “is quietly hiring house cleaners in Seattle as direct employees. The online retailer is swapping the low cost of contract workers for the greater control of employing its own people,” Bloomberg says.
The e-commerce giant launched Amazon Home Services in 2015 so consumers could “browse, purchase and schedule hundreds of professional services from wall mounting a new TV to installing a new garbage disposal to house cleaning, directly on Amazon.com,” according to the company.
Bloomberg suggests that Amazon is working to update its Amazon Home Services model because the division’s “growth has been sluggish.”
“Amazon’s experiment signals it’s concerned that saving money by using independent contractors can compromise the customer experience and make it just another online matchmaker,” the Bloomberg article says. “If the test works for housekeeping, it could help Amazon grow more quickly into other service-oriented categories like home improvement products and sophisticated electronics that require assembly and installation.”