TIME Retail

Amazon Eyes Local Services Market

Workers pack boxes at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben
Workers pack boxes at Amazon's logistics center in Graben, Germany, on Dec. 16, 2013 Michaela Rehle—Reuters

Amazon will be branching into the local services market later this year by linking its consumers to professional services — potentially increasing its sales by acting as the middleman for service providers

Amazon.com is expanding its growing portfolio by branching into the local services market, according to reports.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant, which currently sells everything from groceries and clothes to home appliances, will offer services to complement every product featured on its site, according to Reuters.

Customers will be matched with service providers that specialize in the relevant product; for example, those who have recently bought a violin will be recommended local music instructors.

Amazon is taking its cue from sites such as Yelp and Thumbtack — the latter matches 63,000 professionals with customers, according to Reuters. By linking customers with services, Amazon aims to leverage its reputation as a trusted company.

Amazon’s expansion marks the increasing appeal of sites that streamline products and services, which is only expected to flourish with the growing use of smartphones. Rival eBay also tapped into the market late last year with its launch of Hire, which advertises service professionals along with related products.

[Reuters]

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