Amazon.com said on Wednesday customer orders for home services like plumbing and mounting TVs had increased 20% per month on average since the online retailer launched the platform last year.
The marketplace allows Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, to enter the lucrative field of local services that is already crowded with review sites like Yelp Inc, Angie’s List and start-ups like TaskRabbit.
Adding local services to its offering makes sense for Amazon (AMZN), which has said that over 85 million U.S. customers shop for products that require additional services like installation.
Erika Takeuchi, a spokeswoman for Amazon Home Services, declined to disclose the number of contractors that have so far signed up for the service but said it now offers 36 million pre-packaged services on the site, up from 2 million when it first began offering local services last year.
Customers buying appliances like washing machines or TVs can choose to include professional installation services at checkout, making it attractive to buyers who might ordinarily make similar purchases at home improvement stores. Amazon’s local services are a direct threat to the likes of Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s that also offer similar installation and repair services. It’s a prime example of Amazon’s attempt to encroach further onto territory traditionally belonging to such brick-and-mortar stores, which still account for more than 90% of retail sales
Home services are now available across the country in 30 metropolitan areas and customer orders have been particularly brisk in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Amazon said.