Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

Amazon's gets Savvy About Smart Home Setup with On-site Techs

The amazon echo is seen on display at the Amazon Books store in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in New York City New York Best Buy is getting whacked as Amazon goes after its key advantage (AMZN, BBY)
Rosalie Gross | 11 July, 2017, 01:35

Amazon is pushing Alexa as the platform of choice for smart home control, while Best Buy is promoting both Alexa and Google Home.

But maybe not for long.

Amazon really wants you to buy smart home products. Best Buy's service fixes products even if they were purchased from other stores.

Insider sources told Recode Amazon has been quietly hiring its smart home technicians in several cities, and that it'll expand to more markets soon. Amazon won't set up just any device, but it handles some of the common brands: Philips Hue lights, Ecobee thermostats, Eero WiFi routers and Ring doorbells are some of the eligible gadgets.

Now available in seven locations (Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Orange County, Calif.; and San Jose, Calif.), the new services are provided by Amazon employees rather than contractors.

On Monday, July 10, Recode reported that Amazon is quietly posting job notices and hiring IT professionals for its own in-home electronics fix army, to rival Best Buy's Geek Squad. The installation fees run are about $99. Last month, the e-commerce giant wreaked havoc on rival grocery stores when it announced a $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, immediately confronting dozens of companies with the prospect of having to compete with food-delivery service Amazon Fresh.

Now, Amazon is making a concerted effort to own that entire customer experience, including the in-person assistance that has been a major asset for Best Buy.

Best Buy reported unexpected first quarter growth in May, when shares hit an all-time intraday high of $60.14.

Geek Squad is Best Buy's foot into our homes thanks to their smart home and home theater installation services.

Amazon has already taken a big bite out of Best Buy's electronics revenues, and now it's coming for the services part of their business as well. According to Best Buy's annual report, its services business is comprised of consultation, design, delivery, installation, set-up, protection plans, repair, technical support and educational classes.

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