Friday, 21 July, 2017

Amazon Takes Aim at Best Buy's Geek Squad

An employee check computer inventory that is part of a'Black Friday sale at a Best Buy An employee check computer inventory that is part of a'Black Friday sale at a Best Buy
Lucas Bell | 12 July, 2017, 00:39

Amazon already offers a marketplace where service providers offer services like plumbing, masonry, TV mounting, etc but given the increasing popularity of smart home devices, it seems that Amazon feels it's important to have a team in-house that can help customers set up these complex devices. Now, the company is targeting Best Buy's Geek Squad installation and fix service. Amazon Prime now claims an estimated 85 million USA subscribers - almost as many Americans as subscribe to pay TV. While other brick-and-mortar retailers have felt the pinch from online competition, Best Buy's stock has soared in recent years, in part thanks to Geek Squad's ability to bridge the gap between retail stores, e-commerce, and in-home consumer education. The job listing calls for prior experience as an Apple Genius or a Geek Squad Double Agent and presumably requires some expertise in smart homes, especially smart homes powered by Alexa.

Recode first reported that, over the last few months, Amazon has slowly hired technology experts to offer free in-home Alexa help.

The company notes on the service page that its experts are employees - not contractors. It's a high-profile, widely promoted event that Amazon hopes will add up to more subscribers willing to pay $99 a year for its Amazon Prime service.

Whether customers actually use the service remains to be seen. Now, according to reporting from Recode, Amazon will be a major competitor in the space. In fact, it'll even come and set them up for you.

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Amazon describes the smart home consultation as a three-step process.

"All experts have been background-checked and are licensed and certified where applicable", the site says.

Currently, Amazon's in-home installation service is available in seven markets, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and Orange County.

Recodealso noted that Amazon is now postings jobs for "field technicians" in multiple cities, including Tampa, Miami, Houston, Dallas, and Las Vegas. And if the early returns of what customers are saying about the service mean anything-95 percent of the 532 customer reviews are 5-star rating-they're off to a good start.

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