Amazon plans to sell you babysitting

Amazon is planning to launch a marketplace for local services later this year, according to sources.

In a move that mirrors their grocery delivery platform, Amazon Fresh, the company plans to d start the service regionally, before expanding nationwide.

It is believed that the company's new venture would offer a full range of services, from babysitting to home improvement, as Amazon looks to take on more-established consumer review sites like Yelp Inc. and Angie's List.

While Amazon has not commented on the speculation, a service marketplace would mark a new approach for the company, which has traditionally focused on selling products.

Angie's List in 2011 estimated that the market for local services was around £238 billion ($400 billion), but marketplace companies have struggled financially as services must be offered to a specific region or city.

Recently, Amazon has begun contacting startup companies in San Francisco and Seattle that already provide a similar service. The company also plans to tie services to specific products in order to utilise their successful product sales. For example, Amazon recently offered an installation service to customers who purchased Nest thermostats.

The service marketplace would develop Amazon's role as a middleman for third-party sellers, a service that already makes up roughly 40% of the company's sales and any services being offered would be backed by Amazon's "A-to-z guarantee."

The company's own daily deals service, Amazon Local, has only achieved limited success and it is understood that it will not form a part of the new service marketplace being developed. Still, with the continued growth of the smartphone market and the option to book services on the go, it could be the right time for Amazon's new project to hit the ground running.


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