Best Buy is getting whacked as Amazon goes after its key advantage

Posted July 11, 2017

Wonder who Amazon is going after...?

The tech giant is rolling out its own version of Best Buy's popular Geek Squad service, which offers in-home product installations and repairs on electronics and appliances. These new full-time Amazon employees will do everything from assist clients in the device purchasing process to setting up heating and cooling systems, home entertainment centers, and home security systems.

Other services include the installation of select Alexa-enabled smart home products from Phillips Hue light bulbs to Honeywell Lyric Thermostats. Now, according to reporting from Recode, Amazon will be a major competitor in the space. But as Recode notes, the company also appears to be hiring in Houston, Dallas, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Hoboken, New Jersey.

The services are only available in a handful of areas, including Amazon's home turf of Seattle as well as Los Angeles, Portland (Oregon), Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. They also provide tech support and fix services for PCs. Then the expert comes to your home where you can "test drive" smart home products through interactive demos and in-person tutorials.

Amazon is looking to position its Alexa voice control platform as the center of the smart home ecosystem, so it makes sense that the company is looking for ways to help out curious but fearful customers get started.

If Amazon sinks its teeth into this business, it may drive customers to buy products from Amazon instead of from a Best Buy. You can use Apple's website to find a local Apple Consultants Network member to help, assuming you've heard of the program.

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.

Amazon introduced this new consultation and in-home technical assistance and installation business without much publicity.