Amazon, the world’s biggest eCommerce platform, is moving to compete with Wayfair by offering a premium-tier service that includes assembly of merchandise like desks, shelves and other items, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
The premium service is just a pilot to test the waters to see how customers respond to having items assembled upon delivery, sources said. If it’s successful, Amazon believes it will be better able to compete with rivals like Home Depot, Best Buy and others, which all offer assistance for assembly.
Amazon’s new feature will first be introduced in Virginia and two other markets, per Bloomberg. The eCommerce giant presently offers big item deliveries at a set time and to a particular room of the customer’s choice. However, Amazon said that at times, people are not happy with receiving an unassembled piece of furniture.
The new service would require delivery drivers to carry the box to the designated room, unpack the pieces, assemble the item and remove all of the packaging materials. If a customer was unhappy with the piece, the driver would take the product back.
Amazon’s previous arrangement for assembly partners required customers to schedule an entirely different contractor than the delivery agent. And sometimes, depending on where they were located, the service would be unavailable.
Earlier this month, PYMNTS’ Whole Paycheck Tracker indicated that two retail behemoths — Amazon and Walmart — are tackling different ways of doing business in the newly digital-first world: Walmart is taking on banks and Amazon is tackling empty malls. Amazon turned 25 empty or struggling shopping malls into distribution centers between 2016 and 2019, and is moving to keep acquiring brick-and-mortar locations coping with record-high vacancies. Meanwhile, Walmart is looking to offer financial services that could benefit the 90 percent of people in the U.S. living fewer than 10 miles from the retail giant.