Amazon wants to literally set up your smart home. The online retailer is looking to find more ways to solidify its place as an indispensable part of our lives, and now coming into our homes to help set up devices like the Amazon Echo is a part of that.
Amazon has been hiring technicians in several cities who can go into people’s homes to help install and setup the Echo product line, smart thermostats, eero WiFi mesh networks, and more. The people are actual Amazon employees—not contractors—who also have the appropriate certifications where required by local laws and regulations. They’ve also undergone background checks which is another way to help present Amazon as a company to trust.
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. Currently, you can get Amazon’s smart home techs in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Orange County, California.
Based on Amazon’s job listings, the service will expand to Tampa, Hoboken, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, and Las Vegas soon.
An online retailer hiring an actual staff to go into people’s homes may seem counter intuitive, but it makes sense because it’s a two-pronged strategy for growing marketshare. First, Amazon wants to solidify its place as the go-to choice for all our purchases and owning the smart home space is a part of that. Second, Amazon wants all of Best Buy’s business and that means competing with the big box retailer’s Geek Squad service.
Geek Squad is Best Buy’s foot into our homes thanks to their smart home and home theater installation services. They also provide tech support and repair services for PCs.
Amazon is also offering an online consulting service to help shoppers figure out what smart home, networking, and home entertainment system products they need. Of course, the consultants will help put together an Amazon shopping list and help schedule one of their on-site technicians if they’re available where you live.
If Best Buy wasn’t already aware Amazon is gunning for its business, it is now.
HomeKit Needs in on the Smart Home Setup Game
Amazon is pushing Alexa as the platform of choice for smart home control, while Best Buy is promoting both Alexa and Google Home. That leaves Apple’s HomeKit as the odd man out, at least for now.
Apple promotes HomeKit products on its website and in stores, but good luck setting up a Genius Bar appointment to help with your smart home setup. You can use Apple’s website to find a local Apple Consultants Network member to help, assuming you’ve heard of the program.
Amazon’s new push into smart home consulting is something Apple should be watching closely because advocating for HomeKit needs to go beyond device makers promoting compatibility. Until then, Amazon is ready to help you make your regular home smart and they’re going to make sure the Echo and Alexa are part of it.