- EBay has partnered with Handy, Porch and InstallerNet to allow customers to purchase assembly or installation services to go with products they buy from the online marketplace, according to an eBay press release.
- Shoppers will see the option to purchase the additional home services, with whichever provider is most suited to the installation, during online checkout for certain merchandise.
- The partnerships represent eBay's latest effort in the services market after the company last year launched the ability for customers buying car tires online to coordinate an appointment with a local auto repair shop to have them installed, according to the press release.
Like many other retailers and e-commerce marketplaces, eBay is making moves allowing shoppers to package services with their purchases. Amazon already has been doing this for a while, having rolled out home repair and yard work service options several years ago, and more recently home security services. Ikea also offers a similar amenity through its TaskRabbit At-Home Assembly service.
This trio of partnerships for eBay also comes less than three months after Walmart expanded a similar existing partnership with Handy to support products bought both in-store and online. Retailers of all kinds are looking to supplement their typical products offerings with something to convince customers they are going the extra mile — or at least a little further than the competition.
EBay also may be feeling pressure to add more value to its overall customer experience through efforts that don't cost it an arm and a leg. The marketplace has invested in a lot of new technology to improve product discovery and other aspects of its operations, but has also had to deal with the consequences of its own increased spending as it has pursued such innovations. Partnerships tend to come cheaper, and may also deliver a revenue share or other benefits back to eBay, although that was not addressed in the press release.
While eBay may not be the first one to do this — Amazon offers a similar option on some product pages with the option to add "expert assembly" — the online marketplace is expanding its offering to include options for car tires, electronics and other home products, which could make it more competitive. Adding the option to connect with a professional assembler or installer right on the eBay checkout page also makes it easier for shoppers to purchase the option without adding extra steps to the checkout process.