The virtual maid service movement is coming into full swing with eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) and Angie’s List (Nasdaq:ANGI) moving into the online marketplace – connecting consumers more directly with maid service providers, including the ability to book and pay online.
In 2013, eBay tested its new marketplace eBayHIRE for service providers in the UK and has launched its beta version in the US. Similar to its product-based marketplace, eBay would provide its platform to service providers and enable consumers to shop for providers in their neighborhoods. Currently, eBay is reaching out to business owners with a 0% commission trial offer; it is expected that once formally launched, eBay will charge business owners listing services a commission similar to the one in place on the products platform.
eBay is preparing to go head to head with Angie’s List, who in late January 2014 announced its new integration with the mobile tool vWorkApp. This app allows the businesses listed on Angie’s List to do more than just build a robust profile, gain reviews and offer deals. With vWorkApp, businesses will be able to book a job and take payment right then and there.
The Angie’s List news follows announcements from similar lead generation-turned-referral agency enterprises like Homejoy, Care, Home Depot’s Red Beacon, TaskRabbit, and Exec. These online platforms all promote some variation on one-stop and economical shopping for home service providers; Homejoy originally launched as Maidjoy with a focus on providing inexpensive maid service providers to homeowners.
What we learn from this activity is that major online hubs that currently support consumer needs and activity are looking add to their repertoire; that is, they are adding direct services. Said plainly, they are getting into the maid service business too…adding a radically new player to the competitive field.
Originally published on March 17, 2014 at CleaningBusinessToday.com.