As customer expectations for retail continue to change and online shopping sales soar, the technologies of the future and how they will reinvent the way retailers connect and serve their customers were top of mind at Shop.org's annual conference in Los Angeles this week.
The advent of the on-demand economy combined with the explosive growth of Amazon, has led more and more retailers to wake up to the realization that consumers want it all when it comes to shopping--both everyday low prices and convenient service. When it comes to ordering items like furniture through Amazon or Jet.com, consumers have grown to expect one click checkout with free two day delivery, and now they also expect one click installation and assembly. Retailers that don't offer instant assembly and installation for furniture, TVs or other home goods are starting to look like Borders and Radio Shack when Amazon started offering free two day shipping.
That's why major retail players like Wayfair are partnering with startups like Handy, a services platform that connects individuals with household service providers, to provide seamless shopping experiences. Through a partnership between Wayfair and Handy, Wayfair customers are now able to leverage Handy's platform and select on-demand installation or assembly with purchase at checkout.
From a startups perspective, a partnership with a retailer giant like Wayfair is a huge opportunity, not to mention the tipping point for massive growth opportunities.
"Services like assembly and installation are must-haves for consumers today," Oisin Hanrahan, Handy's CEO said. "Retailers are coming to us to ensure their customers have affordable home services so that their experience doesn't end in the checkout aisle. We're helping them take their shopping experience to the last yard, literally and figuratively, by providing a service that delights their customers and increases their revenue."
Handy has clearly evolved, and this latest shift is epic. Any startup with a services offering like this should start to pay closer attention. Handy has not been as much in the spotlight as they once were when they launched, but they've quietly grown to become national. They are leveraging their technology platform in retail partnerships that allow retailers to compete more effectively with Amazon. Now, for example, a customer can add assembly with their new dresser purchase on wayfair.com, from there a service appointment is created automatically tied to the product's delivery date. At the time of the appointment, (not a lame four hour time block), a Handy professional shows up and assembles the dresser. True one-click installation for retailers.
When you combine this with their direct-to-consumer home service brand (I've used them to paint my house!), this could be Handy's breakout moment and everyone, not just startups should begin to take note.