Google may be close to launching a home improvement service that would help connect users of its search engines to plumbers and electricians.
The potential launch closely follows Amazon’s entrance into the space last week, which marked a major expansion for the 20-year-old e-commerce giant.
Buzzfeed reports today that unnamed sources say Google is planning to launch the service at an advertising conference later this spring. Those sources say the product could recommend home improvement providers when certain searches are conducted.
A Google spokesperson did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
Given that the launch could happen at an advertising conference that could hint at how it will operate differently from Amazon’s new service.
Last week, Amazon Home Services launched, providing users with a place to browse, purchase and schedule professional services, ranging from installing a new garbage disposal to hanging a new light fixture. Other services include housecleaning, yoga, guitar lessons, or things as crazy as renting goats for grazing overgrown yards.
Amazon charges the providers a percentage of the final cost of the service only after it has been completed. In an advertising model, Google may charge the service provider a fee for every lead, whether it results in a job or not. The advertising model is something many service providers are used to through other sites, like Angie’s List and Yelp.
In addition to Amazon’s launch, there’s a bevy of startups trying to automate this space. The emphasis is on trying to generate real quotes online for the consumer before a repairman ever visits a owner’s home.
Two major startups operating in this space locally include Pro.com and Porch.
Last week, Amazon’s VP of marketplaces Peter Faricy explained why the interest in the space is so intense.
“The part that is incredible to me is that people spend four times as much on services as they do on physical products,” he said. “Obviously, we have a pretty large physical products business that serves customers well, and we are anxious to serve customers well in home services.”