Porch.com is launching Porch Retail Solution, a service that allows online retailers to offer installation services for their shoppers. The company’s partnership with Wayfair serves as competition for Amazon, which launched its own home-services division last year.
Seattle startup Porch.com is teaming up with online retailer Wayfair to offer home installation and assembly services to customers who shop online.
Shoppers will be able to buy furniture or home décor from Wayfair and add Porch Home Services to their order. Porch will then contact the shopper directly and schedule a time to meet a local home contractor to get the project completed.
Porch uses an online system to connect homeowners with contractors to complete projects, from landscaping to plumbing.
The startup, which employs more than 300 people in its Sodo office, already has a broad partnership with Lowe’s to connect shoppers with contractors in the stores.
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Matt Ehrlichman, CEO of Porch, says the Porch Retail Solution operates much the same way, but in the virtual world.
The Porch service is both a way for customers to feel more comfortable installing home items purchased online, and a way for online retailers to compete with Amazon.com.
The Seattle tech giant launched its own home-services division last year, and offers installation and assembly services for some purchases made through its website.
“With Amazon launching last year, all retailers realized they need to offer services to be competitive,” Ehrlichman said. “Porch is the first to help them do that.”
The partnership with Boston-based Wayfair is just the beginning for Porch’s new service. The startup plans to partner with several more retailers this year, though Ehrlichman did not offer details yet.
Porch’s partnership with Wayfair launched in 15 markets Tuesday, including the Seattle metro area, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
Porch had a tough end to 2015, when it announced it would lay off nearly 100 employees, and several executives also left.
Since then, the company has refocused and is now doing “better than we probably ever have,” Ehrlichman said.
And he says the company sees Amazon’s big entrance into the business as an opportunity.
“If anyone tells you when Amazon enters their space that they were happy, they’re not telling the truth,” Ehrlichman said. “But it’s been interesting because it’s actually galvanized everyone.”