Amazon Prime members might soon be able to book cleaners as part of their subscription, according to a job advert discovered online.
The ad, posted on Amazon's website and looking for "Amazon Assistants" in Seattle, Washington, says successful candidates will "be an expert in helping Amazon customers keep up their home. You will be working with customers each day with tidying up around the home, laundry, and helping put groceries and essentials like toilet paper and paper towels away."
The goal, Amazon says, is for customers to return home to an "errand-free home". The ad, first spotted by The Seattle Times, originally included a line explaining how two-person teams would offer "time-saving assistance to Amazon Prime members", but the reference to the company's Prime subscription service was later removed.
These tasks appear to fall into line with what Amazon sells through its Dash buttons and express delivery services.
Dash buttons are pressed by customers when they run low on essentials like toilet roll and washing powder; the items are delivered the next day, but often in large quantities which are either left outside or stored at the local post depot.
Employing a housekeeper to accept the deliveries, put them away and tidy the house makes clear sense. The service could even integrate with the Amazon Echo and Alexa, the company's voice-activated personal assistant; say "Alexa, clean my house" and a housekeeper visit is arranged.
An experiment for now
Amazon is unlikely to launch the housekeeping service immediately, as the low-key nature of the advert suggests this is little more than a local experiment. But once Amazon gets its teeth into an experiment, like delivery drones, it likes to progress quickly.
It seems unlikely that Amazon could offer a cleaning and errand service for the current Prime membership fee of £7.99 a month or £79 per year, unless it can make up the employment costs with revenue earned from other aspects of the service. Customers might be asked to provide cleaning products bought through Amazon and delivered for when the housekeeper needs them, for example.
Prime members get free express deliveries (often next-day, sometimes same-day), access to a Netflix-like video streaming service and Spotify-like music player. They also get to use the Dash buttons, which cost £5 each but that is removed from the button's first order. All of these encourage Prime members to spend far more with Amazon each year than the cost of their membership.