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Amazon Grows Home Services, Challenging Yelp, Angie's List

Amazon has expanded a business connecting customers with professional home service providers, complete with a "happiness guarantee.

The e-commerce giant on Monday announced the nationwide launch of Amazon Home Services, an online marketplace where consumers can search, buy, review and schedule professional services — from wall mounting a new TV to house cleaning or finding an aerial yoga class.

Consumers are not charged a fee to read reviews or merchant ratings, and Amazon (AMZN) estimates that more than 85 million of its U.S. customers shop for products that also require professional services.

The rollout follows several months of testing in select cities.

Shares closed up 1.1%.

Amazon "has been moving in this direction for a while now," Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle told IBD. "This is another step in being a one-stop shop for everything you need, from products to services.

Amazon Home Services also springboards the company into the same turf as Angie's List (ANGI). That Indianapolis-based online service provider and review site has struggled with competition from rivals such as Yelp (YELP), as well as from high marketing costs. Angie's List has seen slowing sales growth each of the past eight quarters.

Shares of Angie's List finished 2.2% lower Monday, while Yelp edged up 0.5%.

"If you've got a choice of subscribing to Angie's List or getting a similar service from Amazon for free, that's going to be a tough one for Angie's List to compete with, if people perceive the two services as being equal," Enderle said.

"The way (Angie's List) can defend is by making sure they have a much better idea of what their customers want and serving those unique needs so people feel like they're getting something extra.

Amazon Home Services includes more than 2 million unique offerings across 700 professional services. The company said it has handpicked pros offering upfront pricing on pre-packaged services with reviews from customers who've made verified purchases.

A "Happiness Guarantee" backs all services purchased, and Amazon pledges to work with customers and service providers "to ensure the job gets done right or provide a refund.

The company will take a cut of between 10% and 20% of every service arranged through its site, according to reports. Data gleaned from transactions is also expected to help it sell more physical products to customers who buy related services.