Home Welcome to the E-Commerce Era of Home Services

Welcome to the E-Commerce Era of Home Services

The home services industry, a $700 billion market in the U.S. alone, encompasses a wide array of trades such as plumbing, lawn care, house cleaning, HVAC, and electrical work that serve as the backbone of modern life. All of the beloved apps and entertainment we use in our homes are irrelevant if the electricity goes out.

Tradespeople and their businesses see ever-increasing demand because they make our homes safe, comfortable, and efficient by providing essential services that enhance our daily lives. Moreover, a successful career in these trades offers a stable and rewarding lifestyle, as evidenced by the growing pride and popularity among younger people.

And, according to the latest studies, we’ll need them.

An upswing in demand for tradespeople and their particular brand of genius

We see a significant upswing in demand for these services, with a 10% increase since 2021 — and as a result, 77% of tradespeople now view labor shortages as a pressing issue. This has paved the way for income growth in the sector, with 83% of individuals in these trades expressing satisfaction or extreme satisfaction with their chosen line of work.

Technology boosts efficiency in any sector of work

Due to labor shortages, trade businesses are turning to technology to boost efficiency and productivity, allowing them to accomplish more with fewer resources. At the same time, consumers increasingly expect tradespeople to offer their services through digital platforms.

This creates an urgent need for industry innovation, including user-friendly tools for website building, digital payments, quotes, and planning. In addition, homeowners increasingly expect to find, book, and pay for services online. But fewer than half of home services businesses even have a website – and for most of those that do, their website is usually just some pictures and a phone number to call. As a result, trades businesses in the market need to adapt swiftly to meet this consumer demand.

Let’s explore the factors contributing to the digital transformation of the home services industry and how this shift benefits both tradespeople and consumers alike.

Demand for online, on-demand home services

We can thank (yes, thank) the COVID-19 pandemic for shifting not just how we work but the way we live, especially when spending on on-demand services. For the last three years, consumers have forced the entire economy to prioritize meeting them where they are.

At first, the pandemic was a health and safety matter, but operating predominantly online has expanded businesses’ opportunities to save money and generate revenue simultaneously. And importantly, consumers enjoy — and have come to expect — all of the options that are available now.

We witnessed expansive innovation within the U.S. home services industry when it grew by more than 3 percent in 2020, despite the country’s economy shrinking by 3.5 percent in the same year. And the trend continues. The home services industry saw a growth rate double that of the rest of the U.S. economy between 2021 and 2022.

As we look to the future, the industry shows no signs of slowing down. For instance, house cleaning services are expected to grow by 17% in the coming years. Lawn and landscaping, another critical sector, generates $176 billion annually in the U.S., employing over 1.3 million people across 650,000 businesses. This sector has enjoyed a consistent 8% growth rate annually over the past five years.

With much of the world returned to pre-pandemic activity, the evolution of the home services market will rely on expanding its reach by continuing to learn about its omnichannel presence. That involves reaching customers how they prefer, including booking appointments online, communicating via text message, and offering contactless payments.

The career outlook for home services professionals

So who are we talking about when we say “home services?” It’s any profession that helps make the quality of life at home better. These professions include plumbers, landscapers, cleaners, pest control experts, handypersons, electricians, painters, floorers, roofers, pavers, tilers, locksmiths, contractors – you know, the people who make things work.

People are increasingly choosing to go into these trades instead of pursuing traditional college degrees for many reasons, which I’ll spell out.


Starting your life with a mountain of debt is not an attractive outlook for many people. So if young adults can help it, they avoid it. In contrast, trade schools or apprenticeships typically cost less. As a result, they take less time to complete, making them a more affordable education and skill development option.

Demand and stability

There’s a constant demand for skilled tradespeople. These jobs are essential to maintaining and improving infrastructure, homes, and commercial properties. This demand often translates to increased job stability and opportunities for long-term careers. You’ll always need plumbers, contractors, and other professionals to literally keep your house in order.

When homeowners compare how much they spend on home services contractors each year — from roofing to HVAC, to appliance repair, to lawn care — they usually find the total is much more than almost any other category in their annual budget. The upswing bodes well for the stability and demand in the trades.

Matter of preference and faster entry into the workforce

Many individuals want the hands-on learning approach provided by trade schools and apprenticeships — as opposed to traditional colleges’ more theoretical and lecture-based style. In addition, trade programs usually take considerably less time to complete than a traditional four-year college degree, allowing people to enter the workforce more quickly and start earning a living sooner.

Earning potential and entrepreneurship opportunities

Skilled tradespeople can often earn competitive salaries, especially as they gain experience and establish a reputation for quality work. In some cases, trades’ income potential can surpass jobs requiring a traditional college degree.

These careers also offer a pathway to becoming self-employed or starting a small business, giving people more control over their work, income, and lifestyle. It isn’t uncommon to see a business owner in the trades making the sort of high income and lifestyle that would command respect – even outright awe – from someone with advanced college degrees.

Tools for home services entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs must embrace various tools and technologies to run a successful and efficient trade business. One essential element is a professional website featuring an integrated booking system, allowing clients to schedule appointments and access important information about the company quickly. Equally important is implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software, which helps manage and nurture customer relationships, leading to better retention and increased sales.

These businesses also need job management tools like software solutions that help assign tasks, monitor progress, and facilitate communication among team members to streamline the overall operation. And integrating invoicing and payment processing systems not only saves time but also ensures prompt payments from clients.

AI has opened the door to virtual assistants and utilities that can answer the phones and book new jobs, take payments, and answer questions while the tradesperson is out on the work site. Lastly, digital marketing tools, including social media management and email marketing, effectively promote the business and attract new clients.

Key takeaway

The digital transformation of the home services industry promises significant economic growth, job creation, and technological innovation in a new e-commerce era. As businesses adopt innovative tools and strategies, they can improve efficiency and customer satisfaction and secure a competitive edge in this rapidly changing landscape.

This shift will redefine how tradespeople conduct business, opening up new opportunities for those seeking financial independence and a rewarding career beyond traditional office roles.

As a founder in this thriving industry, I am excited to witness our tradespeople and businesses’ remarkable progress and resilience. Together, we will continue to innovate and adapt, embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead to forge a prosperous future for the home services industry.

Brig Graff is co-founder of Trady, a free, AI-powered website builder, CRM, job management, and pricing tool for trades businesses and home services contractors.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by ThisIsEngineering; Pexels; Thank you!

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Brig Graff

Brig Graff is Cofounder of Trady, a tech company that builds AI-powered software for trades businesses. Brig has also been an executive at multiple successful unicorn tech companies that have gone public, including Domo and Omniture. Previously, he was the global leader of Adobe's Solution Architecture team, and was head of e-commerce at Overstock.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.