Why Taskrabbit is stepping on the gas with retail partnerships

The gig work platform approached the Joy Baby registry after bookings spiked for nursery set-ups and baby proofings.
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Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

· 5 min read

The jobs that gig workers line up on Taskrabbit can be stunningly random, from being hired to buy and deliver a whole branzino fish as a birthday gift to—oh, the humanity—dropping an ex’s items off after a breakup.

But certain popular gigs are not surprising at all, like moving and TV mounting, and Eric Haymond, Taskrabbit’s VP of business development, said the platform recently noticed a surge for a particular type of job.

“We’ve seen a big increase in our customers really searching and looking for baby-related services,” Haymond told Retail Brew.

  • Taskrabbit saw a 25% increase in bookings for nursery set-ups (including painting and assembling furniture and toys) and a 56% increase for baby-proofing jobs in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period last year.

Now the company is partnering with Joy, a universal wedding and baby registry site, to promote Taskrabbit gift certificates to expecting parents.

“Hire Taskers as early as the same day to handle everything from cleaning your home to assembling cribs and more!” states the web page on Joy promoting the gift certificates, which are available in denominations of $100–$300.

Haymond, a father of three, said he spent way too much time baby-proofing and painting after his progeny arrived.

“I did a lot of stupid things [that] took a lot of my time instead of spending time with our newborns,” he said. “Taskrabbit’s greatest quality is that gift of time that is so tough today.”

The wrench connection: It should come as no surprise that Taskrabbit is partnering with retailers since it is, after all, owned by one. In 2017, Ikea purchased the company, originally called RunMyErrand when founded by Leah Busque in 2008.

The purchase made sense as a pain-point reliever for Ikea, which while widely lauded for its designs and prices, is also known for short-circuiting some Allen key-wielding consumers attempting to assemble its flat-packed products. (The year Ikea purchased Taskrabbit, New York magazine called the store a “relationship death trap,” for the tension some couples experience both agreeing on furniture in its arrow-emblazoned aisles and, once home, assembling it.)

At the time of the acquisition, Ikea stores in London were already partnering with Taskrabbit to assemble furniture. Haymond, who was working at Ikea as executive VP of strategy and business development in the US when it purchased the platform, transferred to Taskrabbit in 2019 to help roll out its assembling services in stores worldwide.

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Today, Ikea customers are invited to book a “Tasker” in countries including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

While Haymond declined to say what percentage of Ikea shoppers choose Taskrabbit, he said that “a reasonable amount of their customers are getting assembly” via the platform and that it varies by country, with Italy and Spain choosing Taskrabbit a bit more than countries like the US, which is “actually a little more DIY.”

Taskrabbit redux: Taskrabbit has also partnered with other brands, including Uplift Desk, the standing (or sitting) desk brand, which links to Taskrabbit in its “Installation Help” section.

Happy Beds, a UK bedroom furniture company, also links to Taskrabbit on its e-commerce site, where it notes it earns a “small commission” when customers choose the service, which the platform confirmed with Retail Brew is typical with its retail partnerships.

“We partnered with Taskrabbit to help you get set up quickly and easily,” another partner, Windmill, the air conditioner brand, explains on its website. “With same-day and affordable options, you can leave the heavy lifting to us.”

Another gig-worker marketplace, Handy, has partnered with Walmart, Wayfair, and Crate & Barrel. Handy even pitches partnerships with retailers on its website.

“Today’s customers expect convenience and a one-stop-shop experience from retailers,” states the Handy website. “Providing an end-to-end purchase and installation experience for your customers will create competitive advantages and drive increased revenue for you.”

Hare to stay: Taskrabbit sees its retail partnerships as symbiotic.

“​​There’s a really strong mutual benefit,” Haymond said, explaining that when retailers assure customers that help to assemble purchases is a click away, it helps them “sell more home furnishings or whatever it might be.”

For Taskrabbit, the partnerships are—in business parlance—a customer acquisition tool.

“Many if not most of the customers are first-time customers when they come to us through a partnership,” Haymond said. “It’s definitely most of the time a new channel for someone—a new way for us to get a customer.”

In other words, they may come to Taskrabbit through Joy to assemble a bassinet, but the next time they use the service, it might be to procure a branzino.

“We work to make sure that they come back and use us for moving help or painting help or whatever else might be a service that they need in their life,” Haymond said.

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.