Walmart’s Jet.com relaunches site, offers three-hour delivery in NYC

Discussion
Photo: Jet.com
Sep 13, 2018
George Anderson

When Jet.com was acquired in 2016, the plan was for the site to bring younger, more urban consumers into the Walmart fold. Recently, however, the site’s traffic has fallen off as it has struggled to differentiate itself from a host of e-commerce rivals, starting with Amazon.com. Now, Jet has announced a relaunch and other changes that it hopes will make it a go-to shopping site in cities across the U.S.

The new site promises a more “humanized shopping experience designed to inspire shoppers and reduce the time required to solve every day living needs.” Among the changes being made are:

  • Localization: Beginning with New York, shoppers logging into the site will see local imagery along with localized messages throughout the site.
  • Tailored shopping: The site will make changes to the browsing experience based on the category, understanding that consumers do not shop for groceries online in the same way they shop for clothing, electronics or other items.
  • Personalization/Voice activation: The new site promises smarter recommendations based on individual shopper preferences as well as more timely reordering alerts. Consumers using iOS devices will be able to use Siri to create and build shopping lists from Jet’s mobile app.

Jet is putting much of its focus on New York City where the company is close to completing a fulfillment center in the Bronx. Working with Parcel, another Walmart business, Jet will offer three-hour delivery windows to customers in the city. Catering to its urban base, customers will be able to provide customized instructions for delivery such as “leave the package with the doorman.”

Jet’s chief customer officer, David Echegoyen, told CNBC, “Our plan is to be more relevant for what you’re shopping for. Spotify does this really well with music. It gets better the more you use it. And that’s the same approach we want to take to retail.”

The site is also promoting the curation of popular local brands and the addition of top brands, including Converse and Nike, which are being added to the site in October. Jet became an authorized Apple reseller this year.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the Jet.com relaunch help the site become a success standing on its own? Where do you see the greatest opportunities and challenges for Jet as it seeks to become the retailer of choice for consumers in urban areas across the U.S.?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"The new Jet.com UI is 100 percent better than before the upgrade."
"I do not see Jet unseating Amazon anytime in the near future. They should just fold the technology and staff into Walmart and call it a day."
"The site already feels like Walmart, so why even masquerade under the Jet nameplate? With that said, if Jet’s a Walmart that offers 3-day delivery … I’m still interested."

Join the Discussion!

7 Comments on "Walmart’s Jet.com relaunches site, offers three-hour delivery in NYC"


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Phil Masiello
BrainTrust

Where is the relevance to Jet?

These are steps Amazon has been taking for years. When Jet launched, they were going to show Amazon how e-commerce should be done and they have pivoted from their original model several times.

Amazon has had Prime Now in NYC for years. They deliver from restaurants, food and marketplace products same-day and faster.

Apple has, and has had, a store on Amazon for years.

So what is the problem they are trying to solve? It does not seem there is one.

I do not see Jet unseating Amazon anytime in the near future. They should just fold the technology and staff into Walmart and call it a day.

Cynthia Holcomb
BrainTrust

The new Jet.com UI is 100 percent better than before the upgrade. Even with the fresh new site, shopping for groceries is still a time-consuming experience with layers of click-throughs to find specifically what one is looking for, much like shopping Amazon. There is so much competition in this area, including Walmart, Jet’s expansion beyond NYC will take time. Meanwhile competitors will continue to solidify market share. Jet’s greatest opportunity? To deliver truly personalized shopping experiences, which by the way is the promise of Walmart, Amazon and others.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Jet.com has an uphill battle to become relevant. Awareness is the biggest challenge, as I don’t know anyone who thinks of shopping on Jet.com.

Competing against Amazon is Walmart (yes, this is competition) and this is a monumental challenge. It will take a significant investment in advertising and promotions to make Jet.com successful. It is hard to imagine that Jet.com will be a top player and it will become a lot more difficult if Alibaba gains more traction in the U.S.

Jasmine Glasheen
Staff

You can’t go wrong with 3-hour delivery windows. Still, remember when Walmart acquired Jet and we were all worried that the Jet brand would lose the uniqueness that made the brand a hit with Millennial shoppers?

I’m looking at the site now and the copywriting is basic as all get out. Where’s the flair? The individuation? The site already feels like Walmart, so why even masquerade under the Jet nameplate?

With that said, if Jet’s a Walmart that offers 3-day delivery … I’m still interested.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Let’s see: I can go to Walmart, find a minimally staffed store, risk out-of-stocks, and — assuming I did find something to buy regardless of the former – stand in line to pay for it; or I can order online, and get fast (3 hours) and perhaps free delivery. Which am I going to choose?

But — and here’s where the cold slap of reality in waking up from a dream hits — which of the two actually is profitable? I’m unsure Walmart can make a go of “Jet,” but I’m also unsure they should really want to.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

While the new site is a big improvement, the real issue is there’s still no compelling reason to go to Jet.com over Amazon or any other e-commerce site. As a shopper, what is my incentive? 3-hour delivery is great, but they’ll need to replicate that in every city they target to make an impact, not just NY. Curation is one way to do this, but again, Jet needs to popularize their identity as something different from Amazon and others. It doesn’t have to be everyday low price to distinguish themselves from Walmart, but at this point what made them unique when they started has gone by the wayside.

Min-Jee Hwang
BrainTrust

It’s a major uphill battle for Jet.com in the e-commerce space, obviously. However, I could see them carving out a niche — or at least trying to — by going hyper-local. Deliver only in major urban areas like NYC. Create local experiences on Jet.com. Tailor everything about the online experience to the location. Try to capitalize on a few of the elements that keep local businesses thriving, such as personalization, better service and ties to the community.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"The new Jet.com UI is 100 percent better than before the upgrade."
"I do not see Jet unseating Amazon anytime in the near future. They should just fold the technology and staff into Walmart and call it a day."
"The site already feels like Walmart, so why even masquerade under the Jet nameplate? With that said, if Jet’s a Walmart that offers 3-day delivery … I’m still interested."

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