What It's Like to Shop on Jet.com When You Love Amazon Prime

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Hi, my name is Courtney and I’m addicted to Amazon Prime. There’s nothing I love more than being able to skip the line at Target for an Amazon order I placed at 10:00am that arrives at my office desk by 6:00pm the same day. I’m a sucker for convenience and a great deal, and Prime gives me just that. 

However, last week, Jet.com entered the game heralding itself as strong competition to Amazon and boasting even deeper discounts than Amazon’s competitive pricing. I said, ‘challenge accepted, Jet.’ If you haven’t heard of Jet.com don’t worry, I’m here to give you the lowdown on this new marketplace and what this means for Amazon Marketplace sellers, and how you can sell on Jet as a retailer. I also go through the good and the bad of this new marketplace for retailers and consumers. 

What is Jet.com, really?
Jet’s idea is simple: it’s a marketplace that offers a club membership similar to Costco offline and Amazon Prime online. It prices its items to match Amazon’s competitive pricing, but goes a step further and offers additional discounts.

Retailers have the opportunity to sell on Jet, just like other online marketplaces, and can apply to become a parter here.
 
How does this differ from Amazon’s Prime membership? 
Jet’s membership is $49/year, while Amazon Prime charges $99/year, which is a great deal. However, you don’t get the added perks of Kindle First, Prime Music, and Prime Instant Video. There is also no same-day delivery option available on Jet at this time, there’s two-day shipping on select items, but the majority are two to five business days.

Jet differs by offering Jet Anywhere as an additional option for savings. It’s like a rewards program for JetCash back. You can shop at other major retailers such as Sephora and Apple for JetCash worth 5-15% of your total purchase.

So, what about these deeper discounts? Are you really saving more?
Let’s get down to the dirty details about these discounts. On almost all products listed on their site have some sort of discount associated. Discounts range from something as small as $0.19 to much larger discounts on bigger ticket items upwards of $70. These discounts are off Jet’s retail prices, which are 98% of the time the same as Amazon’s prices.

If you’re dedicated enough, you can search out, what ‘Extreme Couponing’ calls ‘moneymakers’. This is where Jet is, theoretically, paying you to add an item to your cart. They are few and few between, and with Jet’s dynamic discounts, they change within a blink of an eye. I managed to capture one on the Jet’s launch day for a Barilla Penne Pasta listing, only to decrease the next day to only $0.04 off your order.

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Jet also has a feature called ‘Smart Items’, where the more ‘Smart Items’ you add to your cart, the bigger your total discount will be.

How is the overall shopping experience?
The overall user experience is simple, you do notice there are some apparent categories of products missing, such as clothing and accessories. However, I can purchase a washer and dryer if needed. The schematics of the site still have a few pretty obvious bugs that need to be fixed. One example is the totals of your order in the Shopping Cart will fail to real-time update when removing products or updating quantities. The interface is very basic and simple, much simpler than Amazon’s when I want to find something simple like laundry detergent or organic toaster pastries. Sometimes less is more when it comes to the number of pricing options for simple items.

Am I a Jet.com convert as a consumer?
Not right now. Jet is certainly not an Amazon killer right now. Nothing beats Amazon’s same-day delivery and availability of titles within Kindle. Also, a large percentage of their inventory is big-ticket items and large household items, and Jet's marketing positioning seems more geared to college students and twenty-somethings rather than the demographic that would have a need for ordering a new gas range online.

What does this mean for retailers?
Let me take my shopper hat off for a minute and talk about what this launch means for retailers. Honestly? Not much.

The thing with new marketplaces is that no matter how many pop up, as long as retailers have a central location where their inventory, orders and operational tasks are being automated, they can leave the hype with the media and test new channels themselves. 

Have you tried out Jet as a consumer or a retailer? We'd love to hear your experiences, send them to us on Twitter: @StitchLabs!

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