Retail

The Millennial-Driven Evolution Of Jet.com

Jet.com

Walmart is energizing its Jet.com engines to power the online eCommerce site that it acquired two years ago. To get more millennials on board, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer is rolling out offerings designed to attract younger, well-to-do consumes in urban areas.

Its city of focus as it battles with Amazon for the coveted upscale, younger, city-dwelling consumer? New York. Jet.com is broadening its selection and rolling out same-day delivery in the Big Apple for kinds of items that millennials purportedly crave, like craft beer and local foods.

To assist those efforts, Walmart has tapped another company that it acquired – logistics company Parcel – to bring grocery delivery to New York City customers within a three-hour window. That service option ups the ante for speed and flexibility through Jet.com, as the retailer previously had a relatively early 9 a.m. cutoff for same-day deliveries. To help meet its new delivery window, Jet.com plans to use its soon-to-be-opened Bronx fulfillment center. (In addition to groceries, the fulfillment center will reportedly store everyday essentials for delivery and select merchandise.)

Jet.com isn’t alone in its efforts to step up delivery in New York City (and, in the future, other cities). The company’s announcement comes on the heels of Whole Foods Market’s late August launch of delivery of natural and organic products through Prime Now in additional areas of the city, such as Greenwich Village and Chelsea, as well as other U.S. cities. MoffettNathanson Retail Analyst Greg Melich told CNN Money that, along with selling brands like Nike on its site,  “having … tighter delivery windows, including same day, is a logical way to take on Amazon’s Prime Now.”

New York City provides “a dense market with wealthy shoppers,” according to CNN Money. Even so, Jet.com is hardly the only player for grocery delivery in the city: Beyond Amazon’s Prime Now delivery with Whole Foods, Jet.com is squaring off with companies like online grocer FreshDirect. And a closer rival, Target, announced in July that it is expanding its same-day shipping service through Shipt. (Just as Walmart had acquired Parcel, Target purchased Shipt for $550 million in 2017.)

Target’s delivery service was to be available at stores in 10 regions within the greater New York City metro area, with customers able to order from more than 55,000 groceries, essentials, home goods, electronics and toys, among other products. When a customer makes a purchase, Shipt visits the store to buy the products and deliver them to the customer on the same day. To incentivize new customers to sign up for the service, Target offered a discounted rate over the summer: New members who signed up before mid-August were to receive an annual membership at about half the normal price.

Private Labels and Brand Resellers

To reach that more affluent market in urban areas – and compete with Amazon – Jet.com has been expanding its offerings beyond delivery. In May, the company announced that it is now part of Apple‘s authorized reseller program. The retailer has a bit of an advantage over rival Amazon: Jet.com planned to offer the full suite of Apple products, while Amazon only sells a few of them. (Walmart has long been an authorized reseller of select iPhones, iPads and Apple accessories.)

Beyond carrying big brand products, Jet.com launched a private-label brand called Uniquely J last year to home in on the urban millennial crowd. The label spans a variety of products, including toilet paper, coffee and laundry detergent. The company is focusing on sustainability, with its products geared to attract urban millennials and younger consumers.

Its Uniquely J selection is said to include items like Thyme Basil cleaning wipes and organic teriyaki sauce, packaged in boxes designed by artists. In describing the ethos behind the brand, Dan Hooker, who oversees eCommerce and private-label products for Jet.com and Walmart, told the outlet “with Uniquely J, we want to eliminate the trade-offs consumers face; the purchase decision becomes an easy one when each product offers the trifecta of quality, style and value.”

How will Jet.com further expands its efforts to take on Amazon and bring in the millennial crowd? Tune in to find out.

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