Jet .com, the e-commerce site Walmart acquired in 2016 for $3 billion, is relaunching itself today with an upgraded look and assortment, as well as a stronger focus on serving the needs of shoppers in urban metros. The site’s updated catalog now features an assortment that’s more relevant to city shoppers’ interests across categories like grocery, home, fashion, beauty and electronics, the company says. It will also introduce 3-hour grocery delivery as a challenge to Amazon’s Prime Now.
Specifically, the site will now be localized to the city where the shoppers live.
This localization involves the use of localized imagery and messages on the homepage and elsewhere, as well as Jet’s decisions about what products are featured in its assortment for that region. The site will also transition from a daytime theme to a nighttime theme as the day progresses.
These localization efforts begin with New York, but will roll out to other cities over time.
According to Simon Belsham, President of Jet.com, the Northeast will be a priority. After NYC, it will local sites for Boston, then Philadelphia, then D.C.
The site will also focus on helping shoppers more easily reorder items and will be personalized to shoppers’ own preferences, in terms of things like product recommendations and when reorder reminders appear.
And it will tailor its shopping experiences for each product category in different ways.
“The way consumers are inspired by and shop for fashion is very different than food,” Belsham explains to TechCrunch. “When shopping for fashion, consumers want to shop the look, shop select styles and see the styles on real people so imagery and video are important.”
“For food, they want to see the brands and the products and confirm they will be fresh and quality,” he continues. “They also want to save time and get their weekly grocery needs plus stock up items. So it’s important for the imagery to be clear and crisp and offer scheduled delivery windows that consumers can get at a time convenient to their busy lives,” he says.
Voice computing is another key focus, but Walmart isn’t going to leverage rival Amazon.com’s Alexa platform for that, of course. Instead, it will allow iOS users to build lists using Siri voice commands.
For example: “Siri, add bananas to my grocery list.”
Another big shift for the revamped Jet.com is its new offering of three-hour same-day grocery delivery and next-day delivery options. Delivery will be provided through most of New York City via Parcel, the last-mile delivery startup it acquired in 2017 with the intention of launching same-day delivery in the city.
At launch, the majority of New York City customers will be able to select 3-hour delivery of groceries and other everyday essentials, including those from local and small businesses, like Bedford Cheese Shop, Pat LaFrieda meats, Orwashers Bakery, Big Gay Ice Cream, and Just Bagels. The decision to work with area businesses is similar to how Amazon Prime Now works with local shops, grocers, and restaurants.
Online grocery customers will be able to give Jet.com instructions on where to leave items, and groceries will arrive in recyclable, insulated bags that keep foods cold for up to three hours.
While not necessarily related to city shoppers’ needs, Jet also today announced a strategic partnership with Nike that will see the site offering online consumers a selection of Nike and Converse products in a fully-branded experience.
The debut assortment will include hundreds of products across apparel, footwear and accessories for men, women and children, including essentials for running, training and sportswear, Jet.com says.
Fashion and apparel is one of the top-growing categories online and more retailers have figured out how to get shoppers to buy products that usually require try-on through innovative programs, like Amazon’s home try-on service, Prime Wardrobe, or through leveraging their brick-and-mortar footprint for returns. Brands, meanwhile, have benefitted from the exposure provided by being available to consumers through these e-commerce giants’ sites. For example, Lord & Taylor just set up shop on Walmart.com and just days ago, J.Crew announced it was launching a storefront on Amazon.
Despite these moves to prioritize the needs of urban shoppers, Jet.com will not close down its site to shoppers outside major metros. The site will remain available to all consumers nationwide, Belsham says.
“I am so excited to relaunch Jet to consumers today,” said Belsham, in a prepared statement about the launch of the updated site. “As a retailer, we must build experiences that customers love and trust, backed by strong values. For Jet, this means offering a more tailored shopping experience combined with a unique assortment of great brands in a way that brings empathy back into e-commerce. This is only the beginning for Jet,” he said.