A year after Walmart’s personal shopping service JetBlack launched in New York, the retailer reports two-thirds of customers engage with the service on a weekly basis, and spend an average of $1,500 per month on JetBlack purchases. To be clear, that doesn’t mean the customers are only buying products from Walmart or its subsidiaries like Jet.com — JetBlack is a standalone e-commerce business incubated by Walmart, and will deliver products from other retailers as well.
In fact, the only things it won’t deliver are fresh groceries, alcohol, CBD-related products, tobacco and prescription medications and lenses.
The incubated “startup,” so to speak, is a concierge-style experiment in conversational commerce where customers text requests, then receive product recommendations from Walmart, Jet.com and other local retailers. The service costs $50 per month, making it more expensive than Amazon Prime, but more affordable than high-end concierge services like Hello Alfred and Magic, which gained attention in the months and years prior to JetBlack’s debut.
Walmart says the service is aimed at busy, urban parents looking for more efficient ways to shop by combining the convenience of online shopping with the expert attention of a personal assistant.
JetBlack, co-founded by Jenny Fleiss, who previously co-founded Rent the Runway, is part of its Store No. 8 incubator. Walmart reported in September 2018 — only a few months after launch — that JetBlack members were spending an average of $300 a week for products because the ease of the service encourages more frequent purchases, The Wall Street Journal said. The average shopper was buying more than 10 items per week as of March 2019, but the company declined to say how many products were Walmart items.
Walmart didn’t say much more about JetBlack today at its shareholders’ meeting — only the new metrics related to the increased average spend and engagement.
“It brings conversational commerce to life. Customers absolutely love it,” said Walmart’s U.S. eCommerce CEO, Marc Lore, while relating a number of e-commerce updates to the crowd.