A new retailer has come to town: Jet.com launched today. The goal: show shoppers that when the company saves, the shopper saves. Jet is like a very consumer-oriented mashup between Amazon and Costco. With Jet, are tons of ways to save. This new tech company (founded by an already successful online retail entrepreneur) is absolutely taking a unique approach to retail.
Jet.com offers tons of ways to save. First off, the site runs like a big box club store like Costco or Sam’s Club. And yes, the site does come with a club membership – $49.99 annually. That price can be likened to Amazon Prime ($99 per year). Sam’s Club ($45/yr for the cheapest membership), or Costco ($55/yr for the cheapest membership). But unlike traditional big box stores, there’s a HUGE selection – about 10 million items. Compare this with the 4,000 items Costco carries on a typical day. You can try Jet.com free for 3 months before deciding if the $50 fee is worth the savings.
“We only profit from the $50 membership fee.” -Jet Founder, Marc Lore, to CNBC
Mr. Lore said all other profits get churned back into running the business. The name of the game, apparently, is to save more than $50 over the course of the year and the shopping is saving money. This may encourage massive site loyalty.
Going through the site is a pleasant experience. The site feels more like a friendly store rather than just a fast way to shop. Perhaps this site will be the perfect blend of ‘real world’ shopping experiences and trips to the store online.
The theme of the (incredibly beautiful) site: the more you spend, the more you save. The company can make this claim because shipping costs per item drops when many items can be bundled together. More shipping discounts may come after entering in the shopper’s zip code. Apparently shoppers closer to distribution centers get a break of shipping prices. That was always a major part of why physical stores exist. No one likes paying for shipping. But if online retailers can offer cheap shipping AND low prices… sorry mom and pop stores.
Jet.com offers more ways to save. For instance, a shopper can save if they use a debit card instead of credit card. This way, the retailer doesn’t have to pay the credit card company’s usage fee (at least a few percent) and the shopper can share in the spoils. When using a debit card, prices fall by about 1.5%. Money can also be saved if a shopper agrees to a no-return policy. Return shipping and the customer service that follows is expensive. Shipping is also free on orders over $35. The CEO of Jet, Marc Lore, says Jet’s main focus is saving the shopper money. It’s not about provide an easy concierge type shopping experience. This may very well be the best type of retailer for Saving Advice readers.
Whether you’re shopping for mustard or laptops – Jet.com has something to offer. Will Jet last? Will it even turn a profit? Who knows. But it will definitely shakeup the online world of shopping.