You might have heard about a new website called Jet.com. It's big news in the US, where shoppers can now sign up and test out the new ecommerce platform.
According to Jet, they want to offer customers the biggest possible discounts, and it's main difference to Amazon is that it is a “shopping club” and customers pay a subscription to shop there (this is a flat fee, it doesn't get deducted from purchases or come with free shipping).
Where am I saving money?
Jet claims that it can reduce costs for customers by suggesting that they buy in bulk, buy items together, pick a slow shipping method, waive return rights and pick a no-fee payment option. In addition, as Jet itself makes money via the subscription fee rather than products sold, in theory this also passes on a discount that vendors would otherwise be paying to Jet.
Where did this ecommerce site pop up from?
Jet was founded by Marc Lore, not a stranger to large-scale ecommerce development. Lore founded ecommerce website Diapers.com, as well as off-shoots soap.com and wag.com (great domain names to have). When Diapers became a rival to Amazon, Amazon bought the company and Lore worked for Amazon for a couple of years.
But soon Lore moved on to new ecommerce ideas, and promptly received heavy financial backing for his new shopping club website Jet. And given his track record, it makes sense that investors were willing to take a punt. Investment was reported to be about $225m.
With such a high profile entrepreneur and stacks of cash behind the new website, it was already well known before it even launched, with many tech and ecommerce development blogs speculating on how it would work and where the discounts would come from.
What is the ecommerce experience like?
The Jet ecommerce website launched in the summer and is now open to membership – providing you have a US zip code. As we cannot use the site, we have instead been listening out for feedback from US shoppers, and found an interesting review from one of their first customers, who used the website when it was in beta a few months back.
As with Amazon and other ecommerce websites, there is the likelihood that if successful, this concept and brand will come over to the UK. What do you think – would you pay £35 for subscription shopping?