By now, you might have heard about Jet.com, the major new marketplace that launched Tuesday and is going head-to-head with Amazon in the online deals shopping space. It may only be a few days old, but Jet’s already gaining a lot of buzz–largely because of the whopping $225 million invested to get the site up and running–and the fact it promises to offer the cheapest beauty products, clothes, and homewares of your life, among other things.
Another major talking point is Marc Lore, the guy behind the company who also happens to be a former Amazon alum. Lore worked for the online retailer after it acquired his former company, Quidsi, for $545 million.
So then, is Jet worth all of the fuss? Probably, but read these six major selling points and make up your own mind.
1. Shoppers pay a small membership fee.
Right now Jet’s offering free three month trial memberships to first-time users, but after that the site will charge $49.99 for an annual fee. That’s about $50 less than Amazon’s Prime membership, and around the same price as Costco’s gold star membership.
2. Jet promises huge savings to members.
The potential savings on offer seem to be the clincher that will allure people to join Jet.com. We often see websites claiming to offer the cheapest price on everything from homewares to beauty products, but Jet could be the real deal. With such a complicated revenue model, the company needs to scale quickly to turn a profit, so it’s relying on these deep savings and incredible deals to attract customers.
A rep from Jet.com told StyleCaster that the site uses new technology to make online shopping “smarter, more efficient and a little more fun.”
Already the site offers millions of products across multiple categories, and, as Jet told us, “is reinventing the shopping club to give members great savings without sacrificing on experience, quality or access to a wide array of products.”
Like Amazon, it aims to deliver members the lowest prices on items, however Jet will even search outside its retail partner network to find you that product–and then absorb the shipping costs and the difference between the best price and whatever the retailer charges.
3. Jet’s building up its clothes and accessories offering.
Right now Jet’s pretty unestablished in the clothes and accessories space–searching “dress” returns zero results on the site today. Instead, the marketplace prompts users to shop via Jet Anywhere, its affiliate program that includes stores like J.Crew, H&M, Nike, Macy’s, and Urban Outfitters. Shoppers are directed to the retailer’s site, and after buying what they need Jet gives the shopper a percentage of the purchase price back.
However, a rep from Jet told us they’re focusing on building out the fashion category right now, and by next week you’ll be able to shop clothes and accessories straight through the site: “Jet just began the on-boarding process of an additional half a million products in the shoe and apparel category, with retailers like Bluefly, timed to our post-Beta launch. We are swiftly moving to process all of their data to make sure the customer experience is optimal, with the expectation that this will be completed and launched next week. We anticipate launching even more categories as additional retailers join the platform.”
4. Yes, they take a cut of every sale–but it doesn’t impact the price.
In addition to your yearly membership fee, Jet takes a cut from each transaction through one of the registered retail partners–however this is negated by the cost associated with offering the reduced price. The website promises, “We don’t profit on the products we sell–just on membership fees. So we’re always on your side. Every time we can get costs down, we pass the savings back to you.”
5. Shipping and returns are free.
Any order that you place over $35 is shipped for free, as are all returns made within 30 days through Jet.com. However, Jet told us that “members also save by making choices like waiving the right for free returns.” So basically, if you decide you definitely won’t want to return the item, you can get it even cheaper.
6. Jet has some serious investors backing the company.
Chinese online giant Alibaba.com reportedly invested in Jet, with the intention of taking on Amazon. That’s one key reason you know this company has a real chance in competing with Amazon.
While we still have a few days to wait until Jet becomes a smart option for shopping clothes, there is already an incredible beauty product offering comprising major brands currently available–and remember your trial membership is free, so why not give it a go?