Week In Review: It’s a Free for All for Jet.com

Jet.comJet.com has made a few splashes since the members-only marketplace officially launched 11 weeks ago. And word came this week that Jet.com eliminated its $50 membership fee.

Founder Marc Lore wrote on his blog that the response to Jet’s core value proposition has been stronger than the company anticipated. At this point, the average number of units per order is twice what Jet.com has expected.

“Our customers are taking every advantage of our dynamic pricing engine to place orders that can be fulfilled at a lower cost — and to have those efficiencies shared with them as savings,” Lore wrote. “In turn, our retailers are reaching new customers while capturing more efficient and profitable orders.”

Jet.com came out of the hangar with its wings held high, and hit the runway hard. According to ChannelAdvisor, Jet.com quickly became its number-four marketplace based on GMV. That means that in August, just a month after its public debut, Jet.com was already bigger for ChannelAdvisor than incumbents like Sears, Best Buy, Newegg, Tesco and Rakuten.

In this video taken Wednesday at the Shop.org digital summit in Philadelphia, just before Jet.com’s announcement, ChannelAdvisor Executive Chairman and Founder Scot Wingo explains what fueled Jet.com’s fast start. Wingo said Jet.com’s value proposition is that if you wait a little bit longer – like 3 to 5 days for delivery vs. the Amazon Prime promise of 2 days, the customer can save more.

In the short term, Wingo says Jet.com’s success could cut into what Walmart and eBay are doing, and in the long-term, has potential to knock out the flash sales sites.

Free membership is a huge shift from Jet.com’s original business plan. Initially, Lore told Multichannel Merchant that the $50 membership fee (after a free 90-day trial) would make Jet.com an online version of Costco, and that the membership fee would help keep the end-user’s costs down.

Here’s a look at this weeks’ news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and more.

Marketing

share-this-icon-75X75Is Amazon the search engine for online shopping? An infographic shows why the marketplace remains the undisrupted king in product search…Pinterest continued to expand buyable pins on various platforms including Bigcommerce, Magento, IBM Commerce …Marshalls launched new broadcast campaign focusing on the pure delight of anticipation… UGG for Men captured its heritage and style with the launch of its new fall campaign…Amazon took on Etsy with the launch of Handmade by Amazon. and geared up Amazon Prime Now in Twin Cities… Will Singles Day be a bust for U.S. retailers? Here’s what ChannelAdvisor’s Scot Wingo had to say at Shop.org 2015 in Philadelphia this week…

Ecommerce

Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75The National Retail Federation says holiday ecommerce sales will be up 6% to 8%, but that’s lower than last year’s results… Amazon is taking on Etsy with the launch of its new online store, Handmade at Amazon Office Depot Inc. announced a major redesign of its mobile app with a focus on personalization and convenience of the customer …Yankee Candle launched online tool to create personalized photo candles…Several retailers such Avon, 1-800-Flowers, DermStore and others are enhancing ecommerce customer benefits ahead of the holiday season… NRF says holiday ecommerce sales will rise 6% to 8%…

Operations

shipping-delivery-75X75Urban Outfitters needs help in its Gap, PA fulfillment center and put out a “Call for URBN volunteers,” a request for its salaried employees to come out and work weekends pick, pack, and ship orders… delivery.com has partnered with Visa Checkout for online and mobile orders… Amazon plans to hire 1,000 local workers in its Jeffersonville fulfillment center… AliExpress has selected Newgistics for U.S. deliveries… Temp agencies and merchants report an extremely tight labor market for seasonal workers in distribution and fulfillment centers, creating a war for talent and driving up wagesAmazon Prime Now same-day delivery has been added to the Minneapolis-St. Paul twin cities region, bringing the metro count up to 14.

… And more

newsRetailMeNot appointed Marissa Tarleton as chief marketing officer, North America…Peet’s Coffee & Tea acquired Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Ernie Herrman to be named CEO and Carol Meyrowitz Executive Chairman of TJX Companies Inc. …. Work clothing retailer Duluth Trading Company is planning an initial public offering of stockGilt Group has laid off 45 people, including international head Marshall PorterWalmart appoints Brett Biggs as new Chief Financial Officer.

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