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Jet.com brings a new type of shopper online

September 11, 2015 04:03 PM
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Tapping into an underserved segment of consumers has Jet.com off to a roaring start only six weeks after it began selling online.

That’s according to a report from David Spitz, CEO of e-commerce services provider ChannelAdvisor, which looked at how ChannelAdvisor’s clients are performing on select online marketplaces since the date of Jet’s launch, July 21, through this week. ChannelAdvisor’s data shows that Jet.com ranked fourth among all online marketplaces for gross merchandise value, or GMV, putting it ahead of such stalwarts as Newegg Inc. (No. 17 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide) and Rakuten.com (No. 51).

“There are a lot of third-party marketplaces out there, and to see Jet so early in their lifecycle exceed what we’re seeing from those incumbents who have been around for a number of years, it says something about their awareness and the consumer buzz that they’ve built,” Spitz says.

Perhaps more importantly for Jet.com and for ChannelAdvisor’s clients that are selling through Jet, the online marketplace boasts a 23% repeat buyer rate, higher than that of online giants Amazon.com Inc. (11%) and eBay Inc. (17%). Jet.com did not return an email seeking comment on whether ChannelAdvisor’s data squares with its in-house data.

“There’s a significant amount of consumers that shopped and went back and shopped again in a reasonably short time period,” Spitz says of Jet.com. “It tells you that Jet’s innovations has tapped into something that’s real.”

The good news for Jet’s competitors is that Jet shoppers aren’t ones that would traditionally spend a lot of money on Amazon.

Spitz says Jet’s appeal has been to a consumer who is more likely to shop at warehouse club Costco Wholesale Corp. (No. 11 in the Top 500) and other physical retail stores rather than buy in bulk online.

By offering online the kind of deals consumers get from the likes of Costco and Sam’s Club, Spitz thinks the company brings that kind of consumer online. By living up to the hype, Jet keeps that consumer coming back for more.

Jet is showing impressive levels of GMV and repeat buyer rates, he says. “For a marketplace to be successful, it has to be successful for buyers and sellers, and this is a good indication that Jet is achieving both,” Spitz says. “I think they’ve addressed all the key points that consumers look for in terms of returns and price, and I think they’ve done a great job investing in a great consumer experience.”

So is this momentum sustainable? Spitz likens Jet’s performance so far to America’s pastime.

“What I think we’ve seen them do is hit a home run in the first at bat,” he says. “How the rest of the innings play out, we’ll have to see. If they continue to invest like they have been, I see no reason why they wouldn’t continue to see repeat buyers and a growing customer base.”

 

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