Walmart already has a sick amount of dedicated customers. There are the customers who refuse to shop at major competitors stores like Target or the soon to be defunct K-Mart. There are the people who do all of their shopping at the local Walmart – groceries included. Finally, there are the people without other options. In some states, local grocery stores close around nine, while Walmart remains open much later, thus allowing for a more convenient shopping experience. However, Walmart’s website sucks. It’s horrible, confusing, and darn near impossible to find what you’re looking for without eight other items coming up and making the situation worse.
When Jet.com launched, it promised to be an economical service for people looking to buy nearly everything possible, much like the dreaded competitor named after the South American river. Yet, Jet was offering something that Amazon couldn’t; two-day shipping without an extra charge for a membership to their site. For a lot of people, Jet seemed to have the better prices when compared with Amazon.com and upon first glance, their only real competition was Walmart’s confusing online ordering platform. With the only other competitor in terms of prices having a terrible albatross of a website, Jet.com offered a realistic alternative to Amazon’s prices.
At the beginning of the summer of 2017, a huge announcement dropped on the business circuit; a major merger was happening beneath our noses, and it was one that is making people very nervous. Walmart, in a swift maneuver, agreed to acquire Jet.com for a cool three billion dollars that were to be paid out over time. Walmart CEOs are nearly giddy with the idea of the merger, and they’re hopeful that the acquisition will put them in direct competition with other online merchants that have proven more successful in the past.
With the success of Jet’s online sales department, Walmart is making an intelligent move in this massive purchase. Their CEOs understand the importance of having a well-designed online platform, and where theirs has been lacking in the past. In the day and age where people prefer to do things on their own time, the ability to place a quick online order is of the utmost importance. All of the convenience that Jet possesses is what Walmart’s site has been lacking, so this may be the best use of three billion dollars yet.
Does the merger of these two companies have Amazon shaking in their well-padded and incredibly expensive boots? Probably not yet, but if they’re smart they will pay close attention to what happens when the merge in completed. As of right now, Jet’s website is still incredibly easy to use, they offer discounts for multiple purchases, and they offer two-day shipping on most of their items. While Walmart was likely never a big concern for the internet giant, Jet probably should be as the two conglomerates share quite a bit in common.
One of Amazon’s claims to fame is that they offer nearly everything you could think to want. Want a sensible pair of shoes and a coffee maker? You can do that on Amazon. However, you can also do that on Jet and in some cases, you can do it for less money. Both sites offer free shipping after a specific dollar amount, and while Amazon’s dollar amount is still the lower of the two, Jet offers faster shipping with having to pay for a Prime membership.
Of course, Amazon is currently staying ahead of the game by offering all of their specialty products that are only available associated with their name. Yes, you can buy many of their items in a lot of different stores, but it’s still an Amazon FireStick or an Amazon Kindle. Jet doesn’t have the same time of marketing campaign on their side and neither does Walmart, so it’s probably that Amazon isn’t running scared just yet. However, anything is possible.
Whether or not this new merger is going to do serious battle with Amazon has yet to be seen, but will it improve Walmart’s internet presence and really get Jet’s name out there as a source for moderately priced items. What’s going to happen in the near future isn’t definite, but it sure is going to be a better shopping experience for Walmart loyalists.