With Big Ambitions, Jet.com Takes Off To Challenge Amazon

Jet.com is launching a membership-style e-commerce site reminiscent of a warehouse club but with the ambition of beating Amazon.com on price. For $50, members can join and take advantage of prices that the company offers at little or no margin.

Some prices are even below cost because, as part of its concierge service, Jet will purchase and ship products from another retailer’s website without charging an additional fee.

The site even offers discounts if consumers use it to shop other sites, such as macy’s.com. As for Amazon, jet.com lists the amazon.com price as means of comparison and incentive to purchase, despite the fact that its competitor is only a click or two away. Right now, and for three months, jet.com is waiving the membership fee as part of a free-trial promotion. The more a customer purchases among the website’s “Smart” offerings, the more discounts build.

The company asserted that a proprietary, dynamic pricing algorithm it developed seeks savings in real time and shows customers the items that bring down costs when bought together. Members also save by making choices that avoid costs normally incorporated into online retail prices.

A quick search online revealed that jet.com beat all competitors on price, with shipping included, for a Martha Stewart Gift Card Box with the exception of the charge on a upcycledsavings.com listing, which beat it by a few cents.

In a statement, Jet management said the company’s e-commerce site, characterized as a new members-only shopping club, launched to the public today, uses new technology to make online shopping smarter and more efficient, as well as “a little more fun.”

With a product assortment ranging from televisions to toilet paper in sizes from small to bulk, jet.com stated that it is reinventing the shopping club to give members great savings without sacrificing experience, quality or product range.

“We have a very simple brand promise,” said Marc Lore, Jet.com founder and CEO. “Pay just $49.99 a year, and you will save on pretty much anything you want to buy online. At launch, Jet will be offering a complementary limited-time trial membership, so new customers can shop the site and see how much they can save. Jet guarantees that members will save at least the cost of membership, or we will refund the difference.”

To provide shopping scope, jet.com provides members access to Jet Anywhere stores across the web, basically, other e-commerce sites, making it an attractive starting point by offering JetCash loyalty credits they can spend on future jet.com purchases. Jet Anywhere further enhances the value of membership, it asserted, by giving consumers means of saving money when they shop other sites across every category, including clothing, beauty, home and travel.

With the current emphasis on the consumer ability to gauge product prices, jet.com noted that it would build a new kind of company, grounded in three simple values: trust, transparency and fairness.

“Our platform is engineered more like a financial trading system than a traditional e-commerce marketplace. Because Jet’s business model is to only profit from membership fees, not from the products we sell, all cost savings are passed back to the customer,” Lore said.