On June 8, US Eastern Time, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, launched services for high-end users. In order to counter the competition from e-commerce giant Amazon, Wal-Mart, known for offering affordable products, has launched a shopping site called Jetblack. Users can send a short message to get personal recommendations for personal shopping. On the same day or the next day delivery. Currently, this service is only targeted to users in New York City, and will be promoted nationwide. The membership fee is US$50 per month.
Jetblack is seen as a step for Wal-Mart to compete for high-end users under the weight of Amazon. Despite having a high threshold for membership fees and invitations, its website indicates that it can provide integrated shopping services combined with personal shopping guides and artificial intelligence. After a user sends a text message, a professional shopping guide will conduct a quick product search for the request, not limited to shopping time, and do not limit the minimum spending threshold, and there is a dedicated person responsible for free returns. Shopping guide services range from designated baby products to anniversary gifts. Wal-Mart positioned the service's customers as “Time-Intense, Busy Urban Users, Especially Young Mothers”, and the range of shopping also expanded from Wal-Mart products to Wal-Mart’s acquired Jet.com and third-party stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue. Wait. From the introduction of Jetblack's website, this service is described as "a combination of artificial intelligence commercial and professional buyers."
The site’s CEO, Jenny Fleiss, has come a long way. In March 2017, she trialed Jetblack in New York. Before that, she was the co-founder of Rent The Runway, the originator of the clothing rental website. Rent The Runway is known as "Netflix" for the market circle, offering expensive but infrequent dresses for female subscribers. Users need to pay 10% of the original clothing to rent high-end brand dresses and accessories for 4 or 8 nights. This new type of clothing rental has subsequently inspired domestic new shopping websites such as "Yi Er San" to target female users.
Since its establishment in 2009, Rent The Runway has changed from a start-up company to a $600 million company. Fleiss left the company a year ago and joined Wal-Mart's incubation program Store No.8. One of the projects, Jetblack, then began trial operations. Currently, Jetblack has subscribed customers with an average of ten purchases per week, and the company has already run to "B-round financing" stage.
Despite Wal-Mart’s first-quarter earnings in 2018, online sales increased 33% year-on-year and 23% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year, the gap between them and their rivals is still very clear: According to the data of One Click Retail, Amazon Occupy 44% of the nation's e-commerce sales. Smart shopping has also become the trend of e-commerce in the future. At the beginning of the year, Amazon introduced Amazon Lex, a tool for artificial intelligence dialogue through voice interaction technology. At the same time, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google also have similar voice technologies to help users complete online orders. However, in the eyes of CEO Fleiss, the imperfect development of artificial intelligence makes smart shopping not as fluent and time-saving as imagined: “For us, the opportunity lies in whether or not the user experience is really bought on a time-saving basis. Good product. ”
Whether it was the acquisition of Bonobos, the nation’s largest clothing custom website, for US$310 million last year, or the annexation of Jet.com and women’s clothing retailer BodCloth, Wal-Mart has never stopped expanding its online retail business. The world's largest retailer brand is trying to transform giants into "lightness" by incubating startups. It is named Store No. The 8 business incubators allow each company to have targeted target groups, attributes and strengths.
There is no doubt that Wal-Mart's endorsements bring advantages to these startup projects. In exchange, these companies will continue to explore ways for Wal-Mart to compete for the right to speak as a future e-commerce business model. In the interview, Fleiss explained: “Each incubator has a different focus on retail trends and future shopping patterns for customers. "For example, Jetblack was hatched with a focus on "conversational retail," which means using artificial intelligence and customers to complete online shopping via SMS. At the same time, due to the cooperation of personal private shopping guides, the purchase process is accompanied by humanized supervision and improvement.
In the past six months, Jetblack has established a database of users in the New York area through pilot users, and its greater mission is to lay the groundwork for other Incubation projects for Store No.8 and share its success or failure. Fleiss admitted that in the e-commerce world, sometimes an "underdog" is not a bad thing: "Amazon has demonstrated its power, and Wal-Mart has only just begun for this war." " (Sina Finance North America reporter Liu Shuo from New York)