Walmart and Amazon are constantly at war to dominate the e-commerce market. Unfortunately for Walmart, the Amazon Prime membership program for just $119 a year is a force to be reckoned with. As those with a Prime membership know, signing up gives you access to video streaming, Whole Food discounts, two-day shipping, and a wealth of other exclusive benefits, such as Prime Pantry.
To date, there are 100 million individuals who have subscribed to be a Prime member. Walmart, however, hasn’t given up the fight. In fact, according to The Motley Fool, Walmart is currently tapping into a market place that Amazon is currently overlooking: high-end customers.
The JetBlack Program
While it was nearly a year ago that the retail giant first launched the JetBlack program, it wasn’t until more recently that media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal started to shine a spotlight on the program. The JetBlack Program is an addition on Jet.com, which is a company similar to Amazon that Walmart purchased for $3.3 billion in 2016.
JetBlack is a membership-exclusive personal shopping and concierge service that takes a unique spin on the convenience of shopping online and adds having a personal shopper to it. The program specifically targets wealthy working mothers and wealthy first-time mothers. A membership with JetBlack costs $600 per year.
At this time, only residents living in Manhattan can sign up for the program, but it offers the opportunity to order anything you could need, except for fresh food, prescription medication, and alcohol. In almost all cases, orders are processed and delivered the same day.
It’s a labor-intensive operation that loses money. But making money isn’t the goal, at least not right away. Fascinating @SarahNassauer story about Jetblack, Walmart's personal shopping service: https://t.co/2dHyvRp5J9 pic.twitter.com/yfJZYb5InK
— Newley Purnell (@newley) March 22, 2019
JetBlack differs from Amazon’s Prime Now because it doesn’t require its members to spend time combing through a website to find what they are looking for. Instead, members just need to text their personal shopper and tell them what they need.
The JetBlack program also offers the option of asking for recommendations if you aren’t sure what you need to purchase. Recommendations are supplied from the program’s category experts and then the personal shopper picks them up and deliver them.
When purchasing gifts through the JetBlack program, the personal shopper will also gift wrap and hand write the cards.
— Mike Cassidy (@mikecassidy) March 22, 2019
The program thrives on the idea that wealthy working mothers simply don’t have time to go to the store to get certain things they might need around the house and it is more convenient to just pay someone else to do it for them.
According to The Motley Fool, members within the program order an average of 10 items each week and spend roughly $300 on the items.
Currently, there are only a few hundred people taking advantage of this program, and it is unclear what Walmart plans to do with the program in the future. It, however, doesn’t change the fact that Amazon doesn’t offer a program anything like JetBlack.