Jet vs. Amazon: A Quick Comparison

Jet launched a couple of months back, claiming it will be the Amazon killer. Jet’s original version was like Costco, where consumers need to pay a membership fee to shop on the website. But Jet changed. It’s currently free for all.

I recently attempted Jet, to evaluate its potential versus Amazon. I chose an easy purchase of one breakfast cereal thing: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch. On Amazon, I conducted the test as a new shopper to prevent Amazon personalizing my expertise based on historic data.

Product Search and Price

Item search worked nicely on Jet and I managed to obtain the item easily. But on Amazon, the cereal was available only within the Prime Pantry service. Since I put up a new account, I didn’t register for Prime and hence I couldn’t place the order with this product. But I did notice the price.

The identical box of Raisin Bran Crunch was cheaper on Jet by 12 cents. That’s not a massive amount. But it’s important, especially considering that a shopper must first cover Prime before buying.

Jet offered to further reduce the price if I purchased in bulk. So, I increased the quantity of this cereal into the maximum permitted — 10 boxes. That made Jet significantly cheaper than Amazon.

Increasing the amount to 10 boxes made Jet significantly cheaper than Amazon.

Moreover, since it was my first buy, Jet gave me a voucher for another $10 off the entire order value. This reduced the price to a level where I doubt Jet made any gain on this transaction. It will presumably be impossible to sustain business at this price point; I haven’t bought this cereal because of such a low price in the previous 15 years.

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Jet wins on price, particularly since Amazon needs a shopper to join Prime.

Shopping Experience

The entire shopping experience on Jet was fine. The website was easy to navigate and uncluttered. The one thing I missed was Amazon-style evaluations and testimonials. But because Raisin Bran Crunch is a commodity item I have used previously, ratings and reviews aren’t that important.

It will, perhaps, take the time for Jet to add reviews and ratings to the product pages. It could accelerate the process by utilizing a third party rating-and-reviews provider.

The clean user interface for Jet was a welcome change from the cluttered Amazon pages. It reminded me of Google’s “less is more” design tenet.

Shipping

Jet offers free delivery for orders over $35 — such as Amazon. Since I purchased 10 boxes of the cereal, I received complimentary 2-day delivery. This is unlike Amazon where, even when cereal was available for non-Prime members, it wouldn’t arrive in 2 days. Delivery for Amazon things like cereal is 5 to 7 days if ordered without Prime.

The order was shipped on time and that I could track it to the guaranteed 2-day shipping. The 10 boxes of cereal did, in fact, arrive in two days, well packed in the large box shown below.

The 10 boxes of cereal came in two days, well packed in a massive purple box.

Summary

Jet has a ways to go before it produces a dent in Amazon’s sales. But I enjoyed Jet. It has the capability to hijack Amazon clients, particularly for commodity products, by competing on price and customer service. The question is how do Jet turn a profit on those items and keep customers once it finishes promotional pricing.

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Have you shopped on Jet.com? If so, please share your own experience.