Jet.com and Walmart have announced a partnership to provide same-day and next-day delivery of groceries and other items to New York City and surrounding boroughs.
A fulfillment center, scheduled to open in the Bronx this Fall, will create hundreds of jobs and offer consumers access to favorite New York brands like Big Gay Ice Cream, Roberta and The Meatball Shop.
The news disrupts category leaders Amazon and Fresh Direct -- but they shouldn’t be quaking in their boots, experts say.
"Amazon shouldn’t be scared yet, but they should keep a close eye on this development," said Jeremy Hull, VP, Innovation at iProspect. "Building a successful same-day delivery infrastructure in New York is one thing, scaling it to other markets is something else entirely."
"For example, think back to the early days of Google Express -- circa 2014-2015 -- which partnered with brands to offer same-day delivery in several cities. After Google managed to build the infrastructure for a handful of cities, they were unable to scale further, and eventually pivoted the Google Express value prop in another direction and moved away from same-day delivery.
"I’ll be very curious to see if Jet can scale this initiative beyond NYC, but having seen that Google was unable to scale a similar initiative, I don’t think Amazon should be worried just yet."
Jet.com believes it can muscle in on the action by offering a unique connection to much-loved New York brands and continuing to build on its customer experience service.
The company’s new president, Simon Belsham, celebrated the creation of jobs, adding: "This is a key building block that is part of Jet’s strategy focused on urban centers and will help us build personal relationships with customers while offering them a unique assortment, tailored experience and personal service."
Eric Longfield, engagement director at digital marketing company Isobar US, agrees that Jet.com’s "strong focus" on a full customer experience could be enough to differentiate itself from the competition and be successful.
"As a New Yorker who uses Amazon, FreshDirect and others, there are current gaps in the selection, delivery communication and customer service experience," he said. "If Jet.com gets that right, they will be successful and Amazon should take note."