Tech & Logistics

The Jet effect revealed at Walmart


A major change to Walmart's e-commerce value proposition is such a common sense idea other retailers are likely to follow suit.  

By Gina Acosta

PrintThe Jet effect revealed at Walmart
The Jet effect revealed at Walmart

Walmart is borrowing a page from the Jet.com business playbook and giving shoppers the ability to earn discounts on merchandise picked up at a store (instead of being delivered to a home).

The discounts — a few dollars on online-only items so far including car seats, toys, and TVs — will be available starting April 19. Eventually, Walmart plans to roll out discounts for in-store pickup to 1 million products.

Discounting is something that Jet.com is really good at, and aligns perfectly with Walmart's historical "Every day low prices" philosophy. Jet pioneered a discounting program called the "Smart Cart," which provides shoppers with additional incentives the more they order. Jet.com sweetens the pot for example by giving a discount if shoppers forfeit the right to return an item, or pay with a debit card instead of a credit card. 

“Walmart’s announcement that it will begin offering customers discounts to pick-up online orders in-store, which will utilize the Jet.com pricing algorithm, is another example of a retailer leveraging its physical stores to provide consumers with more options to receive online orders quickly, and we view this move positively,” said Moody’s lead retail analyst Charlie O’Shea. “Walmart has been stepping up its online game since the acquisition of Jet.com, including making small, but tactical, acquisitions of online retailers to further leverage its improving platform, and this discount offering continues that trend.”

Walmart acquired Jet.com in August, likely in order to leverage exactly that klind of innovative thinking. Shortly thereafter, Walmart introduced free two-day shipping in January on purchases of $35 and up. That move put the company on equal footing with Amazon for customers who don't have Prime memberships.