Walmart Launches Jetblack Personal Shopper
Retail giant Walmart Inc. (WMT) has launched a new shopping service known as Jetblack, where shoppers can order items over their phones using text messages. It has been launched in limited release to customers in Manhattan and part of Brooklyn on Thursday.
The new members-only personal shopping service is the first business to launch from Walmart's technology incubator, Store No 8, where it previously operated in stealth as "Code Eight." Jetblack launched its closed beta in Manhattan early this year.
The service will allow members to order everything from toiletries and household items to toys and fashion with a simple text message. At $50 a month, it is intended for more affluent customers, compared to Amazon Prime that costs $12.99 per month.
According to Walmart, the service combines the convenience of eCommerce with the customized attention and expert recommendations of a personal assistant.
Jetblack, led by Rent the Runway's co-founder Jenny Fleiss, offers its members the ability to text nearly any shopping request. The service, which focuses on "time-strapped urban parents," will find the right products and deliver them the same or next day for no additional charge.
"Through its curated shopping recommendations sent via text and voice-to-text (aka "conversational commerce"), Jetblack can deliver time-strapped urban parents everything from birthday gifts to household essentials," Walmart said.
The service combines artificial intelligence or AI practices with expertise from professional buyers across the home, health, parenting, fashion and wellness categories, as well as parents themselves.
Some everyday essentials may be sourced from Walmart and Jet.com, while other items and specialty products are procured from local brands and shops.
"With Jetblack, we have created an entirely new concept that enables consumers to get exactly what they need through the convenience of text messaging and the freedom of a nearly unlimited product catalogue. We are confident this service will make shopping frictionless, more personalized and delightful," said Jenny Fleiss.
The service will be opened up to more applicants in New York who wish to become members, before expanding to other U.S. markets. As part of its limited release, consumers can visit the Jetblack website starting today and join the waitlist.