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Walmart comes up with new shopping service
Jun '18
Courtesy: Jetblack
Courtesy: Jetblack
Walmart’s technology incubator, Store No 8, has come up with a new shopping service - Jetblack - that combines the convenience of eCommerce with the customised attention of a personal assistant. Members of the service can text nearly any shopping request and Jetblack will find the right products and deliver them the same or next day for no additional charge.

Jetblack has been released to customers in Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. Jetblack is the easiest way for busy parents to shop. Powered by expert research and personal recommendations, the service lets members order everything from toiletries and household items, to toys and fashion with a simple text message.

Led by Rent the Runway’s visionary Jenny Fleiss, the service is the first to launch from Walmart’s technology incubator, Store No 8, where it previously operated in stealth as “Code Eight.”

“We are thrilled to introduce Jetblack to the world,” says Jenny Fleiss, co-founder and CEO of Jetblack. “Consumers are looking for more efficient ways to shop for themselves and their families without having to compromise on product quality. 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 personalised and delightful.”

The idea for Jetblack was developed and refined within Store No 8, which was established by Marc Lore last year shortly after he was named president and CEO of Walmart US eCommerce. Store No 8 has been working to incubate capabilities, powered by emerging technologies, that will transform the future of commerce. Walmart believes one of those capabilities is conversational commerce – or the ability to shop through text messaging, online chat or voice – and Jetblack is the first step along that journey.

Through its curated shopping recommendations sent via text, Jetblack can deliver time-strapped urban parents everything from birthday gifts to household essentials. The service uses a combination of artificial intelligence practices and 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. Examples have included sourcing a specific beauty cream from a member’s favourite local boutique, curating custom Easter baskets and delivering them once the kids are asleep and rushing beach essentials to a family on vacation. Jetblack launched its closed beta in Manhattan early this year and members say shopping with Jetblack is as easy as texting a close friend who knows your preferences.

“Our eCommerce strategy has been focused on three elements: nailing the fundamentals, leveraging our unique strengths to play offense and innovating for the future,” says Lore. “Through Store No 8 and Jetblack, we’re able to build and test technology that can lay the foundation for capabilities we believe will have a profound impact on how customers may shop five years from now. Powered by conversational commerce, the future of retail will bring convenience and high-touch personalisation to the forefront for consumers everywhere and I’m so excited to have Jenny lead the charge.” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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