Jet is ready for its second act as an urban shopping destination, and it’s bringing Nike along for the ride.
The Walmart-owned e-commerce site is relaunching this fall with a focus on city-dwelling millennials, rolling out tailored landing pages, expedited delivery options and a more personalized shopping experience, first in New York and later in major metro areas around the country. In October, it will debut a partnership with Nike that it says has been in the works for months, on the heels of a similar deal with Apple that was announced this summer.
“What’s beautiful about the Nike partnership, which is probably very similar to our Apple partnership, is that both of those companies understand that experiences matter,” Jet chief customer officer David Echegoyen told FN, “and the way in which people find, discover and use your product is as much part of the experience as the fact that you buy them and use them.”
Jet.com will carry a full selection of Nike and Converse products, including footwear, apparel and gear for men, women and children totaling hundreds of SKUs. But more importantly, Echegoyen said, customers will have the chance to discover products they might not have found just by typing in the search bar.
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Working with Nike, he said, the team made an effort to understand how their different customers shop, whether they’re into yoga, basketball or running — or just want the most fashionable pair of sneakers.
“What we’re bringing to the site is not just assortment, which is what most retailers look for and what most news [outlets] like to cover,” he said, “but truly an experience on the site that allows both of our brands to take that customer insight and that customer mindset and solve for what they’re looking for on Jet.”
This sets the partnership apart from the headline-grabbing deal Nike inked with Amazon last summer, which opened the doors for the e-commerce giant to sell a limited selection of the sportswear brand’s product directly, rather than through third-party sellers.
While Nike CEO Mark Parker has been relatively tight-lipped about Amazon’s contribution to the brand’s bottom line, he told investors in June that the partnership was “progressing well.” Still, Nike has to compete against Amazon’s ever-growing pool of third-party merchants, and the brand has relatively little control over what comes up when shoppers search for its products because, as always, the algorithm reigns supreme.
On Jet, which Walmart acquired for $3.3 billion in August 2016, customers will only see Nike products sold direct from the brand, eliminating the confusion and brand dilution that can arise on marketplace platforms.