Jet, the newly launched Amazon alternative/competitor, is crushing it. Amazon, that is. Not in terms of market share of course (not yet), but in my own life. Aside from the savings you can see add up in your cart, Jet has better customer service by far (with American employees who go the extra mile), massively superior site and app designs, surprisingly fast shipping and a selection that, while necessarily smaller (which is par for a startup market entrant), is noticeably growing.
Now before I go any further let me say that Amazon has gleams of goodness here and there. The Echo smart speaker is a good example and there are other ways in which Amazon supremely shines. But many aspects of Amazon’s core shopping experience could be considered as simply going down the toilet (speaking from my personal experience). Take this article I recently wrote for instance: Amazon Crime: It Took 97 Minutes for Amazon to Admit They Were Screwing Me.
Now back to Jet.
I’ve placed several Jet orders already and there’s just something about using the service that is… nice. Even the email confirming an order has shipped is cool. The message reads, “Do a little dance. Your item(s) have shipped.” But if something goes wrong, Jet has seriously incredible customer service reps and policies. When I thought an order was wrong (it turns out the product just wasn’t what I was expecting), Jet sent me a replacement item and wrote me a hand-written postcard apologizing. Not a short, bland chain-letter. A real, thoughtful sentiment. Impressive to say the least.
And nothing against foreign employees, but so often Amazon’s customer service reps speak English so badly I can’t even understand what is being communicated to me. It makes an already bad experience (having a problem with an order) that much crappier. Thank goodness Jet reps seem to speak perfect English.
But I just love Jet’s design aesthetic. It’s SO good. I studied graphic/web design in college and I’m really impressed with Jet’s visual style and user experience. Amazon has always had a poorly designed website that looks like it was created by engineers (function over form mentality, typically). Jet hit the ground running doing design right. And it makes a difference. Shopping on Jet is like shopping in a clean, clutter-free department store whereas shopping on Amazon feels more like going through a flea market crammed to the ceiling with too much stuff.
And while my understanding was that Jet is designed to save you more money by having you build up a large cart’s worth of items over time and perhaps shipping a tad slower than an Amazon Prime member would be used to, I’ve been delighted by how quickly my Jet orders have been arriving. Many of my Jet orders have arrived as quickly as they would have with a Prime membership — without paying as much as I would’ve for Prime.
And then there was the time when I ordered something from Jet and something from Amazon and the Jet package arrived before the Amazon package had even shipped!
So my family jumped on the Jet wagon as soon as we could and we can already tell the selection is growing quickly. There were some items that, when we looked for them the first time, were not available but have already been added to the store’s selection just a few weeks later. That is impressive. And the items were not “mainstream” items. I’m talking about organic-type stuff that is more niche.
At the moment I’m thrilled with Jet all-around. Hopefully it forces Amazon to up it’s game… but I’m kinda betting Amazon will feel a bit complacent for a bit too long… I predict they’ll wait until they start to feel some pain. At the moment though, Amazon is such a diversified giant that it’s probably scoffing in Jet’s general direction. But the fact that Amazon is so big is just why Jet, a company focused on selling stuff cheaply while providing customers with an incredible shopping experience (and not focused on other businesses like cloud computing), has some wiggle room to win over a lot of customers.
If you haven’t already, check Jet out. It’s insanely good.