Selling on Jet.com – What You Need to Know Before Becoming a Retail Partner

Jet is becoming a serious competitor for platforms like Amazon and eBay and growing quickly. With its recent acquisition by retail giant, Walmart, this online marketplace shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’re currently selling on Amazon or eBay, consider Jet just another piece of the online retail puzzle. You want to spread your eggs across multiple baskets, right? Third-party retailers can benefit from diversifying their sales channels, reducing risks associated with being subject to a platform’s sometimes challenging set of rules (ahem… Amazon).

If you’re considering becoming a Jet seller (they call them retail partners), or want to know more, we’ve laid out some of the benefits and challenges of selling on the up and coming massive e-tail site.

Why Sell On Jet?

Lower Fees—Unlike Amazon, Jet doesn’t charge any monthly fees to sell on their platform. Both companies do make most of their money by taking a commission—about 15%, but Jet won’t charge you anything until the sales start rolling in.

More Customers…and marketing potential— On Amazon you are not allowed to initiate communication with customers, Jet, however, makes it fairly easy for you to build an opt-in email list. Customers can exchange their email address for an additional discount, which allows sellers to target them down the road for additional marketing.

And more savings—On the customer side, Jet offers myriad methods of saving even more—the platform cuts costs when someone orders multiple items from a single seller, uses a debit card to place an order, or waives their right to return an item. All these benefits for consumers offers more opportunity for sellers to be successful on the platform.

Here’s How to Get Started

Application—The application process to become an official Jet Retail Partner is fairly straightforward, and doesn’t require a ton of sleuthing for info on your part. You’ll need to know a few things, like your tax ID number, annual online revenue and how you’ll plan on shipping orders (drop shipping, your own fulfillment centers, etc.), but it should only take a few minutes. Once you’ve filled everything in, Jet will start the review process.

Be prepared for a little more work—One thing to know is that Jet does not offer retailers a backend administrator panel. So, you’ll need to build your own backend system. It is a bit of an investment, but if you’re willing to put in the work, or pay a third party to do the work for you. Compared to Amazon, this may seem like a bit more trouble, and it is, but you’ll be able to customize how you keep track of inventory to your own specifications.

Jet Rules—The Jet Rules Engine will add an element of control to your online shop, allowing you to offer more competitive deals to your potential customers. You’ll be able to modify rules that incentive customers like email opt-in, shipping distance or discounts on multiple items. This allows sellers to control order profitability by attracting customers that keep costs lower for them – i.e., rewarding consumers who live closer to a fulfillment center or are willing to forego the ability to return an item in favor of a lower rate.

Potential Challenges

Jet review is not exactly timely—Before you can become an official Jet seller, you need to apply to be a retailer, and Jet will review your product selection. Jet says the review process can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks, but we’ve heard it can sometimes be as long as 3 months. Patience will be your friend here. If you’re hoping to slap something together before a major holiday or product launch, forget it. Though, don’t get discouraged. It’s still worth a shot—once you’re in, you’re good to go.

You’re responsible for your own backend software—Again, this may be the biggest deal breaker for sellers, as they must integrate with the site’s API. Meaning, they’ll have to either develop their own software for inventory management, or enlist help from a third-party platform. Sellers will either have to commit some extra time or extra money in getting set up with their own backend, which could delay actually getting down to business and selling.

The Verdict?

Poised to become the next Amazon Prime – minus all the annoying fees that plague retailers operating on the monster selling platform, Jet is t on the brink of big time success, and if you’re not at least considering it as another tool for growing your retail business, you’re sure to get left behind.

While there’s a few things about selling on Jet that may seem like a pain, the pros outweigh the cons, and Jet presents a strong opportunity for retailers to boost online sales, while bringing diversity to their channel mix.