Walmart has launched a personal shopping service that allows consumers to shop just by sending the individual items they want to purchase through text message. The service is called Jetblack and it is currently available to a limited number of customers in Manhattan and part of Brooklyn in New York City. Jetblack costs $50 a month, though delivery of an order is free of charge as well as the pick-up service for return items.
Jetblack's limited release marks the first time that Store No. 8, Walmart's technology incubator launched in March last year, rolls out a service to consumers, albeit in an experimental stage. The concierge shopping service was previously known as "Code Eight" when it was still being tested by Store No. 8 secretly in New York City with a number of consumers mostly comprised of moms. The stealthy experiment began last December when Walmart was reportedly testing a personal shopping service targeted to well-off customers with the goal of helping consumers, in particular moms, receive curated recommendations for items they might like to buy and check out the product through a text message. Once an order was placed, the products were shipped within two business days to the customer at no additional cost while household items were delivered within 24 hours of order. The way Jetblack works is that it will find any requested item after a customer texts their shopping request and then ship the order the same or next day without charging any additional fee to the consumer. The service includes free gift wrapping with handwritten gift cards. There's also no minimum spend required to be able to use the service. Keep in mind, however, that the service is currently invite-only and individuals who wish to experience the new shopping service must join the waitlist.
According to Store No. 8, Jetblack sends curated shopping recommendations via text by using a mix of artificial intelligence and suggestions from parents and professional consumers across a wide range of product categories from birthday gifts to household essentials. These items may come either from Walmart itself or Jet.com as well as other third-party local stores. It's important to mention that Jetblack does not accept requests for perishable items, alcohol, or medical products.