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Jet.com CEO Discusses the Fate of Brick and Mortar Stores

By Quora

These Questions originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answers by Marc Lore, founder & CEO, Jet.com, on Quora.

Q: Are big physical retailers like Walmart and Costco doomed?

A: Brick and mortar stores aren’t doomed, but they’ll definitely face increasing pressure as it becomes cheaper to get consumables delivered to your door than it is to go out and buy them. Fresh groceries going online will add to this pressure as well. In the long term, they may need to shrink their current footprints and leverage in-store pickup to move from a model centered on price towards one that’s more convenience-focused.

Q: What made Diapers.com so successful?

A: Diapers was successful because we identified a pain point for new moms at a critical point in their lives and focused in on making it easier for them. Any time you provide a solution at the intersection of a need and a pain point, you can cultivate a passionate following. When you combine that with fast delivery and great customer service, you have the chance to build something special.

Q: Membership pricing was a big part of Jet differentiating itself. What happened for you to change your mind so quickly on this?

A: Before you launch a company, you have ideas about what will work best. Once you actually open for business, though, you get a firehose of information; there’s a lot of volatility and you learn a lot fast. One of the keys to running a startup is being able to take all of that information in and adapt, even if it means facing criticism. When we evaluated the information, we realized that that dropping the membership was a no-brainer for us, so we made the change.

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