Retail giants have seen a surge in online traffic this year. That will help juice their profits over the long run, in more ways than one.
Even before this year’s leap in online shopping, major retailers like Walmart , Kroger and Target had been eyeing online advertising as a future profit driver. Those plans got a boost from the pandemic, which has accelerated the e-commerce transition by years, giving well-placed retailers a sudden windfall of online traffic and consumer data.
Target, for instance, saw digital sales nearly triple in its most recent quarter compared with a year earlier, while Kroger and Walmart U.S. saw surges of 127% and 97%, respectively. Online sales haven’t slowed even after initial Covid lockdowns eased, suggesting much of the shift will prove permanent. In particular, curbside pickups, which require customers to order online, are proving quite popular and could easily become part of the new norm.
A retailer can earn advertising dollars off this …