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Shopping site Jet tries reintroducing itself to customers

The Walmart-owned e-commerce site reboots its brand as its monthly traffic drops.

04-beauty

A look at Jet's refreshed beauty landing page.

Jet

Chances are you haven't shopped at Jet.com lately.

Jet, an online store that Walmart bought for $3.3 billion in 2016, is hoping to change that with a brand relaunch that debuted on Thursday. The store's website got an overhaul, its grocery service was revamped and the company plans to double down on urban customers, its target audience.

Jet, a once-buzzy e-commerce startup, was part of Walmart's recent shopping spree for millennial-focused sites that included Moosejaw, ModCloth and Bonobos. But while those three sites are niche clothing retailers with clearly identified customers, Jet is a general merchandise site that offers electronics, clothing, groceries and more. That wide selection makes it harder for Jet to stand out against bigger brands, such as Amazon, Target and even Walmart, its parent.

Walmart appears to have benefited from the Jet purchase, bringing in Marc Lore, Jet's founder, to build up Walmart.com's chops. Lore, who also founded the now-shuttered e-commerce site Quidsi, helped Walmart push US e-commerce sales 40 percent higher in its last quarter.

Jet hasn't appeared to fare as well under Walmart. In August, monthly visits totaled 10.3 million, down from 29 million a year earlier, according to SimilarWeb. Liron Hakim Bobrov, a SimilarWeb analyst, said that drop appeared to stem from Jet's more targeted focus on urban millennials and Jet's significant pullback in digital ad spending.

Jet is ranked 204th among US shopping apps on Android, compared with Walmart's No. 5 spot, App Annie reports.

"Fairly speaking, Jet isn't a household name in retail," said Andrew Lipsman, a retail analyst for eMarketer. "To the extent that Walmart wants to keep Jet as its own brand, it makes sense to reintroduce it."

He added that the relaunch could be seen as either the "last good-faith effort to build Jet into its own brand" or a signal that Jet will continue on its path of focusing on millennial, city-dwelling customers.

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