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Kroger Pulls An Amazon; CTV Buoys Ad Tech Stocks

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Taking On The Giants

Kroger is getting into the ecommerce game by launching an online marketplace open to third-party sellers. The grocer is working with ecommerce specialist group Mirakl to offer “tens of thousands of additional goods” outside of its usual grocery sales fare, including toys and housewares, Bloomberg reports. Kroger is hoping to use its digital platforms to capture the momentum it’s seeing for the sale of essential goods during the pandemic. The move pits Kroger against ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart. But as demand surges during the pandemic, many manufacturers are looking for more outlets to sell their wares. It’s unclear if Kroger will charge a commission on sales or offer advertising within its marketplace.

Ad Tech <3 CTV

 Connected TV has been a big bright spot for ad tech this earnings season. Cords are getting cut, satellite subscriptions are getting canceled and marketer dollars are shifting into lower-cost, ad-supported CTV environments. “Together, these trends are driving continued solid performance of our CTV business,” Magnite CEO Michael Barrett told investors this week. Magnite’s CTV revenue in Q2 was up $7.9 million, a 12% YoY increase, and the company’s CTV growth accelerated to roughly 50% YoY in Q3 since early July. Over at LiveRamp, CTV revenue was up more than 100% in Q2 and now makes up 10% of overall revenue. The Trade Desk is also being buoyed by CTV. Despite posting a coronavirus-related revenue decline in Q2, CTV spend on TTD’s platform grew roughly 40% YoY, and the company anticipates that growth to more than double in Q3.

Online Order Receipt

Online shopping growth slowed to 55% YoY in July, down from 76% in June, as the country started to reopen and consumers began to feel more comfortable going to stores, per Adobe’s July Digital Economy Index report. Consumers spent $66.3 billion online in July, with the pandemic driving $94 billion in additional online spend since March. Reopened states are showing smaller increases in online sales, demonstrating a direct link between lockdowns and online shopping. Meanwhile, BOPIS shopping grew 23% in July as COVID-19 cases began to spike. Purchases of apparel, grocery items and electronics were basically on par with trends seen in June, although back-to-school shopping was up 30% in July, with computer sales in particular up 288%, as kids prepare to learn from home in the fall. Pricing in grocery, computers and petcare products has stabilized after experiencing volatility since the start of the pandemic.  

In The Frame

IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework v2.0 (say that five times fast) is starting to gain wide adoption. More than 500 vendors (517 to be exact) and 70 consent management platforms have registered to support the framework in advance of Aug. 15, which is when IAB Europe will cut off support for V1. The vendor list includes Adobe, GroupM, Magnite, The Trade Desk, Xandr and (drumroll, please) Google. “We are delighted to launch our integration into the TCF 2.0, in line with the switchover from v1.1 by IAB Europe,” said Chetna Bindra, Google’s senior product manager for user trust and privacy. That’s nice to hear, because it’s been an odyssey. Ad tech vendors originally expected Google to sign onto the TCF two years ago.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

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