Reports yesterday that Wal-Mart is in talks to acquire online retailer Jet.com had the entire retail universe talking.

Much of that conversation revolved around asking what the world’s largest retailer has to gain from buying Jet, the web retailer founded by Marc Lore.

Lore is the man who built Quidsi, parent of Diapers.com and Soap.com, and then sold it to Amazon for around $545 million. Lore then spent two years working with Amazon, before departing and launching Jet.

Jet is only one-year old. And Lore told Fortune magazine recently that the company reached monthly sales of $90 million in May. That’s nothing to scoff at. But nor is it anything Wal-Mart would likely find compelling. More likely is that Wal-Mart’s interest in Jet is largely an interest in tapping Lore’s extensive understanding of what it takes to win in ecommerce.

News of a possible deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes just weeks after Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon told shareholders the company wouldn’t push harder in digital until it got "fundamental building blocks" in place. Lore and his experience, and Jet and its pricing software, may be exactly the sort of blocks McMillon has been seeking.

But here at Checkout TrackingSM, we wanted to know what else about Jet might be of interest to the folks in Bentonville. And as it turns out, there’s a great deal about Jet’s consumers that Wal-Mart might find attractive … most notably that they are more affluent than non-Jet consumers and that they’re generally not already Walmart.com shoppers.

  • Jet.com buyers are more likely than other online buyers to have incomes greater than $150,000 a year.
  • Only a fifth of Jet.com buyers have also purchased from Walmart.com in the most recent 6-month period.
  • Compared to Non-Jet.com Buyers, Jet.com buyers spent more of their online dollars on Baby Products, Pet Supplies, Home & Kitchen, Tools & Home Improvement and Health & Beauty.

Or, as Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, said: “What makes an acquisition of Jet so dynamic is two-fold.  It puts a retailer in the bigger game of online retailing of the future and it brings consumers from outside traditional retail.  Omni channel moves to omni presence.”

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