Instacart Advertising

Increase product visibility, boost your market share, and reach a new audience through this specialty platform

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Instacart Shopping

What is Instacart and how does it work?

Instacart is a convenient grocery delivery and pick-up service that connects customers with personal shoppers who select and deliver groceries from local stores. It’s designed to make grocery shopping easier and more accessible, especially for busy individuals or those who prefer to avoid crowded stores. With Instacart, shoppers can browse products online or through the app, choose their preferred items, and have them delivered to their doorstep in as little as one hour.

Is Instacart Only for Groceries?

While Instacart started as a grocery delivery service, it has expanded to include other categories such as household goods, personal care items, and even alcohol in some regions. This broad range of available products makes Instacart a versatile platform for various businesses, not just traditional grocery stores. For example, local bakeries, cheese shops, and specialty stores can all list their products on Instacart, making them more accessible to a wider customer base.


Who benefits from running Ads on Instacart?

Instacart advertising is typically initiated by individual brands. For example, let’s use gourmet chocolates as a case study throughout this guide. It’s easiest to understand where you should start from, and how you can benefit. Imagine that you live in a small city and manufacture a local chocolate known only in your region. Your chocolate might be sold in just a few select grocery stores, and even online on Amazon. You may have run ads on Amazon (and that’s okay because that can be compatible with Instacart!), but you really want to get people in your city who normally buy groceries locally interested in your product. This makes you the perfect candidate to tap into the power of Instacart advertising, an ideal way to increase awareness for your product in the stores where it’s actually sold and make real sales on a platform specifically designed for online grocery shopping.

If your product is sold in at least one store within the range of shoppers and buyers, then Instacart can be one of the most cost-effective and successful ways to help you reach sales goals that you might otherwise never achieve. And one of the best things about Instacart is that it is relatively easy to get started, can fit into any type of advertising campaign, and provides very rich analytics and sales data to help you make the best decisions for your business.

Who is Targeted on the Instacart Platform?

Shoppers from a wide range of demographics are targeted. However, consider this: A user must either download the app or visit the Instacart website, typically with the intent of purchasing groceries that day. They also need to be searching for specific products by brand or type. For instance, if a customer is only looking to buy essentials like bread, milk, and eggs, and you sell chocolate, they may not be the best lead. However, customers seeking chocolate, snacks, or desserts could be more interested in your product.

Instacart Delivery

What type of Instacart Ads can you run?

There are essentially two types of ads supported by Instacart, despite how it may be broken down across other guides. You can either run ads that allow people to search, based on a query, or you can be more passive and put in certain parameters, expecting a certain type of demographic to find your product. If you know anything about Google or Facebook ads, the query-based ads are a little bit more like Google ads, while the non-search ads are closer to something like Facebook/Meta. 

As of the time of this writing, you can choose from various sub-ad categories within each ad type, such as display ads, shoppable display ads, shoppable video, sponsored products, and pages. Let’s now go over each briefly, expanding upon what each is and best-use cases.

Instacart Search Ads

The traditional Instacart search ad will appear based on user keyword or search input. The intent of a shopper may be very clear, whether they are looking for a product by brand name or specific category, search ads are meant to capture users that know what they are looking for and have every intention of putting that specific product in their carts for purchase. This includes:

  • Instacart Sponsored Products
    This is the main ad type that many brands will use when advertising on Instacart. Consumers will see sponsored product ads on Instacart’s homepage as well as during browsing the app. Sponsored products also appear when a user searches for something specifically within the app itself.

Instacart Non-Search Ads

Meanwhile, these ads do not rely on specific user input or search to appear. They are instead strategically sprinkled throughout the Instacart app or website to capture the attention of shoppers. Non-search ads are actually just a type of ad that encompasses:

  • Instacart Display Ads
    These are traditional banner ads that appear throughout the Instacart website and app. They are great for increasing brand awareness.
  • Instacart Shoppable Display Ads
    These ads not only promote your product but also allow customers to add it to their cart directly from the ad, streamlining the purchasing process.
  • Instacart Shoppable Video
    This format engages customers with video content and provides a direct path to purchase by allowing viewers to add products to their cart directly from the video.
Instacart Ordering

Instacart Insights

Instacart Insights is a robust analytics tool that offers businesses detailed data on their advertising performance and shopper behavior on the Instacart platform. This tool helps advertisers understand campaign metrics such as impressions, clicks, sales, and return on ad spend (ROAS). By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and identifying trends, businesses can make data-driven decisions to optimize their advertising strategies. Instacart Insights reveals which products resonate with shoppers and the effectiveness of various ad formats, enabling refinements for better results.

Leveraging Instacart Insights ensures efficient use of advertising budgets and drives business growth. Whether promoting a new product, running seasonal campaigns, or boosting brand awareness, the analytics provided by Instacart Insights help pinpoint effective strategies and areas for improvement. This leads to maximized reach, better audience engagement, and increased sales on the platform.

Real Success Stories – Brands that Used Instacart Advertising and How they Grew in Sales

There are some great real-world examples of Instacart advertising in action. For example, the company Reckitt was able to follow their data back to the Instacart advertising platform and see an increase in approximately 16.5% incremental sales from their sponsored product ad spend. Meanwhile, Slate Milk achieved over 500% year-over-year sales growth in part from incorporating Instacart to bring brand awareness and help customers find product availability. It was through Instacart that their sales increased by 566% in 2022.

And at Today’s Business, our own clients are working through the Instacart platform to help boost sales in the same way. Because Instacart is perfect for delivering the type of product a customer needs in an immediate timeframe, specifically food, groceries, or home goods,  it has become an important avenue for a very specific type of client. In fact, in the near future, Instacart may no longer just be an optional platform, but a mandate – with shoppers expecting that the options available to them in the Instacart platform will be the most viable ones.

Should You Use an Instacart Marketing and Advertising Agency?

If you do own a consumer-goods-based brand and you need to grow your market, there is no better place to start than with Instacart. It is a platform made for food, grocery, and similar home goods items – the same things you would find at a local or specialty grocery store or home goods store. Thus,  if you want to connect with shoppers and get your product directly in front of them while they shop in real-time, there is no other comparable alternative. There may also be very few opportunities to showcase your product in front of customers in the same way utilized by Instacart, since other digital advertising platforms may not be the best route for your advertising dollars.

Get Started With Instacart Advertising Today

Today’s Business is here to help you evolve your understanding of the Instacart platform, walk you through the right advertising journey, and ultimately grow your business. Even on a budget. It’s not too soon to get started with Instacart right now and expand how your advertise and reach shoppers. Not only can we help with getting the right ads out there in front of your potential customers, but we can work with you to gain a deeper knowledge of your target market, gain valuable insights into what’s working, and help set up a profitable budget. And since we’re a full-service agency, if you want to expand into social media marketing, organic search, or other avenues of digital marketing, we’ll be there for the next steps!

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