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4 Instacart Advertising Strategies for Online Grocery Success

We live in an economy that is quickly evolving to become “on-demand”. Online grocery shopping has seen a drastic change in the last decade, and with a valuation of over $39 billion, Instacart is in the lead today.  

Instacart remains the first choice, even with hundreds of competitors, and for good reason. The app offers a plethora of features for both paying customers and the paid riders. The app allows users to purchase from over 600 retail partners across the country.

Riders can chat with the customers on the app itself, and use aisle navigation to quickly find what they are looking for. With a boom in serviceability since the pandemic, Instacart has become a safe bet for your eCommerce advertising. Here is how you can make the most of this platform when establishing your brand.

Capitalize on Search Visibility

Instacart’s order volume has grown by over 150% since March 2020, and hundreds of retailers are offering their goods through the app. Giants like Costco, Walmart and 7 Eleven have set up shop here, with millions of products for customers to choose from.

With such intense competition, it’s vital to show up on top for search queries. Shoppers click on the top 3 sponsored results 40% of the time, and 70% of all conversions happen in the very first row. Customers simply don’t go beyond the first page, so if you want to sell that’s where they should find you.

Utilizing Instacart’s features such as the Customer Intelligence Platform can also help you understand their behavior. With hundreds of new users joining Instacart every day from over 5000 cities, one order is all it takes to put you in their purchase history.

Focus on Optimizing Content

Monitoring content issues to find and fix any problematic elements can boost sales to a great extent. High-quality images drive 21% higher traffic.

Fixing non-compliant content is one of the easiest yet best ways to differentiate your product from other search results. This way, you have control over what customers see when they search for a product that you’re selling on the app.

Similarly, paying extra attention to hero images can attract ideal customers to click on your products more often. Knowing the layout in both desktop and mobile app searches can guide you on how best to optimize your content.  

Hyper-Segment Ad Campaigns & Keyword Strategy

Instacart’s average return on ad spend is $4.30, with a CPC of $0.96, according to Pacvue’s latest statistics. Segmenting your campaigns is the best choice since you cannot bid by the retailer, and few brands enjoy the highest bids. You can structure campaigns around product segments and by price tiers. In other words, you are able to bid more aggressively on higher ASP items, because they are able to absorb the higher bids.

Curating a keyword-optimized strategy can also make a huge difference. Not only should the keyword list be based on real-time customer queries, but the list should also adapt to the changing trends on Instacart.

Using long-tailed keywords also helps bring in higher traffic by targeting your niche audience. The search results only show up to 50 characters, so it’s always better to first display the most important words.

Leverage Instacart’s Full-basket Model

Instacart pushes products as repeat purchases and for good reason. Sustained consumption behaviour shows almost 90% of Instacart customers are repeat buyers. It’s important to know how you can leverage the app’s market funnel to drive loyalty.  

Instacart’s basket model encourages shoppers to explore promotional offers and you can harness that potential to attract first-time buyers and repeat customers. You can use the same keywords to promote a variety of SKUs, and offering complementary products on such purchases can give you a boost as well.

Instacart’s model has changed immensely since they saw a huge jump in the number of active users due to the pandemic. If you’ve just stepped into Instacart advertising, banner/hero ads can be a great way to generate brand awareness.

Basket size also went up 35% from the first half of 2019 to 2020. This means getting customers to click ‘add to cart’ comes with more advantages, and policies that promote repeat purchases come in handy. Leveraging the platform’s eCommerce advertising funnel to build customer baskets drives loyalty and improves profits in the long run.

Fast Start Guide to Instacart Advertising

Instacart rewards investors who have a first-mover advantage, and they offer many promotional vehicles on the platform. Looking for more insights on how to nail Instacart advertising? Experts from Profitero, OneSpace, firstmovr and Pacvue did the hard work for you! We created a comprehensive guide that contains all the blueprints you need to guarantee the best results. Check out our “Fast Start Guide: 10 eCommerce Quick Wins on Instacart” for guidance on everything from presence to promotion.


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