Explore Pacvue's Commerce Solutions, including our tech-enabled Revenue Recovery Services.

Learn More

Instacart Advertising Strategy: A Complete Guide for CPG Brands

Instacart witnessed unprecedented growth in 2020 with online grocery shopping after years of slow growth. By July 2021, Instacart had swept up 64% of the market share, leaving competitive giants like Amazon far behind. Including an Instacart advertising strategy is now a necessity for all CPG brands.

The company’s website and app offer its consumers a choice of delivery or pick-up from over 65,000 stores in North America and Canada, making it a wildly popular choice among both shoppers and sellers. With a predicted total sales revenue of over $35 billion by 2023, Instacart ads is an obvious part of all CPG brands’ advertising strategies.

Suppose you’re still not convinced why you should include Instacart advertising in your marketing strategy. In that case, this blog will cover exactly what makes Instacart special, how you can advertise your products on the platform, and performance tracking to expedite your growth.

What is Instacart Advertising?

Instacart shoppers love the same-day delivery option, with the fastest deliveries completed in less than 30 minutes. The platform has been around for almost a decade and has added many features based entirely on consumer feedback. Another example is the direct chat option for seller-buyer communication, helping brands maintain real-time support.

In Q1 2022, Instacart also announced the Instacart Platform with enterprise-grade tools for brands to use technology and find the path between consumer problems and their solutions. This multi-fold solution covers five facets of online grocery shopping:

  1. Ecommerce
  2. Fulfillment
  3. In-store
  4. Ads
  5. Insights

More recently, Pacvue introduced Instacart Brand Pages, allowing brands to own a piece of virtual real estate and craft a fully customized landing page that consumers can visit to learn about the brand’s story, products, new launches, and best deals. This has led to thousands of brands advertising on Instacart having a loyal pool of returning customers.

At a time when third-party cookies are rapidly disappearing, and social media influence is on the rise, advertisers are desperate to differentiate themselves and grab the biggest slice of the pie possible. Luckily for CPG brands, Instacart marketing offers a ton of advertising and campaigning options to choose from.

Instacart Advertising Platform

Unlike many competitors in the field, the Instacart advertising model offers its advertisers a second-price auction system when bidding for a coveted spot. With this unique model, the winner only pays $0.01 more than the highest bid amount and significantly reduces the cost of running an ad.

There are three types of ads on Instacart that advertisers love:

  1. Instacart Featured Products, so you can highlight best-sellers, optimize visibility based on product availability in your inventory, and set daily budgets. With optimized bidding, once you set a minimum ROAS, Instacart takes over to optimize your campaign, so you get your desired results.
  2. Shoppable Display ads are a great way to convert impressions directly into basket value additions. One-click leads the shopper directly to the brand or product detail page.
  3. Paid Search, so you show up on the relevant search results page based on the keywords you choose. Here, consumers are most motivated to press “add to cart” directly, and you can put a cap on the amount you are willing to spend so Instacart never charges you more than you want.

You can run both automatic and manual campaigns and leverage features like Bid Landscape to use your past data and predict your Instacart advertising revenue, ad spend, impressions, clicks, and sales. This allows you to cut through bulky information and see your performance clearly. Instacart has been consistently launching new features and updates to the UI, giving even newer brands a better chance of maximizing profits.

Winning on Instacart does have to feel overwhelming, and you can break it down to only six crucial “Ps”:

  1. Proposition
  2. Platform
  3. Presence
  4. Promotion
  5. Performance, and
  6. Proficiency

Nailing these six elements will ensure you cover all your bases as you dive into the deep end of the advertising pool on Instacart. Here’s a helpful Instacart Fast Start Guide to learn more details. You can also take advantage of the Instacart Ads Initiative if you have a minority-owned business.

Once you know what products you want to advertise and how to do it, you can begin to leverage Instacart’s full-basket model to track your performance.

Performance Tracking on Instacart

The Instacart advertising platform automatically updates all collected first-party consumer data with eligible advertisers daily. You get direct access to valuable information about the consumers you wish to target, and you can filter them down to find exactly what you need.

You can edit, add, and break down the metrics on your Customer Insights portal to create custom reports. These form the foundation of future campaigns, telling you exactly what works and doesn’t for your Instacart ads. You can compare your offerings to that of well-performing competitors for a keyword, pinpoint mistakes, and track your progress by the day, week, or month.

The platform recently added two more ways to track your performance and compare it to competitors bidding for the same keywords. Customer share % is a transparent way to see how many unique customers bought products from your brand.

Basket share % tells you how many Instacart orders for your category included at least one product from your brand. You can see customer and basket share insights by the week or month and filter them down based on your goals. This makes creating industry growth chart reports seamless and gives you a bird’s-eye view into your journey on the platform.


According to current data, the U.S. online grocery market sales forecast for 2024 is an estimated $187.7 billion, and Instacart is a frontrunner. The platform’s growth right now looks similar to what Amazon’s looked like in the early 2010s, with the same massive potential to become a household staple.

With this blog post, you got a sneak peek behind the curtain for Instacart’s journey, their USP as the brand continues to grow, ways in which you can advertise on the platform, and performance tracking to fast-track your success.

You can now book a demo with Pacvue and implement a customized strategy to start with Instacart advertising today!


Awards & Recognitions