Food Marketers’ Secret Weapon: 4 New Instacart Features That Elevate Your Ad Tactics

Most food marketers know that sponsored product ads are tried and true, and Instacart is a boon to any CPG marketing strategy. Why? Because few e-commerce apps make it easier for marketers and retailers to market their products, or consumers to add products like yours to their carts. What you may not know is there are new, even more engaging Instacart solutions designed to enhance your consumer’s experience — not to mention your strategy. At EHY, we call this our marketing Swiss Army Knife given everything you can do with Instacart.

If you aren’t taking advantage of these new Instacart features, you’re missing out on creating major avenues for discovery and engagement, as well as opportunities to foster loyalty with specific retailers. With Instacart, you’re more likely to break through the market and put your product in shoppers’ carts.

Instacart also makes measuring return on ad spend (ROAS) easy. What makes it so easy to track? Instacart’s platform is a closed-loop system with a 1:1 conversion ratio. Plain and simple.

If you’re unsure what these new features are or how they work, here’s your cheat sheet.

Capitalize on Instacart’s Newest Features

The app can do so much more for your strategy than just sponsored ads. New features make online shopping easier, more enjoyable, and more personalized for consumers. These new features are especially useful for mid-funnel marketing and your efforts to test and measure the “discoverability” of your product.

1. Use Shoppable Video to Engage Customers

Video ads are a common tactic in advertising to engage, inspire, and educate consumers. Consumers these days are compelled by immersive, media-rich storytelling, and shoppable video is a useful advertising tool to reach mid-funnel, high-intent customers (i.e., customers who are more inclined to make a purchase).

Shoppable video is particularly valuable during a seasonal push or product launch. It allows the customer to add your product to their carts as they engage, thereby shortening their path to purchase.

For one of our season-oriented clients, when we included shoppable video with their annual holiday campaign, they saw a 13X ROAS (4X the benchmark and double their ROAS from using sponsored products alone).

2. Shorten the Sales Cycle and Drive Attribution With Instacart Pages

This one is a game-changer for your typical advertising tactics. Often CPG marketing teams have a branded landing page or a “Where to Shop” page for shoppers to land on when they click an ad. This tactic can be effective, but it’s not that engaging. Why? A “Where to Shop” page is one more stop customers must take to buy your product.

Instead of driving shoppers to your landing page, you can direct them to your Instacart page to shorten the sales cycle. Your customer won’t have to search for stores that might house your product because the Instacart app is already connected to retailers in their area.

You can also use Instacart Pages to drive attribution from other non-retail-specific advertising tactics. This is important because the ad your shopper clicks on before making a purchase may be one of several they engage with. Data-driven attribution gives credit where credit is due, and not just on the last ad your customer clicked. This way, you can accurately track which ads have the best return on spend.

3. Set Up Instacart Promotions

With this feature, you can set up couponing and promotions within Instacart to create more savings for consumers and a bigger brand reach for your business. It’s a feature reserved typically for other retailer dot-coms and in-store experiences — until now.

With couponing like Stock Up and Save (e.g., “buy $15 worth of x and receive free delivery”) or Buy One, Get One (BOGO) sales, you can promote your product on a higher, more visible digital shelf.

A package goods client at EHY recently included Instacart couponing to win back lapsed buyers and saw a huge surge in sales on the platform.

4. Boost Sales With Instacart Impulse

Impulse buys aren’t just for the checkout aisle in brick-and-mortar stores anymore. Instacart created a new solution that places ads for single-unit UPCs with a low price point just before the shopper checks out. Put simply, you can advertise items consumers might buy on impulse, in the same way a grocery store would strategically place smaller, low-price items in a checkout line or next to the register. To qualify for Instacart Impulse, your item must be under $7.

Other Features and Benefits

There are other technologies in Instacart’s advertising platform that provide value for you and your customers.

Fresh Produce Weighted Items Feature

This is a win for produce. Until recently, Instacart customers bought produce as individual items (like oranges, for instance). This experience became a barrier to purchase because the individual cost was greater than the cost per pound, which shoppers are used to in-store. Now, produce brands can advertise weighted items.

New Digital Category Tags

Electronic shelf labels like Carrot Tags and Health Tags help shoppers find items that meet their nutritional, dietary, or financial needs, such as vegan, gluten-free, kosher, or EBT SNAP-eligible.

Celebrity and Influencer Carts

Themed shopping carts like “Game Day” or “Self-Care” aren’t new to Instacart, but now the app has celebrity and influencer-curated carts to inspire shoppers and enhance discovery of your product. You may have even seen the program’s launch, called The World is Your Cart (featuring Lizzo).

Stay Ahead of Emerging Ad Platforms

Online grocery continues to increase, and so has eCommerce marketing spend. The result is a complex eComm world with a higher bar for customer experiences. While shoppers discover new brands and products every day, you need to discover new ad tactics to delight and engage them.

EHY is an advertising and PR agency that can broaden your reach and inspire your consumers with the latest ad technology. We stay apprised of the most innovative tactics to optimize your marketing mix. Interested in learning more? Reach out.

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Tori Brumfield Vice President Management Supervisor EvansHardy+Young
Tori Brumfield, VP/Director of Client Services

Tori started her career at Publicis and Kramer-Krasselt, where she worked on various national consumer brands. Fortunately for EHY, she has spent the last twenty years guiding work on key food and hospitality clients, with particular emphasis on strategic leadership for integrated marketing and advertising programs targeted to both B2C and B2B audiences. She currently leads our Account Service and Social Media teams and plays an important role in establishing and guiding brand strategy across client accounts.