Instacart Ads Expands Shoppable Offerings

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Instacart has introduced advertising solutions that unite and leverage inspirational storytelling and action through shoppable video ads and enhanced shoppable display ads. These offerings expand Instacart's ad product suite with experiences meant to give brands a more immersive way to tell their brand stories, engage consumers and drive sales.

Shoppable video and display ad products aim to enable CPG brands to shorten the user journey from awareness and product discovery directly to purchase — all within one rich media unit, according to a news release from the company. With this launch, advertisers can now promote engaging, targeted, creative content to consumers as they shop from Instacart’s retailer partners on the platform. Unilever’s Dove, Mondelez International, PepsiCo and Nestle’s S.Pellegrino are among the first CPG brands to pilot the shoppable video and shoppable display products.

Building on its inaugural display ads product, Instacart has created an iterative, shoppable display product to inspire discovery and purchase. This shoppable display format is what Instacart calls “a CPG brand's contextual pop-up shop” on the platform and enables them to reach the right consumer at the right time to drive consideration and bigger baskets, without disrupting the shopping experience.

"We designed our new shoppable ad products to create more brand storytelling opportunities for CPGs, help them inspire and reach new and existing consumers and ultimately drive sales in a singular unit,” said Ali Miller, vice president of ads product at Instacart, in the release. “We see that these kinds of shoppable rich media experiences resonate with consumers as well, as we're bringing more discovery and inspiration to the online shopping experience."

Instacart says its shoppable video ads leverage the powerful storytelling capabilities of video creative with an in-line set of shoppable products to shorten the path from discovery to purchase. They give advertisers the ability to fuel brand affinity with rich stories, motion and audio, with the goal of inspiring bigger baskets with add-to-cart functionality. Throughout the pilot, Instacart will test and learn alongside its CPG brand partners to determine best practices and inform what the shoppable video product looks like when it is available to all brands in Instacart's self-service portal, Ads Manager, later this year.

The format includes brand imagery coupled with direct add-to-cart functionality, allowing brands to pin a bundle of items that inspires complementary purchases, innovation and, ideally, drives routine purchases. More than 40 CPG brands have piloted the shoppable display product, which will be generally available to all brand partners in Ads Manager later this summer. Dove first partnered with Instacart Ads in 2017 with sponsored product campaigns and expanded as an early pioneer with shoppable display for its "Nourish Your Beauty" campaign.

"Across all our Dove campaigns, we tell real, thoughtful stories of beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety, that our audience can authentically connect with and that inspire the next generation," said Leslie Miller, marketing director on Dove, in the release. "At the same time, we are constantly looking for innovative platforms to engage with our audience."

Instacart's shoppable video and display products aims to address the fact that advertisers have even more choices and touchpoints to inspire consumers throughout the entire shopping journey.

"Multiple PepsiCo brands have joined the Instacart video and display pilots to test and learn,” said Emily Frankel, senior vice president of e-commerce and marketing head at PepsiCo, in the release. “Shoppable display has proven to be an effective way to drive first-time purchase of our products via the Instacart platform, and while we're just getting started with shoppable video, we look forward to continuing our work to give consumers a compelling omnichannel experience."

Instacart today offers self-service and managed ad services for more than 5,000 CPG brands. Instacart also partners with API partners that have built campaign management and optimization applications leveraging the Instacart Ads API. Pacvue, Flywheel, Tinuiti, Skai (formerly Kenshoo + Signal Analytics), Marin Software and Nimble Ads are among the program’s current partners.

Instacart’s flagship offering, featured product, allows its partners to secure premium digital shelf space and show products to consumers as they browse, discover and search within Instacart. Other offerings include category heroes, coupons, emails and delivery promotions. While some brands elect to manage their advertising initiatives through the Instacart Ads Manager directly, others choose to work with an API Partner.