Instacart aims to drive brand storytelling with shoppable videos, ads

Online delivery provider Instacart has added shoppable video ads and enhanced shoppable display ads to help consumer packaged goods brands boost customer engagement.

San Francisco-based Instacart said yesterday the new formats for its advertising product suite enabled brand marketers to promote immersive, targeted content to consumers as they shop preferred retailers on the Instacart e-commerce platform. Dove, Mondelez International, PepsiCo and S.Pellegrino are among the first CPG brands to pilot the new shoppable video and display ad products.

“Advertisers choose Instacart because we’ve built a platform with high-intent consumers, retail unparalleled scale ofers, and closed-looped measurement, all of which drives meaningful results for our brand partners,” according to Ali Miller, vice president of ads product at Instacart. “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. 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. We’re grateful to work with brand partners who have been excited to innovate with us and incubate these formats along the way to drive maximum impact.”

The new shoppable display ads give CPG brands a contextual ‘pop-up shop’ on Instacart’s e-commerce platform to foster customer basket-building. (Image courtesy of Instacart)

The shoppable video ads give brands a vehicle to meld storytelling capabilities of video creative with an in-line set of shoppable products, shortening the path from discovery to purchase, Instacart noted. Advertisers can fuel brand affinity with stories, motion and audio, as well as drive larger shopping baskets with seamless add-to-cart functionality. During the shoppable video pilot, Instacart and its CPG partners will assess best practices and shape the final shoppable video product when it becomes available to all brands in Instacart’s Ads Manager self-service portal later this year, the company said.

“Partnering with Instacart helps us stay ahead of the curve when it comes to inspiring and engaging consumers along their shopping journey,” Emily Frankel, senior vice president and e-commerce marketing head at PepsiCo. “Multiple PepsiCo brands have joined the Instacart video and display pilots to test and learn. 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 said its new shoppable display product is designed to spur customer basket-building through discovery and purchase. Providing a brand with a contextual “pop-up shop” on Instacart’s platform, the new format helps CPG companies reach the right consumers at the right times to drive and bigger baskets, without disrupting the shopping experience, the online delivery giant said. The latest shoppable display ads feature brand imagery with direct add-to-cart capability, allowing brands to pin a bundle of items to fuel routine and complementary purchases.

So far, more than 40 CPG brands have piloted the shoppable display product, slated to become available to all brand partners in Ads Manager later this summer, Instacart reported. Dove first partnered with Instacart Ads in 2017 with sponsored product campaigns and is now an early user of shoppable display ads 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,” commented Leslie Miller, marketing director for Dove, a Unilever brand. “At the same time, we are constantly looking for innovative platforms to engage with our audience. Working with Instacart Ads has enabled us to try new tools that do just that. Testing Instacart’s new shoppable display and shoppable video ads have equipped us to inspire even more people with our brand storytelling and seamlessly drive purchases as they shop on Instacart.”

Currently, Instacart provides self-service and managed ad services to more than 5,000 CPG brands. The company also works with API partners that have built campaign management and optimization applications leveraging the Instacart Ads API.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Instacart,” Wesley Saraceni, senior director of marketing digital commerce at Mondelēz International, stated. “Online grocery shopping is critical to our long-term growth strategy, and we are excited to create a richer experience for our consumers as they shop for our beloved brands.”

Overall, Instacart partners with more than 800 national, regional and local retailers in North America and provides online shopping, delivery and pickup from more than 70,000 stores in over 5,500 cities. The company’s services reach more than 85% of US households and about 90% of Canadian households.

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