Instacart Launches Ad Platform, Series Of Services For Retailers

Instacart is making a series of options for retail grocers available that will allow them to adapt to how consumers shop for groceries online and have the items quickly delivered to their homes or offices.

The Instacart Platform rolling out today will support Carrot Ads, and soon Carrot Warehouses, and Carrot Insights, giving retailers access to technologies behind Instacart’s consumer marketplace. It will allow retailers to power their own digital properties and retail operations.

Instacart’s platform -- from ecommerce to digital in-store integrations -- becomes the backbone for these new services.

“Instacart’s core advertising capabilities powers Carrot Ads,” said Ryan Mayward, head of advertising at Instacart. “Since 2019, we’ve been building out our own ad platform. We started with Sponsored products, paid search. In 2020, we launched self-service, API and second-place auctions.”

Expanding the company’s ad platform will enable grocers to power ads on their websites.

The total U.S. online grocery market generated $8.7 billion in sales during February -- up 8.5% compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Brick Meets Click and Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey.

Pickups -- the largest segment of online groceries -- grew 6% versus a year ago, generating $4 billion in sales and accounting for 47% of the total sales during the month.

Delivery of groceries reported a year-over-year gain of 37%, about $3.2 billion, capturing 37% share of online grocery spend.

“Last year, we more than doubled our employee headcount,” he said. “This year, we have the fastest-growing business unit in terms of headcount growth.”

Instacart Platform includes ecommerce storefronts that are custom-built for grocers and a la carte recommendation and merchandising capabilities and fulfillment solutions for grocers to do online delivery and pickup from stores or warehouses, from 15 minutes to next-day delivery, as well as digital in-store integrations and connected hardware to enhance the brick-and-mortar store experience, from scanless carts to technology that helps manage operations.

The platform also offers advertising solutions to help brands connect and engage with consumers in the digital aisles, as well as data tools to help retailers optimize operations, provide more connected experiences, and make informed business decisions.

Carrot Ads will open new digital revenue streams for retailers by bringing the best of Instacart advertising, including the company’s industry leading technology, products, engineering and sales talent, and data insights to retailer-owned and operated ecommerce sites.

Instacart piloted its new ads service with Schnuck Markets, Good Food Holdings, and Plum Market.

Schnuck, a grocery store in the Midwest, relies on Instacart’s ecommerce and advertising technology on its websites.

CPG mangers can optimize campaigns based on keywords and use a feature called auto bidding to drive more sales for the company, Mawyard said.



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