November 15, 2023


Stratably hosted Ross Walker and Juan Munoz Dominguez from Acadia to share winning strategies and tactics on Instacart spanning content, ads, and more.

Key Topics:

  1. Overview of the full-funnel capabilities with Instacart Ads
  2. Audience targeting options for Awareness, Consideration/Competition, Purchase, and Loyalty stages of the funnel
  3. How to use Instacart’s two unique metrics: halo sales and market share data
  4. Low hanging fruit opportunities with display, video, and brand pages
  5. Average performance metrics for impulse ads versus standard placements
  6. How to think about allocating budget on Instacart


Watch The Recording Here

Action Items:

  1. Check that you’re investing appropriately into Instacart Ads: Consider a 10% base level TACoS threshold, adjusting from there based on your brand’s maturity and goals and using other retail media network investments as reference points.
  2. Check your Instacart Ads strategy to make sure you aren’t making these common mistakes:
    • All products grouped into one campaign
    • No segmentation by goal
    • Automatic keyword harvesting running unchecked
    • No utilization of sponsored display or video
  3. Take advantage of brand pages: For starters, build one evergreen page and specific pages for seasonal assortment or key peak seasons. Make sure you link the right campaigns to the right brand pages as consumers cannot get to brand pages natively.
  4. Do your research and digital “store walks" to identify opportunities to take advantage of low competition and therefore low CPCs for sponsored display and video
  5. Dive into Instacart’s market share data to understand where you are today and track over time and in response to campaigns.

Here’s what we found most interesting:

  1. Use the right KPIs for campaigns at every stage of the funnel:
    • Awareness: impressions and click-thru rates
    • Consideration / Competition: page views and clicks
    • Purchase and Loyalty: sales, ROAS, new-to-brand
  2. Instacart’s new-to-brand metric is specific to customers buying on Instacart and captures those that have not purchased from your brand in the last 26 weeks (shorter time horizon than other platforms like Amazon and Walmart).
  3. Data shows impulse ads tend to perform equally to standard placements but carry slightly higher CPCs. Impulse placements are likely best-suited for new product launches and upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
  4. One area to watch out for on Instacart is ad attribution, particularly if running full funnel campaigns. Instacart, like other retailers, tends to generously attribute sales to ads. In Acadia's experience, they have seen ad attributed sales reach north of 75%, which is likely too high. An alternative is to also consider how your market share is changing, which is a unique metric Instacart provides and can help a brand understand if its full funnel campaigns are ultimately improving its category share.