How To Start Advertising On Instacart In 2023

Last Updated: July 6, 2022

If you sell your products in retailers that partner with Instacart, customers can buy those products via the Instacart platform. But can you advertise on Instacart? The answer is yes.

As more people turn to online shopping and delivery to get their essentials, platforms like Instacart are rapidly gaining popularity. 

For the average consumer, Instacart is a convenient tool for ordering grocery or pharmacy delivery. For gig workers who want to know “How do I get demand batches with Instacart?” It’s a great source of income. 

Finally, to a savvy marketing pro, Instacart presents a unique opportunity to get in front of a wide audience with products they need right now.

Why Instacart? First, it’s always important to find and make the most of any new advertising platform in order to remain competitive. It’s also a matter of numbers. Today, Instacart is available to approximately 90% of households in North America. 

Instacart partners with more than 800 national, regional and local retail brands, including unique brand names, to deliver from more than 70,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in the U.S.—including all 50 states—and Canada. . So many customers use Instacart that it would be nearly impossible to miss your target audience.

The real challenge that brands encounter is getting started. There simply isn’t as much information for advertisers out there. Instead, much of the online content out there seems to be directed at shoppers who need to know, “How do I introduce myself as an Instacart shopper?”

Here are the topics we cover as you learn how to start advertising on Instacart:

  • How Instacart advertising works
  • How Instacart ads reach a wide audience
  • How to scale and optimize your Instacart campaigns

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to start advertising on Instacart in 2022. You’ll also learn the advertising options available to you, understand how to set and alter your budget to scale your campaigns, and know the value of the right ad management platform.

How Instacart Advertising Works

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Instacart launched its self-service advertising platform in May 2020. Preceding this launch, the company introduced paid search options in 2019.

It’s notable that the self-serve launch began during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed the company to monetize the significant increase in customers who were ordering groceries and other necessities online. 

That worked well for them on two levels: The company’s profits increased significantly, and the surge in usage and recognition allowed Instacart to gain significant traction. 

Even as the impacts of the pandemic have started to ebb, Instacart is still enjoying significant growth. Brands have the opportunity to harness that through Instacart advertising.

There are two key points to learn if you want to understand how Instacart advertising works. These are the types of ads available to you and the three-step process for creating an ad campaign.

Types Of Instacart Ads

You can choose from four types of Instacart ads.

Instacart Sponsored Products

Sponsored products are self-service cost-per-click (CPC) ads. Brands use these most often to make selected products stand out to consumers on Instacart. Sponsored products will be easy for consumers to notice as they browse or search. This guide covers these types of ads in detail. 

The remaining three options are managed ads. This means that advertisers must form a partnership with Instacart to use them. Instacart manages all placement, setup, and other tasks involved in these ads according to the parameters set by the brand.

Instacart Brand Pages

These are custom, shoppable landing pages on the Instacart Marketplace that you can design to host a curated view of your product offerings.

Whether the goal is unveiling new product innovations, merchandising best sellers, or capitalizing on seasonal moments to drive sales for related products — like introducing new summer mocktail popsicles — brand pages can help across a variety of use cases. They offer a central location on the Instacart Marketplace where consumers can shop your products online and get them delivered fast — often in as little as one hour.

Instacart Display Banners

With a display  banner, Instacart moves your product to the top of its category during product searches with a banner display. This is also arranged through Instacart reps. Many brands find these ads a good investment because they create a clear call to action and use background imagery to set the perfect scene.

Instacart Coupons

Instacart coupons use savings to draw attention to certain items. The coupon appears with the item as shoppers see it in product categories or search results. Once redeemed, it doesn’t appear again for 30 days. You must work with an Instacart representative to place these ads.

Setting Up An Instacart Ad Campaign

Many businesses get started with Instacart sponsored products. These ads don’t require an expensive advertising budget outlay and can be set up without any outside help. There’s a simple three-step process to launch your Instacart advertising campaign.

1. Product Selection

Carefully select the products that you want to promote. These will stand out as customers shop. You can experiment with promoting different products. 

For example, some teams promote seasonal products. Others try to boost items that are slow sellers. It’s worth spending time to develop a product promotion strategy that will ensure you get the best results.

2. Pay for Performance

Set a budget for each campaign. This budget will determine the frequency and placement of your sponsored products. However, you will only pay when customers engage with your products.

The budget you have available will also impact your product selection. For example, if you have a limited amount of money to spend until you prove your return on investment, you should avoid picking too many items to promote. Instead, choose three or four products you believe will truly pay off. From there the product offering should scale with the budget pending success. Being selective with your products is important because you want to maximize your budgets with products more likely to gain traction and provide you with tangible learnings for future campaigns.

3. Analyze and Optimize

Once your campaign is underway, you can use tools provided by Instacart to review your campaign. You’ll learn what works and can make small changes to make incremental improvements. For example, you may decide to increase spending to promote certain products or to stop advertising certain products altogether.

How Instacart Ads Reach A Broad Audience

Instacart ads are popular because they reach so many people. Think about it: No particular age group or other demographic truly dominates the platform. For example, “Business of Apps” and “Progressive Grocer” have estimated the following usage statistics and demographics:

  • 9.6 million users overall
  • Extensive growth since the platform launched
  • 600 Instacart partners
  • Available in 5500 cities
  • 50% of customers are 25-34
  • 30% are 50-75
  • 80% are women
  • 60% live less than a mile away
  • 40% are parents

It’s safe to say that your advertised products will reach a large audience on Instacart. This audience, combined with user and revenue growth, means that Instacart Ads are a great investment for many companies.

How To Scale And Optimize Your Instacart Campaigns

When you start your campaign, it won’t take long for your Instacart Ads to generate a lot of data. You can use this information to learn which products are performing well, how your ads are performing on different platforms, where you are getting the most ad engagement, and how much ROAS you are getting.

That’s the good part. The downside is that the data can be overwhelming and challenging to analyze, making Instacart ad management challenging. 

Additionally, a platform’s native analytics tools may be limited. For example, you may not be able to compare data you receive from two platforms. Many brands find it easier to get broader and deeper insights by using a more comprehensive retail marketing platform that includes a power analytics module.

One example of this is Jergens. This brand increased growth and basket penetration with a combination of Instacart sponsored product advertising and a custom dashboard retail platform.

Using Your Instacart Ad Spending To Scale Campaigns Instantly

An experienced team of marketers can create and analyze your Instacart ad campaigns. That information is then used to inform your budgeting decisions.

You have significant flexibility to increase your budget to get the most out of the ads that are working for you. This allows you to scale your campaign instantly. By scaling your campaign, you ensure that you get the best performance from your Instacart ad costs.

Pay-Per-Result Pricing Strategy And ROAS

Pay-per-result pricing simply means that money isn’t taken from the budget you have set for your Instacart campaign until it gets results. 

Instacart ad costs are calculated using the cost-per-click (CPC) method. This means you pay for the number of users who actually click on your ads. CPC makes it much easier to stay on top of Instacart ad costs. This can create a much higher ROAS when compared to paying for ad placement. 

How Much Does Instacart Charge For Advertising?

Instacart doesn’t publish its pricing in detail. However, there are some reasonable estimates for Instacart ad costs: CPC ranges between a minimum of $0.15 and $10.00, with some outliers above $10.00 on extremely competitive keywords.

Final Thoughts: Making Instacart Ads Work For You

If past trends are any indication, Instacart will continue to grow and profits will increase. Additionally, the platform already has a significant geographic and demographic reach. Both of these factors make it an ideal choice for advertisers that sell their products in brick-and-mortar retail locations.

Those are compelling enough reasons to make the leap to advertising on Instacart. It’s also cost-effective and easy to manage while offering exceptional ROAS potential.

Search Nurture can help you maximize the effectiveness of your Instacart Ad campaigns. We have the perfect retail advertising management tools and strategies to power up your campaigns.

Are you ready for a free consultation? Contact us today. We’re happy to answer any of your questions and get started with your Instacart advertising strategy.

Jason Beddome


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