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In May, Instacart continued to expand its advertising offering by introducing a pilot program for custom shoppable ads. On August 15, all brands can take advantage of the first iteration: Shoppable Display Ads. Shoppable Display Ads became available to all brands on August 8 in Ads Manager, Instacart’s self-service portal, and campaigns can launch starting August 15.  

These new ads have keyword targeting only, with a CPM model, and will appear in the middle of the search results page. They feature 3-5 products in a custom imagery banner, allowing consumers to be introduced to complementary products, driving consideration and purchases. Products can be added to carts directly from the banner, with the logo and lifestyle image displayed on the left-hand side. Shoppable Display Ads will only serve if there are at least two products in stock at the retailer chosen. Engaging with these ads will drive shoppers to their Brand Page.  

How to Begin with Instacart Shoppable Display Ads

If your brand doesn’t have an Instacart Brand Page, now is the time to set one up. The Brand Page is a free, customizable landing page to highlight key products, categories, and your brand through imagery and copy. This is also where a consumer will land when they interact with your Shoppable Display Ads.

With the opportunity to highlight 3-5 complementary products within a Shoppable Display Ad, brands can now leverage the ads as a storytelling tool. For example, instead of highlighting a few products that are great for grilling out, pair them with lifestyle imagery and messaging around an end-of-summer cookout with friends and family. Similar visuals and messaging can be used within the Brand Page to further drive the story. 

To increase conversion rates, it’s critical to be strategic in product selection for these ads. Remember the ads will only serve when at least two of the items in the carousel are in stock. To combat ads not serving, be sure to select a number of products for the Shoppable Display Ads. 

Additionally, according to Instacart, consumers are most likely to engage with the first product that appears in the ad. Keeping that in mind, the first product in the carousel should be a high performer that is typically always in stock. 

Keyword Usage

When setting up Shoppable Display Ads, be strategic about keyword selection. If your brand has opted to tell a story with the ads, complementary broad category terms can be a wise choice. For example, if a brand selling hamburger buns has a Shoppable Display Ad campaign for cookout-related products, they should focus on popular terms and products that pair well with their hamburger buns. Instacart’s Ads Manager will also provide keyword recommendations based on contextual relevance. 

Benefits of Shoppable Display Ads for Brands

As long as your brand’s advertising budget supports it, Code3 Search Strategists recommend integrating Shoppable Display Ads into your Instacart advertising strategy to drive consideration and awareness. 

If your brand has already tested Instacart Display campaigns, Shoppable Display is a great ad type to add to the strategy in order to have a full-funnel approach on Instacart. Display campaigns and Shoppable Display both drive to the curated Brand Page, which creates a cohesive shopping experience across all ad types. 

It’s important to note Display is an upper funnel ad type to drive awareness for your brand, while Shoppable Display is mid-funnel and focused on driving consideration for a select group of products. Having a combination of both ad types within your Instacart strategy can reach a wide range of consumers at all levels of their shopping experience. 

Instacart accounts for 1 in 5 US grocery e-commerce sales, according to eMarketer. If your brand isn’t already advertising on Instacart and taking advantage of all their new offerings, you’re already behind the competition. 

With more Instacart advertising tools available than ever before, and even more promised to come later in 2022, brands may be confused about where to start. If you could use a strategic partner to help navigate Instacart advertising, contact us today. 


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