Marketing Report
Instacart unveils ads on its AI-powered smart carts

Instacart unveils ads on its AI-powered smart carts

 Instacart,the grocery technology company in North America, has announced it is expanding its advertising solutions to Caper Carts, the company's AI-powered smart carts.

Instacart will begin piloting ads on Caper Carts at Good Food Holdings banner stores, bringing personalized and dynamic recommendations into the physical aisles of the grocery store. Ads on Caper Carts will soon give customers more customized recommendations and introduce experiences to help them discover new brands and products. This first-of-its-kind advertising opportunity connects brands and retailers with customers directly in the aisles – who, on average, spend more than 30 minutes shopping in-store with a Caper Cart.

For the first time, ads on Caper Carts will bring an entirely new personalized ads experience from Instacart's CPG brand partners to the smart cart screens, with launch partners including Del Monte Foods, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, and General Mills. Customers using Caper Carts at participating retailers will soon experience two new features:

New products and brands, deals, and seasonal promotions to surprise and delight customers at the start of the shopping journey on the Caper Cart home screen. For example, a customer might see a creative banner highlighting limited-edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios from General Mills for Valentine's Day.

Personalized product recommendations based on their real-time shopping behaviors or cart contents. For example, if a customer adds ice cream cones, they might see a complementary item recommendation, like Dreyer's ice cream.
The new ads on Caper Carts offering is launching soon at Good Food Holdings' Bristol Farms stores in Southern California, with additional retail partners rolling out in the months ahead. Instacart expects to have thousands of Caper Carts deployed by the end of 2024.

Fidji Simo, CEO and Chair, Instacart: "Our acquisition of Caper has been a core part of our strategic evolution to support retailers and brands not just online but also in-store. It was one of the first major decisions I made as CEO of the company as we launched our Connected Stores technologies, and today we're excited to introduce the next phase of this work with a new advertising solution that will further enable thousands of CPG brands to connect with high-intent customers with measurable results — in all the ways people choose to shop. Today's announcement expands on the success of our advertising solutions and smart carts to power a more inspirational, connected in-store shopping experience for customers. We're proud to bring these solutions in-store for the first time for our CPG brand partners, while simultaneously offering new revenue opportunities for our retail partners."

Neil Stern, Chief Executive Officer, Good Food Holdings: "Since deploying Caper Carts last year, we've been incredibly excited to provide our customers with a greater personalized experience while driving value as they shop. With the introduction of ads on Caper Carts, we'll soon be able to unlock a new, incremental revenue stream while offering customers valuable suggestions and promotions from our brand partners."

Ads on Caper Carts are a new in-store retail media offering building on Instacart's performant, online advertising solution. The new ad capabilities enable CPG brands to engage with customers in-store in a more personalized way based on past purchase behavior or real-time shopping behavior. Instacart's deep online grocery expertise and insights allow the company to help customers discover their favorite products with its advertising solutions as they shop online, and now, in-store.

Retailers that offer ads on Caper Carts will have the ability to grow their revenue through a revenue share model, in addition to driving increased consumer engagement in-store. Today's announcement builds on Instacart's Carrot Ads technology, which enables retailers like Schnucks, Sprouts, Price Chopper NY, and Tops Markets to establish and grow retail media networks on their owned and operated websites and apps – powered by Instacart Ads technology. With Carrot Ads, retail partners are leveraging the best of Instacart Ads, including the company's industry-leading technology, products, engineering, sales talent, and data insights.

Today's in-store advertising announcement also marks Instacart's continued, off-platform ad capabilities expansion. Over the last year, Instacart has extended its off-platform advertising capabilities to Roku and The Trade Desk, which are all rooted in enhancing CPG brands' advertising with Instacart's retail media data. With more than 5,500 brand partners - from category leaders to emerging brands - Instacart continues to help brands drive growth, prove ROI, and move products off shelves.

Caper Carts are part of Instacart's Connected Stores suite of technologies, built to help grocers bridge the online and in-store shopping experience.

By using computer vision and AI, the cart can automatically identify items as they are placed in the basket, allowing customers to bag as they shop and checkout directly from the cart. Customer reception to Caper Carts has been strong with users offering a net promoter score of more than 70.

In addition to the new ad capabilities, customers appreciate the ability to link their loyalty accounts to the carts, giving them access to personalized promotions and savings while shopping in-store. Caper Carts appeal to grocers of all sizes – retailers currently using or soon deploying carts include Bristol Farms, Fairway Market, Geissler's, ShopRite, and Sobeys.