This week, grocery delivery and pickup platform Instacart announced the rollout of shoppable ads. Participants in the pilot program include Dove, PepsiCo, Mondelez International and S.Pellegrino.

Video and display units. Shoppable video and display units can be seen by users in the Instagram Marketplace as they shop products from specific grocery retailers. The ad units run with add-to-cart functionality that will evolve through the pilot program, as Instacart learns best practices alongside its advertisers.

Shoppable display ads will be generally available to brands through the self-service Ads Manager portal this summer. Shoppable video units will be open to more brands later in the year.

Big brands look to e-commerce. By making the ads shoppable, Instacart is using its buying capability (not to mention its reach across millions of customers) to drive lower-funnel sales performance for brands.

A study just out from the World Federation of Advertisers and dentsu international reports that 71% of major multinationals say e-commerce is either “critical” (51%) or “very important” (20%) in the year to come.


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Why we care. Big CPG brands can’t simply depend on big awareness campaigns and hope that trickles down to success on grocery store shelves. To remain competitive, they have to look to digital tactics that don’t just spread brand love, but fill up their customer’s carts and drive sales.

Read next: How Instacart’s new ad products disrupt grocers

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