Grocers Advertise Partnerships With Instacart
Grocery-ordering app Instacart is making some big strides in creating a seamless pickup and delivery experience for customers and employees alike. The startup has secured its own lanes in major grocery stores, and staffs them with a “cashier-bagger-tagger” to expedite the checkout process for their shoppers. These Instacart-only express lanes are currently featured in stores like Costco and Whole Foods, as well as regional grocery stores like Andronico’s and Bi-Rite.
This is only the beginning for Instacart, however. According to an article on TechCrunch, Instacart hopes to offer “bypass checkout” in the future, where users can skip the register entirely by scanning and paying for items with their smartphones. Instacart is also working with its grocery partners to obtain inventory and store layout data to create aisle maps which guide shoppers to the items on their lists quickly. The map’s smart design will not only provide the most efficient route through the store, but will also guide the shopper to pick up frozen or hot items last.
Market Track reviewed its advertising data to see how Instacart’s grocery partners were promoting the service to shoppers. We discovered that Whole Foods has advertised Instacart on a local level via radio and social media channels like Twitter. The grocer recently capitalized on the back-to-school season with a radio ad that ran on August 17 in the Denver market. The messaging aims to capture busy moms and dads who are looking to save time without compromising nutritional value.
Whole Foods also uses Twitter to advertise the benefits of Instacart with specific, localized accounts that represent its brand. The Twitter handle @wholefoodsbmore, which represents the grocer's locations in the Baltimore area, used the time-saver message by asking followers, “Did the weekend go by too fast?” before announcing the launch of the delivery service at a specific store. Meanwhile, Whole Foods’ @WFMDenver account tweeted a short video along with an offer for a free first delivery in the Denver area.
Our data tells us that regional grocers are also getting the word out there about Instacart. In fact, some are even using print to advertise their partnership with the tech company. The picture below is a Marsh ad, which first appeared in the Indianapolis Star, and an associated web page where shoppers are encouraged to sign up for the service. The ad promises grocery delivery within two hours and directs shoppers to go online and try it out.
These are just a few examples of how grocers are working with Instacart to reach shoppers who are looking to save time. The grocery-ordering app also has its own creatives and social channels independent of its partnerships. And while Instacart has a competitive advantage currently, it will need to continue its efforts as similar services — e.g., Postmates and Google’s Shopping Express — continue to enter the playing field.
Dan Muller is a marketing specialist at Market Track, a provider of market intelligence solutions based on comprehensive analysis of the advertising, promotional and e-commerce landscape.
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