Instacart Expands In-Store Retail Media Offering with Addition of Smart Cart Ads

Instacart is bringing ads to its Caper Carts smart carts.
Image courtesy Instacart

Instacart is bringing advertising to its AI-powered smart shopping carts, Caper Carts. The new offering will be piloted at Good Food Holdings’ Bristol Farms stores in Southern California, with additional retail partners rolling out in the months ahead.

Caper Cart advertisers can promote their products based on what's already in customers carts.
Image courtesy Instacart.

The smart cart ads will bring the kind of personalized, dynamic advertising traditionally only seen online into the physical aisles of the grocery store. Brands will have the opportunity to target shoppers with new products, deals and seasonal promotions while they shop, as well as offer personalized product recommendations based on their real-time shopping behaviors and items that they have already added to their physical cart.

Among the CPG brands serving as launch partners for the new offering are Del Monte Foods, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream and General Mills

“The Caper Carts provide an opportunity for us to provide meal inspiration, introduce new products or simply remind the shopper to stock up on pantry staples, while continuing to deliver a personalized, relevant experience based on past shopping behaviors,” said Jen Reiner, VP of Omnichannel Marketing at Del Monte Foods in a statement.


The new offering builds on Instacart’s Carrot Ads suite of solutions designed to help retailers establish and grow retail media networks on their owned and operated websites and apps. With the Caper Carts expansion, CPG brands will have the ability to connect with customers in stores in a more personalized way, while retailers can grow their retail media revenue and drive customer engagement in stores. Retailers that enable the capability will earn money through a revenue share model with Instacart.

“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,” said Neil Stern, CEO of Good Food Holdings in a statement. “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.”

Following the pilot at Bristol Farms, Instacart said it plans to expand the offering to other retailers and expects to have thousands of ad-enabled Caper Carts deployed by the end of 2024.

The expansion of advertising capabilities to Caper Carts is a continuation of Instacart’s moves to offer its retail media customers additional off-platform ad capabilities. Over the last year, Instacart has extended its off-platform advertising capabilities to Roku and The Trade Desk.

“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,” said Fidji Simo, CEO and Chair of Instacart in a statement. “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.”

To learn more about retail media, check out our full guide here.

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