Instacart and Roku combine data to measure streaming ads for CPGs
Retail media and CTV come together.
Retail media and CTV come together.
When retail media and streaming combine, it presents new opportunity to more effectively measure the impact of advertising.
The latest evidence comes in the form of a partnership between Roku and Instacart that is designed to help CPG advertisers make ads more relevant to viewers, and potentially unlock increased purchases.
Through the tie-up, streaming viewership data from Roku will be combined with insights from Instacart’s grocery marketplace, which includes more than 1,100 retailers. Both have access to first-party data, which is privacy-safe information gathered through purchases and loyalty programs.
The goal is to determine whether Roku viewers are purchasing goods on Instacart after they see an ad while watching content. In other words, it will aim to quantify the impact of streaming advertising on product sales.
Early results are promising. Results from pilot partners showed that people who saw an ad on Roku purchased more of the advertised products on Instacart than an average customer.
Importantly, streaming can be an avenue for brands to gain new customers. One personal care brand reported 60% of the people who purchased after seeing an ad were new to the brand. It can also lead to multiple purchases. For a beverage brand, new purchases who saw a Roku ad had a 70% higher repeat rate than average first-time brand buyers on Instacart.
The partnership highlights how two growing consumer modes can be complementary: Watching a streaming program and ordering grocery delivery online. With this, it also underscores the growing number of ad dollars flowing into advertising on streaming platforms, known as CTV, and ecommerce marketplaces, known as retail media.
CTV holds out the promise of combining the ability to reach customers while they are watching TV with the targeting and measurement tools of the internet. Bringing retail media data into the fold only bolsters streamers’ access to data that can help advertisers optimize campaigns to effectively reach customers who are most likely to buy a product.
“Our goal is to help marketers get more of what they love in TV,” said Alison Levin, Vice President of Ad Revenue and Marketing Solutions, Roku. “Our partnership with Instacart makes it easier to measure actual return on advertising spend in ecommerce and meet consumers where they are – streaming TV.”
This is the first streaming TV partnership for Instacart, while Roku has also partnered with Best Buy to bring in data that is specific to consumer electronics. Disney and Kroger also recently struck a measurement-focused partnership.
Initially, retail media was defined in part by the fact that the powerful first-party data it leverages is confined to the marketplace on which it originates. These streaming-focused partnerships show that it is quickly evolving to power advertising on other media channels, as well.
Ask Instacart answers prompts with personalized recommendations.
A pair of recent launches from Instacart highlight how the grocery ecommerce company is integrating two of the key emerging areas of technology into its offerings: Generative AI and marketplaces.
Let’s take a look:
Instacart is seeking to harness generative AI to create a more personalized shopping experience.
A new tool called Ask Instacart that is launching this week is designed to allow customers to type in questions about specific recipes or general recommendations for an occasion. Embedded in the search bar, Ask Instacart also provides personalized questions to be asked by customers. In addition to specific items, it provides information about food preparation, product attributes and dietary considerations.
For those eying how generative AI will play a role in the shopping experience, Ask Instacart shows how search can be transformed into a place for discovery. Instacart is aiming to provide answers to the more open-ended questions that people would naturally ask, not just simply provide info in response to a question that has one answer. It shared the following sample prompts:
The tool is also showing the way for generative AI to integrate with retail media. Ask Instacart is designed to integrate with a brand's sponsored products campaign, so that the answers to questions that match consumer needs can also provide a way for brands to stand out.
To create the tool, Instacart combined the language understanding of ChatGPT with its own AI models. It added in catalog data from 80,000 retail partner locations around the country, which together have more than one billion shoppable items.
Beyond mission: Ecommerce marketplaces have honed a shopping experience where it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. But if shoppers want to happen upon something they didn’t know they needed, social media or the store is still the best place to visit. Instacart is showing how generative AI can make discovery a marketplace function. It also signals that advertising will come to generative AI by way of retail media. Going forward, the growth of discovery could make retail media more valuable as a tool for advertising that raises brand awareness, not just lower-funnel conversions.
Instacart will power a new virtual convenience store for the grocery chain Aldi.
Aldi Express will feature 2,000 of the most-shopped Aldi items, ranging from prepared food and snacks to grocery staples.
Drawing on 2,100 Aldi locations around the country, items will be delivered as fast as 30 minutes, the companies said.
“Through ALDI Express, we’re making shopping more convenient so you can satisfy a craving or get a missing ingredient in minutes,” said Scott Patton, VP of National Buying at ALDI, in a statement. “Together with Instacart, we’ll continue to find ways to innovate and make the online grocery experience even more effortless and accessible.”
Aldi began offering delivery via Instacart in 2017, and has since expanded services to include pickup as well as alcohol delivery.
Aldi’s marketplace moment? While Aldi previously offered delivery, making the assortment available through a virtual store offers the opportunity to create a marketplace for its goods. With the virtual store, it will more closely resemble DoorDash and Uber Eats, which have been expanding their grocery assortment. With a marketplace, additional revenue opportunities could open up for the grocer, such as advertising through retail media.