Instacart Retail

How to Set Up a Retail Media Network for Grocery in Three Steps



Mar 11, 2024

Grocers everywhere are discovering how to set up a retail media network — and we make it easy to get started with our step-by-step guide. 

Keep pace with the latest trend in grocery advertising

From local chains to some of the biggest names in grocery, grocers everywhere are using retail media networks to activate competitive advantages like increased revenue, scalability for future expansions, and personalized advertisements for consumers. But what are retail media networks, and how do they work? 

Retail media networks, at their core, are advertising platforms where retailers can sell their digital space to third-party advertisers to create a new revenue stream. This enables grocers with retail media networks to easily partner with CPG brands to design advertisements that resonate with consumers as they shop. As a result, retail media networks foster a powerful advertising ecosystem that benefits grocers, brands, and consumers.



By learning how to set up a retail media network, you can tap into the same benefits that are helping grocers of all sizes drive results for their businesses. We’ve outlined three steps to launch your own retail media network:

  1. Gather information
  2. Identify platforms designed for grocers
  3. Choose a platform with monitoring capabilities


Step #1: Gather information

You can build your retail media network on a strong foundation by identifying three key elements: your data, advertising space, and goals. 

Collect and organize your data

Your first-party data reflects your consumers’ purchasing decisions — and the factors that inform them — making it your most powerful bargaining tool. This data can include consumer purchase histories and advertisement performance analytics, which are crucial to maximizing the relevancy of your advertisements. By compiling this data in an accessible format, you can draw advertisers to your stores and provide them with insights to develop personalized advertisements, ultimately encouraging consumer engagement.



Identify your advertising space

Your advertising space is the sum of every advertising surface that your business owns in store and online. Advertising surfaces can include:

  • E-commerce and marketplace sites
  • Digital sponsored items and circulars
  • In-store displays, banners, and end caps
  • In-store digital advertising with integrated technology

Quantifying your advertising space can help you understand how specific placements resonate with consumers — and communicate that value to third-party brands. Consider taking stock of your various advertising surfaces as you get ready to set up your retail media network.

Define your goals

As you learn how to set up a retail media network, your goals will be integral to success. Do you want to activate new revenue through third-party advertisements that you can monitor for quality assurance? Is your business focused on driving consumer satisfaction? Will scalability help you reach your bottom line? By setting your goals early on, you can build a retail media network that’s attuned to your business’s needs. 


Step #2: Identify platforms designed for grocers

Once you’ve gathered information on your data, advertising space, and goals, it’s time to select a retail media network platform. 

While large retailers often have the in-house resources to develop their own retail media networks, smaller grocers may lack the infrastructure to build from scratch. However, for grocers in this position, there are retail media network platforms available with advertisers ready to engage. Partnering with these platforms can significantly lighten the lift for grocers who are learning how to set up a retail media network. 

You can choose from a number of platforms, but it’s best to shop around before committing. Shopping around can help you understand the variety of platforms available and select one that meets your needs as a grocer. Many retail media network platforms are designed to work for all retailers, from fashion to travel and more — but retail media networks built for grocery can connect you with:

  • Qualified advertising partners
  • Intuitive monitoring tools
  • Dedicated sales support for powerful advertising campaigns
  • An advertising network exclusive to grocery commerce

When choosing a platform, consider grocery-tailored options that can help you achieve results. 


Step #3: Choose a platform with monitoring capabilities

When shifting market conditions affect the way your consumers shop, it’s important to choose a retail media network platform that demonstrates how advertisements perform. With these insights, your retail media network can help you stay agile to adjust advertisements as consumer behaviors and market conditions change. 


To optimize results from your advertisements, you’ll need to know how to set up a retail media network with intuitive monitoring capabilities. Your retail media network platform can equip you with performance insights like clicks, impressions, and CPC. Many grocers use solutions like Instacart Ads and Carrot Ads to manage campaigns, track analytics, and stay ahead of the curve with future-proofed strategies.


Create your retail media network with Instacart

Ready to start reaping the benefits of your own retail media network? You can activate on a powerful platform when you choose Carrot Ads as your partner. Carrot Ads connects grocers with Instacart Ads, which brings the best of online advertising to help CPG brands of all sizes move products off shelves. When you choose Carrot Ads, you’ll get access to Instacart’s in-house sales team, ensuring you’ll never experience a cold start to your advertising program. You’ll also control your advertisements every step of the way, helping you maintain quality shopping experiences for your consumers.

You know how to set up a retail media network now — so take the next step and learn how you can get started with Carrot Ads today!

If you’re interested in Instacart Platform technology for your grocery business, click the button below to submit a Retailer Inquiry form.


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Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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