3 Factors of a Successful Online Advertising for Grocery Program

Online advertising for grocery sets industry highs with Mercatus Digital Advertising, increasing eCommerce revenue for regional grocers like Weis Markets.

The pandemic has driven consumers online in numbers never seen before, and advertisers are meeting them there. CPG companies in particular recognize the importance of online advertising for grocery, which allows them to reach their market at the time and place when they are actively making decisions and completing food purchases. 

Until recently, only the big players like Walmart and Amazon and delivery-provider marketplaces like Instacart have tapped into the profitability of digital grocery ads in a significant way. But Digital Advertising on the Mercatus platform is now empowering regional grocers to monetize their eCommerce experience. 

The results are impressive, adding a lucrative (and easy) new revenue opportunity to the digital grocer’s toolkit. In our latest case study, we share our retail client Weis Markets’ record-breaking eCommerce advertising program with Mercatus Digital Advertising.

The Secret to Weis Markets’ Digital Advertising Program Success

In the first three months after launching digital grocery advertising on their site with Mercatus, Weis Markets was already seeing results:

  • An average click-through rate (CTR) of 2.58%, which is 5x higher than Google Display Network eCommerce ads
  • 7% of orders included at least one advertised item 

How was it that they were already surpassing Google advertising performance in such a short time? It breaks down into three core factors:

  1. An engaging online shopping experience
  2. Advertisements that enhance, instead of distract from, the basket building experience
  3. Advertising placements that generate a high Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for CPGs.

1. Weis Markets’ Investment in Engaging Their Shoppers

When Weis Markets launched their eCommerce site and mobile app with the Mercatus platform in 2017, they made a key investment into the growth of their business online. But simply offering eCommerce is not enough to build that line of business. Grocers need to drive shoppers to their eCommerce sites and the experience needs to entice shoppers to make a purchase when they get there. 

The team at Weis Markets works closely with Mercatus to continually improve the online shopping experience for their shoppers. And at the same time, they invest in marketing their eCommerce site and app to their shoppers, continually generating traffic to their sites and growing sales online. 

When it comes to digital grocery advertising, the more shoppers on the site who are engaged, viewing and clicking on ads, the more revenue that grocer will generate from advertising. This is an important factor in Weis Markets’ digital advertising program success.

2. Advertisements that Enhance the Basket Building Experience

Traditional media advertising employs ads that distract from the online shopping experience. As we outlined in another blog post about How Digital Grocery Advertising Boosts Your Bottom Line, these ads either send a user away to a landing page or to a different site entirely, making them ineffective at increasing sales or conversions for retailers or CPG advertisers.

With Digital Advertising on the Mercatus platform, Weis Markets only serves targeted native ads to their shoppers. These ads match the look, feel and function of the grocer’s site instead of disrupting the online shopping experience. Products advertised are relevant to search terms and categories, and can be easily added to cart with a single click, never leading the shopper away from the grocer’s site. This makes it easy for shoppers to find products from their favorite brands and build their baskets faster.

Online advertising for grocery on Weis Markets' site

And with highly engaging ads that enhance the basket building experience, Weis enjoyed increased sales and digital advertising revenue, reaching an average 5.03% CTR in February 2021.

3. Ad Placements that Draw in CPG Advertisers

Digital grocery advertising is uniquely appealing to national brand advertisers because shoppers visit eGrocery sites with high intent to purchase. This results in high click-through rates and conversion rates, and therefore high return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).

Return on ad spend (ROAS) refers to the amount of revenue earned through a campaign for each dollar spent. It is an important metric for grocers to be aware of because it’s a measurement that CPGs use to evaluate overall success of a campaign. A higher ROAS encourages CPGs to continue investing in online advertising for grocery on a particular site, which in turn leads to higher revenues for that grocer. In effect, it has the potential to create a sort of “virtuous circle” whereby success begets further success. 

Online advertising for grocery benefit for ROAS

The Mercatus Digital Advertising solution is conducive to a higher ROAS for many reasons: 

  • It targets food shoppers at the place where they already have a high intent to purchase.
  • It makes it easy for shoppers to add an item to their basket in a single click.
  • It provides results to advertisers in real time, allowing them to refine a campaign if necessary to improve results. 

An ongoing campaign for Kraft Heinz was one of the many successful native advertising campaigns that Weis Markets ran through Mercatus Digital Advertising. This campaign achieved a record-setting 1999% ROAS in January 2021. This far surpassed the average ROAS of Google Display Network eCommerce Ad campaigns, which sits at 400%.

What does this campaign success mean for Weis Markets? Continued investment in advertising on their eCommerce site by a national CPG.

A Closer Look into the Benefits of Online Advertising for Grocery 

As grocers look to expand their eCommerce business, it’s vital that they focus on building a quality online shopping experience to engage and retain customers. With the Mercatus Digital Advertising, grocers can achieve that goal while capturing CPG advertising spend online. 

Learn more about how Weis Markets has seen continued success with digital advertising by reading the case study.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of online advertising for grocery? Read our previous blog posts:

Headshot of Mark Fairhurst

Mark develops the overall marketing strategy for Mercatus and leads the team responsible for market insights, branding, product marketing and demand generation.