4 ways to create supermarket advertising creative

Person cutting vegetables

Advertisers want to create engaging campaigns that appeal to audiences, and when it comes to grocery marketing, it’s important to consider the needs of customers in an evolving shopping landscape. Online grocery shopping is on the way to becoming a $250 billion-plus industry by 2025 in the US, and supermarket advertising creative can help inform customers along their journeys.1 Based on average results from 26K Amazon DSP static ad creatives run in the US, Amazon Ads developed four tips to help marketers craft ads to reach grocery shoppers. To check which product categories these recommendations are relevant for, refer to the list of audience segments at the bottom of the page. We encourage brands to leverage these insights to test what works best for their specific use case.

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for these tips include click-through rate (CTR), detail page view rate (DPVR), purchase rate (PR), and return on ad spend (ROAS), which are important metrics for helping ad creative to resonate with audiences. Here’s how using insights to select the best images, text, and colors could help brands create more impactful ads for brand marketing campaigns.

1. Consider using discount messaging

For grocery ads, creative that includes discount messaging such as “Subscribe and Save” or “Save X%” can help attract customers. Discount messaging that includes options to buy online and pick up in store can appeal to customers, because 83% of grocery shoppers today expect flexible shipping or fulfillment options.2 Text that offers these types of bargains could make a big difference in ad campaigns: Creatives offering a discount increased average DPVR by 47% and average PR by 55%.3

data visualization, showing 55% increase in average PR when using discount messaging

Creatives with discount messaging had a 55% increase in average PR

data visualization, showing 23% increase in average DPVR when using lifestyle imagery

Creatives with lifestyle imagery had a 23% increase in average DPVR

2. Add a lifestyle image

Our insights show that most grocery shoppers want to see a lifestyle image covering the majority of the ad. Using a lifestyle image that covers most of the ad space resulted in improved results for a variety of KPIs. A lifestyle image could include showing grocery products in a real-life environment such as a store or kitchen, for example. Using these types of images saw a boost in average DPVR by 23% and average PR by 22%.4

3. Showcase the shoppers

Ads that feature humans in the image can also help when considering the lifestyle photos to use for supermarket advertising. Creatives with a human in the image had an increase in average PR by 18%. Additionally, 29% of customers are in an exploratory mindset when they’re shopping on Amazon for groceries.5 By showing lifestyle environments and humans, ads could become more engaging to shoppers who are just browsing for new or additional items.

data visualization, showing 18% increase in average PR when using imagery with humans

Creatives featuring a human had an 18% increase in average PR

data visualization, showing 16% increase in average PR when using lighter colors

Creatives with brightly lit background and foreground had a 16% increase in average PR.

4. Brightly lit images can help

It can be a good idea to use a brightly lit background and foreground in the creative for grocery brands. The foreground includes both the image as well as the text in an ad, so both should have lighter colors whenever possible. When grocery ads had both a bright background and bright foreground, the average CTR increased by 10%, compared to creatives with a dark background and foreground.6 Additionally, the lighter colors had an increase in average DPVR by 11% and an increase in average PR by 16%.7

See these tips in action

Here are examples of what ads could look like after following Amazon Ads’ tips for using bright colors, lifestyle images, and discount messaging. There’s more information and tips on display advertising available, too.

Grocery ad example showcasing the product

Recommendations for DPVR driven campaigns

Grocery ad example showcasing people using the product

Recommendations for PR/ROAS driven campaigns

How Amazon Ads sourced these insights

The category insights used here were generated by capturing design elements from 26,000 creative image files across four categories from within the US from 2018 to 2020. Creatives were separated into verticals according to their audiences. Statistical and machine learning models then looked at the impact of design elements on awareness, consideration, and purchase KPIs. Creative performance was adjusted to remove the contribution of confounding effects such as placement and serving frequency.
Audience segments included in the analysis: salty & sweet snacks, frozen food, natural/organic/healthy food, gluten-free, breakfast/lunch meals, chocolate products, canned/packaged goods, condiments/sauces, granola & nuts.

Want to find out more about optimizing your advertising creative? Explore other ways to improve ad campaigns for a variety of other types of categories, including computers and entertainment products.

1 Grocery’s New Reality: The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on US Grocery Shopping Behavior, Mercatus in Collaboration w/Incisiv, 2020
2 Salesforce State of the Connected Consumer, 2020 US
3-4 Amazon Internal, July 2021, US
5 Grocery shopping audience study, Kantar and Amazon Ads, December 2020
6-7 Amazon Internal, July 2021, US