Best Practices for Instacart Goal Setup

Tips on how to setup your Instacart goals, including how to determine target ROAS and daily budget

Ellie Edwards avatar
Written by Ellie Edwards
Updated over a week ago

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Product Grouping

When selecting which products to include within the same Instacart Goal, two main factors should be considered.

Group Like Products

We recommend grouping products that share over 70% of the same keywords. Doing so will ensure keyword targeting is tailored towards characteristics specific to the products within each group.

For example, if your brand sells both cookies and crackers, the keywords that lead to high conversion and sales for cookies, aren't necessarily going to be the same as those for crackers. For this reason, you'll want to separate the two product lines into their own goals on Perpetua.

Group Similarly-Priced Products

It's also a good idea to group together products that fall within a similar price range. This is because the CPC (Cost-Per-Click) you can afford to achieve your desired return, directly relates to how products are priced.

For instance, if your target ROAS is 2.0x, the maximum CPC you're willing to pay on any individual keyword will vary significantly depending on price. See below:


Maximum CPC


Product A




Product B




For Product A, you're willing to pay up to $5.00 for a click (assuming a 100% conversion rate). In contrast, you can only pay up to $0.50 per click for Product B which has a much lower price.

ROAS and Daily Budget Targets

If you are already advertising on Instacart, Perpetua recommends setting your Target ROAS and budgets consistent with performance over the past 30 days.

If products are new to Instacart advertising, we recommend launching a Universal goal and setting initial Target ROAS low. This will allow Perpetua's engine to increase bids and scale spend sufficiently within your new campaigns.

By setting initial ROAS too high, your bids may not be aggressive enough to win any auctions.

Please reach out to your Account Manager or to if you have questions or see further guidelines below.

Best Practices by Segment Type

Branded Targeting

Branded Targeting applies to bidding on keywords directly related to your brand, such as your brand name and other branded product terms. Target ROAS for branded should be higher than unbranded segments, while daily budget should be set relatively low.

Spending on branded targeting should be used primarily as brand defence to ensure top-of-search ranking against other companies also targeting your brand name. You'll want to limit spend in this segment to avoid cannibalization of organic sales from already loyal customers who search for your products.

We recommend starting with a ROAS target that is comparable to what you are achieving on other platforms (e.g. Amazon, Google ads).

A good indicator of how aggressively competitors are currently targeting your brand, is the CPC on branded terms. A low CPC and high CTR indicates that very little competitors are targeting your brand. If branded CPCs are high or increasing, competitor brands may be targeting your branded terms aggressively. Remember that the lowest bid is $0.30, so the closer your branded CPC is to $0.30, the less competition there is for your brand.

Unbranded Targeting

Unbranded Targeting applies to bidding for both category and competitor keywords. When setting your target ROAS and daily budget, you'll want to be more aggressive in this area in comparison to branded targeting.

Use historical performance on unbranded keywords to calculate your initial Target ROAS, OR start with a low ROAS (between 1.0 and 2.0) and slowly scale over time. This will help to ensure ads actually serve for unbranded terms that are related to your products. By setting ROAS too high, your bids may not be aggressive enough to achieve placements on Instacart.

Category and Competitor Targets for Advanced Targeting

If you choose to select "Advanced" targeting for your goal on Perpetua, unbranded targets will be further broken down into competitor and category segments. You may need to start with an even lower ROAS for competitor keywords as these keywords will likely be the most expensive and competitive on the marketplace.

Article last updated January 2023. If you find this information to be out of date, please contact

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