Cartvertising: How to Advertise in Your Local Grocery Store

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The setting: your local grocery store. The scene: Alice Walker has entered the store and grabbed a shopping cart. She opens up the seat of the cart to set her purse down.  There she sees an ad for Charlotte Wilson, Realtor extraordinaire! Alice continues her shopping trip, adding items to her basket, and each time her eyes catch a glimpse of the ad. For the next 47 minutes, Alice repeats the routine, grabbing, placing and seeing. She stops and talks to friends and neighbors, checks out, and the last thing she sees when returning her cart is Charlotte Wilson, Realtor extraordinaire! At work the next day, Alice learns that one of her colleagues is planning on selling her home. When asked if Alice knows a good realtor, she says, “Have you heard of Charlotte Wilson? I see her everywhere.”

Brand awareness is crucial to your success–drawing new customers is difficult if they don’t know you exist. Shopping cart advertising offers a cost-efficient, impactful means for small businesses to build brand awareness. With this strategy, an ad for your business is placed on the seat of shopping carts at grocery stores, promoting familiarity, awareness, and the value of your brand. What follows is a quick run-down on Cartvertising and what it can do for your business:

How Shopping Cart Ads Build Brand Awareness

Be Seen

Positioned on the baby seat of a standard cart, shopping cart ads are difficult to miss. Select a grocery, put it in your cart. Select another grocery, put it in your cart. Select a loaf of bread, and you might even put it in the seat of your cart so it doesn’t get smashed. For almost an hour up to twice each week, shoppers repeat this process–all while your message is right in front of their face. This constant, subliminal messaging cements your name in the shopper’s mind. So when they see your Facebook ad or hear your radio spot they’ll think, “Oh, I know them!”

Targeted Messaging

Grocery stores cater to a localized demographic. When people shop for groceries they usually visit stores within 3 miles from their homes. For businesses, this provides a great opportunity to build your brand in front of a local audience in the same area where your most likely customers live.

Get an Implied Endorsement

Grocery stores don’t let just anyone advertise on their carts. The ad is a reflection of the grocery store itself, and only professional businesses in respected industries make the cut. When your ad appears in a national grocery chain, or even on a well established local chain, there’s an implied message that this chain recognizes the quality, reliability, and trustworthiness of your brand. That sort of reputation-building goes a long way, especially for small businesses in a local community.

Get Started: The Basics

Shopping cart advertising is simple for business owners.


  1. Partner with Cartvertising, a company that specializes in shopping cart advertising.
  2. Select the grocery stores and the percentage of shopping carts you’d like your ad placed on.
  3. Determine what to put on your ad, including logos, colors and messaging.


That’s all you have to do! Cartvertising takes care of the design, printing, shipping, and installation.


What types of businesses should use Cartvertising?

Some examples of businesses that have found results with Cartvertising include:



Generally, businesses that can’t advertise on shopping carts are ones that might provide competition to the store. Think restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores, flower shops, and so on. For example, an ad for a restaurant may persuade a shopper to go out to eat rather than buy groceries. But don’t fret—there are other effective ways for these businesses to have a marketing presence in grocery stores.

Ad Design Best Practices

So what makes a good Cartvertising ad? For starters, keep it simple—stick to one obvious message. The goal is to make a strong first impression that shoppers will remember, so avoid cluttering your ad with too many selling points. If everything stands out, nothing will stand out. Instead, highlight one central message that will stick in the shopper’s mind.

Ideally, your ad should answer these five questions:


  1. What is my business’s name?
  2. What do we do?
  3. Where are we located?
  4. How can you contact us?
  5. What makes my business special?


Get inspired with these examples of effective Cartvertising ads.

What are people saying about Cartvertising? 

grocery store shopping cart advertisement for Swadley realtors

“Cartvertising has proven to be a very effective branding method in our community. We have a relatively large ROI and the weekly exposure is a great way to keep ourselves in front of those people without having to hound them through calls and direct mail!” – Kathryn & Steve Swadley, The Swadley Team

grocery store shopping cart ad for financial advisor tido thac hoang

“The Cartvertising team has more than exceeded our expectations in the areas of customer support, value of service and ad design, and overall effectiveness of the advertisement. We have seen overwhelming business growth and client recognition. The professional image and overall branding of our company can be attributed to the work the Cartvertising team has provided us. Thanks for the great service and tremendous support as a business partner and a valuable asset to our company’s success.” – Tido Hoang, E.A., Tido Financial

Millenium Smiles Testimonial

“My patients comment on the fact that they see me everywhere, “Oh that’s my dentist!” Or, they take a picture of the cart and they post it on Facebook and tag me in it. Cartvertising is where you get the most exposure for your business to the most people for the longest amount of time for the least amount of money!” – Dunia Korous, Millennium Smiles



We updated this post May 4, 2018.


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