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What is Supermarket Advertising? The Benefits for Small Businesses

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There are so many ways businesses can advertise in supermarkets! In this blog, we’ll describe the different types and what businesses benefit the most from supermarket marketing.

Supermarkets are full of products. Likewise, supermarkets are great centers of advertising. Think about your last shopping trip. You probably remember and expected to see food advertisements: the ads for cereal, ketchup, and the latest trends in snacks.

Then, there were more subtle ads. These ads weren’t for food products, but ads from local businesses. Many grocery stores offer marketing opportunities for local businesses. The next time you visit a grocery store — look around. You’ll likely see advertisements for real estate agents, insurance agents, lawyers, and more.

Because so many grocery shoppers are local, small businesses can build their own, local customer base by placing their ads in supermarkets.

What is Supermarket Advertising?

Supermarket advertising is just what it sounds like. It’s the advertising that happens in supermarkets.

Supermarkets are hubs of consumer activity. While most often we associate them with food purchases, their customer base spends money on more than just groceries.

Furthermore, supermarkets are expanding beyond just food. Many supermarkets now have cafes like Starbucks, mini-restaurants, and some even have their own bars and breweries!

Supermarkets are attracting more than just the stereotypical homemaker. They have become destinations, outfitted with their own customer experience.

Because supermarkets attract powerful consumers, there are several marketing opportunities for both suppliers and surrounding businesses.

There are four main ways that businesses place their ads in supermarkets.

  1. Aisle Advertising
  2. Register Tape Advertising
  3. Shopping Cart Advertising
  4. Divider Advertising

Now, let’s examine each of these forms of supermarket advertising to see which categories of businesses — suppliers or local businesses — benefit the most from each type.

Aisle Advertising


Works Best For: Supermarket Suppliers

The aisles provide great advertising opportunities for suppliers. Coupon dispensers and small billboards can be a great way to reach customers, make them aware of a new product, and build stronger brand awareness.

Aisle advertising works great for suppliers but not so much for local businesses. Companies can contact buyers right at their selection point.

Currently, aisle advertising is pretty limited to billboards and coupon dispensers, but this could soon be changing. According to a Forbes article, indoor GPS mapping will eventually make it possible to send ads to customers’ cell phones on their shopping journeys through the grocery store.

Shopping Cart Ads

Works Best For: Local Businesses/Supermarket suppliers

Shopping carts are the most interactive part of any supermarket. Almost every customers spend their trip pushing a “buggy,” “cart,” or “trolley” around the store.

Most shopping carts are outfitted with advertisements. The front, or nose, of the shopping cart will usually have a product ad. These ads originate from suppliers. The back, or child seat, often displays an advertisement. This advertisement usually originates from a local business.

Adcart offers the child seat advertisements. Grocery cart advertising works well for local business because customers see them throughout their shopping trip. Shopping cart advertising also builds subconscious brand awareness.

For more about shopping cart advertising, check out this blog.

 Register Tape Ads

Works Best for: Local businesses

Every customer is handed a receipt after a purchase. By law, this means supermarkets hand out thousands of receipts every day.

Register tape advertising (also called receipt advertising) places a business’ ad and/or accompanying coupon on the back of every receipt. Unlike other forms of supermarket advertising, receipts almost exclusively feature local business ads.

On the back of every receipt is a selection of full-color coupons and advertisements from a variety of businesses. Coupons and ads are only allowed from one of each category to guarantee exclusivity.

Low costs and high distribution make this form of supermarket advertising particularly effective for small businesses with limited advertising budgets.

Register Tape Ads work because they place the ad in the consumer’s hand, right after they’ve shopped, so impressions are guaranteed. Coupon redemption also allows businesses to accurately measure their ROI from register tape ads.

Check out Dividers and More

Works Best For: Local Businesses/Supermarket Suppliers

Some supermarkets display ads on checkout dividers, which is a good way to market to customers right at the point of sale. Technology is also broadening the possibilities for supermarket advertising.

Grocery products and suppliers can distribute digital coupons. Also, in-store tastings can provide great marketing and exposure for local products.

For local businesses, the two best ways to advertise in grocery stores are through receipt tape and grocery cart ads.

Ready to begin your supermarket marketing?

ShopperLocal has several small business supermarket advertising solutions for small businesses.

Register Tape Network – Register Tape Network offers coupon advertising on receipts in several national supermarkets. Check our their website to learn more or to request a free marketing consultation.

Adcart  – Adcart can put your business’ ad on shopping carts in supermarkets around the United States. To see what ad opportunities are available in your area, or to request a free consultation, contact Adcart at

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