- Shipt started its first dance challenge on Instagram, giving back-to-school shoppers a chance to win a membership and groceries from the delivery service for a year. The "Shipt Shuffle Challenge" runs through Sept. 11, after which Target-owned Shipt will randomly choose five winners of the prizes that are each valued at $5,000, according to an announcement.
- Shipt enlisted actress Candace Cameron Bure, star of "Fuller House" on Netflix, to demonstrate her version of the Shipt Shuffle and urge others to join in. To enter the challenge, Instagram users must create a 15-second dance video and post it to their public accounts on Instagram or Instagram Reels, the video-sharing feature of the app.
- Entrants to the dance challenge must follow Shipt's account on Instagram and include its @Shipt handle in the caption, along with the #ShiptShuffle and #Sweepstakes hashtags, per the contest rules.
Shipt's dance challenge is notable for urging people to share videos on Instagram or its Reels feature, which parent company Facebook recently launched as a rival to social video app TikTok. By offering a chance to win a membership and a year's supply of groceries delivered by Shipt, the delivery company provides significant incentives for Instagram users to participate. As people share the videos with their friends and followers, Shipt can encourage others to enter the sweepstakes and broaden the campaign's visibility during the back-to-school shopping season.
It's not clear why Shipt opted to run a dance challenge on Instagram rather than TikTok, which helped to pioneer branded hashtag challenges as a promotional vehicle. The Trump administration this month ordered TikTok's parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, to divest its U.S. operations or face a ban because of national security concerns. That negative publicity may have dampened enthusiasm for campaigns on TikTok, but the possible acquisition of its U.S. operations by companies such as Walmart and Microsoft may help to defuse the controversy. In the meantime, Instagram has an opportunity to expand the usage of Reels among advertisers and consumers wary of investing time or energy into TikTok.
Shipt is running the campaign after recently changing its fee structure to give more shoppers access to service without committing to a yearly subscription. Shipt this month started offering a pay-per-use service that charges $10 for a single order, $9 an order for three deliveries and $8 an order for five deliveries, Mobile Marketer's sister publication Grocery Dive reported. Eighty percent of new customers began service with pay-per-use ordering, which may indicate that many people want to test Shipt before committing to a yearly subscription. Shipt's dance challenge may help to raise awareness of its range of services amid the growth in online grocery sales.
Shipt is the latest brand to run a social media challenge to engage people on their smartphones with a shareable activity. Retailer Forever 21 partnered with convenience chain 7-Eleven on a multichannel campaign that included a dance challenge on Instagram and TikTok. Mastercard this month urged TikTok users to participate in a virtual version of a stadium wave as European soccer teams compete in the UEFA Champions League. Trident gum and Ferrara Group's Sweetarts candy also have run contests on Instagram in the past few months engage homebound consumers.