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YouTube shortens path to purchase

News, 25 May 2015

SAN BRUNO, CA: YouTube, the Google-owned online video platform, is launching a new advertising format which will enable advertisers to buy, almost, from within ads.

TrueView for Shopping links to the technology that powers Google Shopping and allows brands to showcase product details and images within video ads and includes the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site.

"One of the things we saw was people going off YouTube and searching on Google.com for that product [seen in an ad on YouTube], and then clicking the product listing. In this case we're just reducing the friction," Lane Shackleton, YouTube's senior product manager, explained to Advertising Age.

Neal Mohan, vice-president of brand advertising at Google added that "consumers go to YouTube to be entertained and to find information – there are lots of searches for products and looking for 'How To' videos".

"They are truly engaged which from a marketer perspective is the perfect time to reach the consumer," he told the Financial Times 


Evidence of the potential effectiveness of the new format came from home goods retailer Wayfair, which ran two campaigns targeting the same audience, one using a standard TrueView ad, the other a new shoppable TrueView ad.

The latter delivered three times more revenue, reported Ben Youngs, Wayfair's media manager of TV and online video. "It feels like a huge win," he said. "Having the opportunity to lay additional information on top of our pre-rolls is huge."

The development complements Google's work on a '50', set to be introduced shortly in a move aimed at recovering traffic lost to Amazon.

Consumers using smartphones will be buy products from a search advert without having to check out through a retailer's site, although retailers will continue to own the orders and shipping arrangements.

Data sourced from YouTube, Advertising Age, Financial Times, Search Engine Watch; additional content by Warc staff