Youtube to improve buying experience with Shopping ads

Youtube is set to improve the customer retail experience with the launch of a new ad unit, Shopping ads. This is the next step in the development of its ecommerce offering, following the launch of shoppable ads in May 2015.

The Google-owned site has been moving in this direction for the past few months, withthe introduction of Cards for related content (including merchandise) and the launch of TrueView for shopping, which allows advertisers to automatically turn their Google merchant data into product cards.

In a statement the company said, “While both of these features are great for making advertiser videos more shoppable, Shopping ads bring this functionality to all videos on YouTube.”

Previously companies could only include shopping ads within their own channels, but this has now been opened up so that companies can sell anything, anywhere. This could prove a lucrative development. According to the company it’s seen 40 per cent growth in views of product videos in the past year, and 20 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they go to YouTube to find out what to buy.

The new Shopping ads will appear in the top right corner of a video. A click pulls down images and pricing of products in the video, another takes consumers to the retailer’s website. Advertisers only pay when a user clicks on the ad to go to that site. The ads will launch in a test this autumn and will roll out in coming months.

Like many of its rivals offerings, revenue will remain with the retailer. Perhaps more important than a potential cut in sales is the potential growth in marketing from adverts that quickly, easily drive actual sales.