YouTube taps on eCommerce demand with new shoppable ad format

YouTube has launched a new shoppable ad format that allows sellers to include browsable products beneath the ad, in order to drive traffic to the product pages. This comes as brands have diversified into eCommerce over the recent months to draw customers amidst the pandemic and lockdowns.

To make use of this function, brands are required to sync their Google Merchant Centre feed to their video ads. Thereafter, they can visually expand their call-to-action button with the best-sellers they want to feature and drive traffic to product pages.

According to YouTube in a blog post, 70% of consumers have bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube. An example of a brand that has seen success with video ads was Aerie, a sub-brand under American Eagle Outfitters. YouTube explained that the brand used YouTube as a full funnel solution to drive brand love and omnichannel apparel sales for its 2020 spring campaign. As a result, it achieved 25% higher return on ad spend than the previous year, with nine times more conversions compared to Aerie’s traditional media mix.

Additionally, YouTube also rolled out video action campaigns as a simple and cost-effective way to drive more conversions across YouTube. It explained that this is “a simple and cost-effective way” to drive more conversions across YouTube. The video action campaigns automatically bring video ads that drive action to the YouTube home feed, watch pages, and Google video partners, all within one campaign.

It will also include future inventory that is available, such as the What to Watch Next feed, allowing brands to save time to focus on strategic initiatives such as crafting the right creative and messaging for audiences. This comes as marketing budgets are shrinking and marketers are finding it challenging to drive reach and convert demand at the same time.  

YouTube also urged marketers to add lead forms to their video campaigns. According to the company, lead forms help advertisers capture qualified leads while reducing costs without interrupting the viewing experience.

Meanwhile, to help marketers understand where their conversions are coming from and offer more transparency around their customers’ path to purchase, YouTube has also been added into the Google Ad attribution reports. The reports offer insight into how budgets can be allocated to maximise impact across YouTube, search and shopping campaigns. Marketing has reached out to YouTube for additional information on which countries these latest offerings will be available in.

The latest offerings are on top of the existing TrueView solutions that YouTube introduced previously to help drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls-to-action, headline text overlays, and an end screen to companies' video ads. According to YouTube, companies can use this ad format to encourage consumers to explore their products or services, share contact information, and take other actions that are valuable to the business.

Meanwhile, the announcement comes shortly after Facebook introduced Facebook Shops for small business owners and global brands to create a single online store for customers. It also rolled out Instagram Shop and live shopping which will be integrated with Facebook Shops, to help consumers discover products they are interested in and make purchasing easier. 

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