YouTube is the latest social platform to embrace shoppable ads as it begins encouraging brands to capitalize on their video commercials.
The video-sharing platform is adding a new feature that allows marketers to include product listings beneath their video ads. YouTube is making the ads more shoppable by including the product prices and letting viewers click the “shop now” button to go to a brand’s website and complete their purchase. The products will appear under the video ad while it’s playing, with viewers able to scroll through the product listings while simultaneously watching the ad. YouTube plans to let brands focus on which products they want to highlight under the ads, eventually allowing advertisers to expand the call-to-action buttons on each product displayed.
YouTube’s shoppable ad feature follows in the footsteps of other social media giants, including Facebook and Instagram, which have been rapidly expanding their shopping capabilities by adding shops and messaging features. YouTube’s large user base provides a high likelihood of connection between brands and consumers, according to a Gartner report—particularly as viewers spend more time on the platform during the Coronavirus crisis. Consumers are leaning into e-commerce shopping, with Coronavirus lockdowns accelerating the practice. As the pandemic continues to keep brick and mortar stores shuttered, YouTube’s advertisers could drive more digital conversions. The rise in e-commerce sales is predicted to remain post-pandemic so it makes sense that YouTube would join the shoppable ads trend. Catering to viewer’s preferences could also make consumers more likely to purchase the items shown through the ads, making the platform’s ability to engage with consumers greater.
YouTube’s shoppable ads provide a unique outlet for brands to connect with consumers and grow their digital sales. The feature could also help the platform establish a stronger e-commerce presence by putting its shopping features at par with social media giants like Pinterest and Instagram that are paving a similar path.