How brands are leveraging YouTube's shoppable ads feature to extend reach

As the trend of shoppable ads grows, brands are leveraging social media by running ads on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and now YouTube 

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Published: Nov 28, 2019 8:21 AM  | 4 min read
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The gap between promotion and purchase is closing, making the experience more seamless. YouTube has recently launched a 'Shoppable Ads' feature on its home feed and in search results, helping extend the reach of shopping campaigns. As the trend of shoppable ads grows, brands on social media platforms are leveraging the opportunity by running ads on such platforms as Instagram, Facebook, and now YouTube. 

According to GlobalWebIndex, the number of people saying they've used a smartphone or tablet to buy a product through social media has increased to 57% in Q3 from 53% two years earlier.

"Almost two-thirds of consumers said that online video has informed and inspired the decision to make a purchase. Almost all (more than 90%) have discovered new products and brands on YouTube," according to a Google study.

Even TikTok, the new entrant to the social media game, has begun testing shopping ads to capitalise on this burgeoning consumer interest.

Other brands such as Puma, Urban Outfitters and Nectar have all used the ads feature on YouTube. As per the industry reports, Urban Outfitters recorded a 241% jump in click-through rates across campaigns, increasing sales 186%. Reportedly, 52% of that traffic included new customers.

Let's understand what marketers and experts think about this trend of shoppable ads on social media feeds and how it is leveraged by brands.

Shoppable ads are a direct response unit where people increasingly turn to discover new products.

GroupM's Essence is one such player who created a first of its kind innovative campaign for Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale by making TV content shoppable in real-time. The second day of the sale, the innovation went live at prime time on Zee TV’s popular soap operas, Tujhse Hai Raabta (8:30 pm) and Kundali Bhagya (9:30 pm).

How do shoppable ads while watching shows or scrolling through feeds impact consumer behaviour? "Television content has always had a wide-reaching impact on people. It not only shapes perceptions and beliefs but also consumer fashion trends today. The clothes and accessories worn by TV protagonists can be aspirational for viewers, who want to own similar products," said, Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Director, India, Essence.

Further talking about the execution of shoppable advertisements on Television, Chakravarthy explained that insight into consumer behaviour led them to the QR code activation on Zee TV, using simple yet effective technology that allows viewers to immediately gain access to desired products on Flipkart during the Big Billion Days festival.

For brands, the key benefit of shoppable ads is that they are able to extend their existing shopping campaigns to reach more potential customers.

Men's grooming brand, Beardo has invested a lot in digital marketing since its inception. From Instagram to Google images, Beardo has always been a brand to invest in Shoppable Ads.

Telling us more about how Beardo uses the shoppable ads feature, Ashutosh Valani, Co-founder, Zed Lifestyle, the parent company of Beardo said, “We are excited that YouTube is introducing shoppable ads”.

Valani also feels that this will add one more to Beardo's digital content marketing and give them more leverage among viewers since YouTube is a staple platform for all the video content around the world.

“Since Youtube is the 'go-to' platform for videos, it will make easier for the marketers as they could directly post their ads on it, skipping other social media channels making it seamless and make moment marketing faster”, elucidated Valani.

Telling us more about how shoppable ads help marketers, Soham Bhagnari, Business Head- West, FoxyMoron, explained that “The visual nature of the ad format works very well for the holiday shopping season in the West and opens up another avenue for marketers to sell”. 

Bhagnari feels that it would have been great if YouTube had introduced the shoppable ad feature before the festive season.

“YouTube’s biggest strength has been its ability to drive people to a specific request. Combining this ability with a layer of visual shoppable ads can be a boon for marketers, especially in an environment where unboxing/ review videos dominate user behaviour,” he explained. 

With this new feature, marketers can bring their custom audience segments or use Google’s behavioural data to find YouTube viewers who recently searched for their product or a similar one.

While social media platforms are making it easier for brands to go digital to find customers, it is interesting how YouTube too is stepping up their digital marketing.

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