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YouTube announces game-changing TrueView for Shopping feature

Google has continued its month of e-commerce innovation with possibly the most exciting news yet for online retailers: YouTube’s TrueView is letting advertisers build e-commerce into their ads.

The recent introduction of ‘Cards’ gave marketers extra opportunity to capitalise on hard-won views by overlaying ads with brand messages, links and suggested videos. The TrueView for Shopping feature takes this one step further.

As well as directing audiences to videos, playlists or websites, Cards now offers integration with the Google Merchant Center, enabling ads to link directly to online store pages.

This shortens the pathway to purchase; eliminating the need for consumers to leave the ad to search for featured products, and helping them to make purchases quickly and directly.

The stats coming from early adopters are impressive. Home goods retailer Wayfair is reported is reported to have earned three times more revenue from shoppable ads than regular ones, while beauty retailer Sephora said it saw an 80% increase in consideration and a 54% rise in ad recall.

However, as with all new developments, Google's latest innovation does come with implications for the purchasing pathway. Firstly, the user experience on retailer sites must be excellent in order to drive conversions. A click isn't a completion, and while shoppable TrueView ads may provide a boost to direct inbound traffic, the onus is still on the retailer to make the sale. This means enticing product imagery, engaging and informative product descriptions, relevant cross-sell recommendations and a seamless basket journey. And because TrueView operates on both mobile and desktop devices, that experience must be matched across all platforms.

This is where intelligent multichannel solutions and integrated marketing systems come to the fore: Systems like censhare deliver seamless information, integrating data from CRM, ERP and all content sources to offer a consistent information flow and a coherent customer experience.

Secondly, video ads must be taken to the next level. It’s no longer just about engagement, reach and awareness: it’s about direct responses and sales. Combining a solid sales pitch with the kind of wit, savvy and edge necessary to survive the ‘Skip’ button has always been (and will continue to be) a serious challenge for marketers using TrueView – and now with the additional KPI of conversions.

The key to success (and managing expectations from brand and ecommerce stakeholders) will be having a strong strategy for how video ads fit into the overall marketing mix, ensuring that video content is tailored to objectives – and the right KPIs are used to measure impact.

This strategy should be underpinned by smart software that makes storage, rights management and multichannel publishing efficient and scalable – take a look at our brand and asset management solutions to find out more.