A new YouTube ad offering, TrueView for Shopping, promises retailers the ability to better promote products to YouTube users and is delivering significantly better results for some YouTube advertisers.

TrueView for Shopping is an interactive overlay that contains detailed product information, including images and links to the retailer's site.

It is available to retailers with Google Merchant Center accounts, and ads are populated based on the product and inventory data retailers have associated with their accounts.

TrueView for Shopping ads can be retargeted, allowing retailers to reach potential customers who previously looked at products on their websites.

Retailer Wayfair, which has been using standard YouTube ads, says that TrueView for Shopping drove three times more revenue that the standard ads targeted to the same audience. "Having the opportunity to lay additional information on top of our pre-rolls is huge," Wayfair media manager Ben Young told AdAge.

Another retailer, Sephora, produced an 80% lift in consideration and 54% lift in ad recall using TrueView for Shopping.

Driving transaction volume

While links in TrueView for Shopping overlays point to retailers' own websites, the new ad offering serves largely the same purpose as Google's new food delivery functionality and buy buttons: make it easier for consumers to make purchases through their Google experiences.

More aggressively promoting sales transactions from within YouTube makes considerable sense for the search giant given that YouTube has become an increasingly popular medium for video product reviews.

According to the company, more than a million YouTube channels incorporate product reviews and views of product review videos are growing at a blistering pace.

If other retailers can replicate Wayfair's gains from TrueView for Shopping, it could, as AdAge's Tim Peterson notes, go a long way towards helping Google capture spend from direct-response advertisers.

It could also provide a blueprint for video ad offerings on other popular video services, like Facebook.

Patricio Robles

Published 27 May, 2015 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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