Video is becoming an integral part of online shopping as consumers seek more information, advice and reviews on apparel, according to a survey conducted by Google in conjunction with Compete.
The study, which aimed to analyze consumer shopping behavior from the point of sale backwards, found that 31 percent of shoppers used YouTube to shop for apparel. And, 37 percent watched a video on a retail website to make a purchase.
According to the survey, one in five apparel videos is discovered through search and consumers are actively performing these searches for research purposes ahead of purchasing. In particular, back-to-school searches have peaked on YouTube every August, and have also grown threefold over the past four years.
“One of the reasons why YouTube has been so successful in driving sales is because users can click any ad they see and go directly to the retailer’s website to purchase. This is true for everything from homepage mastheads to TrueView video ads. It closes the gap between discovery to purchase. If you’re watching a video and see a necklace that you like, you’re a click away from having it shipped to your doorstep,” said Todd Pollak, industry director, retail at Google.
Another reason, added Pollak, is because on YouTube, ads are content. If a user sees a video ad and wants to watch more videos from that brand, she can go directly to the brand’s channel.
Millennials (those aged between 18 to 34), are twice as likely to use video to determine which company to purchase from, and 38 percent are likely to visit a store that sells the apparel item after watching a video.
A large trend, according to the study, is a new generation of “haul” videos and “vloggers” posting about their latest shopping purchases. Some of the top vloggers, including Blaire Fowler (JuicyStar07), Kandee Johnson (Kandee Johnson), and Andrea Brookes (AndreasChoice) have thousands of subscribers, creating millions of views. In the past month alone, more than 35,000 “haul” videos have been uploaded to YouTube, noted Pollak.
Video ads also encourage consumers to make a purchase. Thirty-four percent of apparel shoppers are more likely to purchase an item after viewing an online video ad, compared to 16 percent who did so after watching an ad on television.