Google Leveraging YouTube as E-Commerce Platform
May 26, 2015
Heading into the holiday weekend, Google shared some details about a foray into e-commerce that will enable consumers to buy products from within ads on YouTube. At a San Francisco advertising conference, Google senior vice president for advertising and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy said the company will offer a “buy” button on YouTube ads viewed on mobile devices. Ramaswamy said the buttons will appear in ads that run before searched videos and the offers served up will be personalized for the search. Shortly after the ad starts, a button will appear (similar to the wildly popular “Skip Ad” button) that, if clicked, will provide the viewer with a sidebar of product images and prices.
The new product is called “TrueView for shopping,” but the button does not provide users with the ability to directly purchase items through YouTube. Google has stressed that the buy button will take viewers to third-party sites to complete the transactions. Published reports indicate “TrueView for shopping” is an attempt to regain share from Amazon, which Google appears to be losing to people who go directly to Amazon to search for product information and reviews rather than starting at Google, as they have in the past.