|Wed May 15 2013 14:07:33|
Google Turns YouTube Into a Store for Consumer Brands
By: Ina Steiner
Google found a new way to monetize its YouTube video site beyond advertisements - it will now let companies showcase products and help viewers find and purchase those products, all integrated into those companies' own YouTube channels.
Google is working with brands to turn their YouTube channels into stores. Unilever is the first brand to use Google's new YouTube channel gadget to showcase their Tresemme line of hair care products, which had already generated more than 2.7 million views on its channel.
Google said consumers' use of YouTube presents an opportunity for consumer goods brands "to reach shoppers in the moment and provide them with an easy way to go from watching a video to purchasing the product."
Visitors to the Tresemme channel can watch videos, and the company promotes its products to the right of the videos. Clicking on a product brings up details underneath the video, and clicking on a prominent "Buy Now" button brings up a list of products and the stores where those products are available for sale. (No word yet on how to get your store featured on a brand's YouTube channel.)
Be careful - when I clicked on the Amazon link, it took me to a page that showed Amazon had added four Tresemme products to my shopping cart, with the option to proceed or, "No, thank you. Please take me back to Amazon.com."
Update: A spokesperson from Gloto.com, which developed this technology for YouTube and TRESemme, said the items aren't actually added to the Amazon cart unless the user confirms by pressing "Continue."
Many people and business have created channels on YouTube showcasing their own content. The new channel gadget will let brands feature products on their channels and will let people find which retailers carry their products, check availability, compare prices and make a purchase. But don't expect to be able to use the gadget as a seller anytime soon. Google said the new gadget will be available only as a premium offering for Google's consumer goods clients, at least for now.
Do you use YouTube to market your retail business, and would you use the new YouTube gadget to showcase your products? Do you use video in other ways to market your business?