marketplace monitoring

Googles Secret Plan

Are They Trying to Quiety Take on the E-Commerce Giants


When people think of Google they immediately conjure up an image of the search engines homepage. Many people do not realise that Google have their finger in many pies and E-Commerce isn’t immune to their influence. Recently, Google quietly announced a feature that is available as a free, value ad for anyone buying advertising on the vast amount of Youtube inventory available online. Think about how perfect this business model is. Other people create the content and encourage people to view their videos. All Google need to do is sit back and take a cut of the monetisation. It’s no surprise they have turned their hand at social shopping.

What is TrueView?

TrueView is an advertising format that can be accessed through Google’s DSP - a tool used to buy advertising space. Giant brands like KFC, Puma and Currys outsource this buying process to advertising agencies, who work with the creative agencies to give the advert the best platform to be successful.

The reason this ad format is called “TrueView” is because advertisers only pay for any views over 30 seconds. This means that anyone who skips the ad that appears before the video they are trying to watch in less than 30 seconds more or less counts as free advertising for the brand.

But what has this got to do with E-Commerce?

TrueView for shopping explained

Trueview for shopping is a great add-on to any existing video ads you are running as a brand. All that you need to do is link up the Google merchant centre with your advertising account, and you can then select up to ten products to appear as shoppable products in the video. For consumers, this makes the shopping process significantly shorter. While you are watching a video, products will appear in a tile format and you can toggle through them and click to make a purchase.

This isn’t a new development. This option has been available through Google Adwords accounts since 2015. The new development is that this has been rolled out as an option for anyone using Google’s DSP, and it will shortly be available for 6 second “Bumper” videos. This means the concept will be rolled out for huge brands that spend millions of pounds a year on advertising. 

Will Youtube’s features give them the edge over traditional eCommerce platforms?

One of the frustrating things for E-Commerce sellers can be the sheer number of platforms they need to use to sell and advertise their products. They often have to create social media advertising campaigns separate from their E-Commerce platform, which is time consuming. Youtube’s seamless integration with the Google Merchant Centre could be a feature that helps to poach business from giants like Amazon and eBay. With stock control automatically monitored, the Youtube ad campaign will stop if the item sells out. If people decide to choose convenience over everything else – this could play a key part in Google’s rise to the top of the E-Commerce chain.

What is the TrueView for shopping experience like for the customer?

Navigating your way around Youtube, it isn’t hard to be targeted for an in-stream, Youtube for shopping ad. One of the things that makes this format so beneficial to customers is how much shorter it makes the shopping process. With non-shoppable ads, the brand or retailer has a visible link to their website. It’s then up to the customer to navigate their way to their chosen product, with shoppable Youtube ads, you just click on the product and go straight through to payment.

A lot of recent partnerships between E-Commerce, like eBay and Idealo, have had the same objective. Millenials and Gen Z’ers want to take the shortest amount of steps possible in the path to purchase. Could rolling out shoppable ads across all Youtube inventory be Google’s way of getting in on some of this action?

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