YouTube Shopping Ads Sell Products Right on Relevant Videos

youtube shopping ads

This fall, YouTube videos that highlight a product — such as product reviews or how-to tutorials — will begin to feature new Shopping ads. The new ads  allow viewers to click to read more about the product and even purchase it right on YouTube.

“Buy buttons” are already prolific on Google, Pinterest and Instagram, and, with the new feature, YouTube users will be able to purchase a variety of products  while watching a wide range of YouTube videos.

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Until now, small businesses and brands could only include similar ads on their own YouTube videos, but now the ads will appear on any video that allows them. Similar to Shopping ads on Google, you will only pay when a viewer clicks on your ad.

Earlier this year, YouTube unveiled Cards, which allows businesses to share products directly within their videos across all screens. This was closely followed by TrueView for shopping (pictured above), which is more like “automatic” cards. The feature allows businesses to dynamically insert product cards within their in-stream ads, based on the products that are most likely to lead to conversion.

Diya Jolly, YouTube’s Director of Product Management for Ads, announced the new ads on Inside AdWords:

“We’ve kept the format similar to Cards and TrueView for shopping, so users can easily recognize and click on the “i” icon at the top right of a video to view the Shopping ads. Shopping ads on YouTube are built off of your existing product feed in the Merchant Center. They will enter an auction similar to Shopping ads on Google search and are selected based on a variety of contextual signals.”

Jolly adds:

“We’re also focused on providing better measurement, helping you understand whether your investments are driving results. Our Brand Lift solution, for example, helps you measure interest by monitoring lift in organic keyword searches related to your brand on

“Starting today, Brand Lift will look not only at searches on, but will take YouTube searches into account as well.”

This is good news to small business owners as they can now easily measure the impact of their YouTube ads.

Image: Google 4 Comments ▼

Antony Maina Antony Maina is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. His beat includes social media, general business reporting and exploring how people relate to technology. With a background in freelance writing, he is a contributor to other tech websites and can be found at Word4Bloggers.

4 Reactions
  1. I think it is good in the sense that it is for product placements. My only worry about this is for advertisers who want people to click on their link for the products. If an ad is placed in the end, then it beats the purpose of promoting through Youtube.

  2. SMBs have been slow getting into video marketing, so this is just one more way that Google is trying to make it easier and more relevant to the bottom line. For many people, this is the domino that will finally get them to produce some videos and start selling with them.

  3. Hi Antony,

    I think this is a great idea. YouTube has very smartly evolved into real TV but with a twist.

    Plus advertisers also have to re-think new ways to get us watching because the Sky+ box means we can fast forward them now.

    I have no problem with businesses trying to make money through advertisement as long as there is a X button that means I could turn the ad off… Or at worst be forced to only watch 3 seconds, then I don’t mind 🙂


  4. I think that this is a great idea especially for small businesses that are trying to get their business up and running by promotional ads via YouTube. YouTube has become such a huge source for information and insight on products that it only makes sense to add this new feature. Google is really trying to make it easier and more convenient to purchase things quickly from the internet. This new feature offers a lot of promise for successful selling. There are a lot of people who prefer to shop at home now from computers rather than going to the store and this will do well with that audience. The other thing to think about though is the actual advertisements. Many people get upset when they have to sit through an advertisement before they even get to watch their actual video. There should be an added feature that allows you to either fast-forward or completely exit out of an ad all together if you want to.

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