What is a Haul Video and How Can You Use it to Promote Your Retail Business?



What is a Haul Video and Should You Still Use Them?

If you’ve spent any time on YouTube in recent years, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a haul video. This type of content can provide potential benefits to both influencers and small retail businesses.

Though they may not be quite as prevalent as they once were, it’s still important to be aware of the potential impact of these videos.



They still may be able to help you spread the word about your brand or create useful content for your target audience. To learn the ins and outs of haul videos, here’s a quick guide.

What Is a Haul Video?

In the vast landscape of digital media, haul videos have carved a distinct niche. A haul video is fundamentally a recording of an individual meticulously examining and describing their recent collection of purchases.

The creator delves deep into the specifics of each product, articulating their firsthand impressions and recounting the overall shopping experience.

Typically, the showcased items in a haul originate from a singular retailer or hail from a defined category ensuring relevance and continuity. For example, it could be a specific fashion brand or a genre of books.


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This intriguing format of video content skyrocketed to prominence around the pivotal years of 2006/2007, initially championed by the beauty vlogging community on the behemoth platform, YouTube.

The genesis of the haul video might have been within beauty circles, but the phenomenon quickly breached its confines, permeating a plethora of niches.

While YouTube remains its primary home, the trend has meandered onto other platforms, notably Facebook and Instagram.

Their prevalence might have ebbed slightly from their peak popularity, but haul videos haven’t faded into obscurity.



Contemporary influencers curate and disseminate these videos with regularity. Given the slightly less congested market, this might be a golden window for brands to harness its potential.

  • Definition: A recording showcasing a collection of purchases.
  • Details Covered: Explanation of each product, initial impressions, and overall shopping experience.
  • Origin: Gained popularity around 2006/2007 from the beauty vlogging community.
  • Platforms: Most common on YouTube, but also found on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Current Trend: Less prevalent than before but still consistently created and shared.

Haul videos really only offer initial impressions of products. They’re not as thorough as full product reviews.

But they do usually contain products that the influencer has chosen, so they can quickly explain why they liked each item.



In certain categories like clothing or makeup, the person may even try on the items to offer a full and honest first impression.

haul video

So it could be a bit more impactful than an unboxing video, which often features products from a subscription box or items gifted from a PR company.

To better understand the distinctions among various types of product-focused videos, let’s compare haul videos, full product reviews, and unboxing videos:



Type of VideoKey FeaturesProsCons
Haul VideoInitial impressions of a variety of productsShowcases products influencer personally chose; possibly more impactful than unboxingNot as detailed as a full review
Full Product ReviewDetailed analysis of a productComprehensive; provides in-depth insightsTime-consuming; focuses on one product at a time
Unboxing VideoOpening and initial look at a product or set of productsExciting and suspenseful; showcases products as they are receivedMight feature gifted products; not always user-chosen

haul video

How Can You Use Haul Videos for Your Small Business?

If you’re interested in utilizing haul videos as an influencer, you simply need to find a product category or shop that is relevant to your audience and then go on a shopping spree.

When you film your video, simply go over each purchase and then promote your content. Over time, you may even be able to work with brands that want to connect with your audience.

This can help you cover the costs of your videos and bring in a profit in exchange for spreading the word.



If you’re a retailer, taking advantage of haul videos requires finding relevant influencers to work with or promoting organic content related to your brand.

Haul videos can be especially helpful in spreading the word about new products. So if you’re preparing for a launch or have recently unveiled a new line, you may want to contact some relevant YouTube creators or social media personalities in your niche to arrange sponsored content.

The exact logistics are up to you. But you may be able to pay them or arrange a free shopping spree for them.



However, it is usually beneficial to have them pick out their own products. If you send them items without their input, they may be less relevant or less likely to share the positive attributes that drew them to each item.

In these cases, they’ll also need to disclose that the content is sponsored.

Of course, organically created haul content, where influencers spontaneously feature products without explicit brand partnerships, can be a goldmine for businesses.

Although this is a more passive strategy, businesses should remain vigilant, scouting for any haul videos spotlighting their brand or products.



Harnessing and promoting such content amplifies reach and authenticity. It also serves as an indicator of influencers who might be potential candidates for future collaborations, given their evident affinity for the brand’s products.

haul video

For Influencers: Creating Engaging Haul Videos

Choosing the Right Products

  • Select products that resonate with your audience’s interests and preferences.
  • Look for items that are trending or have unique features that can spark interest.

Crafting an Engaging Narrative

  • Share personal stories or experiences related to the products.
  • Offer tips on how to use the products or integrate them into daily life.

Leveraging Social Media Trends

  • Stay updated with current trends and hashtags on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
  • Use these trends to shape the theme or style of your haul videos.

Collaborating with Retailers

  • Reach out to brands for potential partnerships or sponsorships.
  • Ensure transparency with your audience about sponsored content.

For Retailers: Maximizing Exposure through Haul Videos

Identifying Influencers

  • Research influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged audience.
  • Look for content creators who have previously shown interest in similar products.

Providing Creative Freedom

  • Allow influencers to choose products they genuinely like, ensuring authenticity in their videos.
  • Offer guidelines but avoid strict scripts to maintain the influencer’s unique voice.

Engaging with Organic Content

  • Monitor social media for unsponsored haul videos featuring your products.
  • Engage with these posts by commenting, sharing, or even offering a shoutout.

Utilizing User-Generated Content

  • Encourage customers to share their own haul videos with your products.
  • Create a hashtag for your brand and encourage its use for better visibility.

Analyzing Performance and Feedback

  • Use insights from haul videos to understand customer preferences and feedback.
  • Adapt your product offerings or marketing strategies based on this data.

Additional Strategies for Both Influencers and Retailers

Cross-Promotion on Multiple Platforms

  • Share haul videos across various social media platforms for wider reach.
  • Tailor the content slightly to fit the format and audience of each platform.

Seasonal and Thematic Hauls

  • Create haul videos themed around holidays, seasons, or special events.
  • This approach can tap into the audience’s current interests and needs.

Interactive Elements

  • Include polls, Q&A sessions, or contests in or around the video to boost engagement.
  • Encourage viewers to comment on their favorite products or ask questions.

Consistent Branding and Messaging

  • Maintain a consistent aesthetic and message across all haul videos.
  • This helps in building a recognizable brand identity.

By combining these strategies, both influencers and retailers can effectively use haul videos as a tool for promotion and engagement. Influencers can enhance their content’s appeal and relevance, while retailers can leverage these videos to showcase their products, gain insights, and build a loyal customer base.

Who Can Use a Haul Video?

The versatility of haul videos is evident from their wide-ranging presence across various business niches and diverse target demographics.



Their allure is especially potent in sectors like makeup, fashion, and toys – arenas where consumers often indulge in bulk purchases.

However, it’s worth noting that haul videos may not resonate as well in niches oriented around services or high-end, luxurious products due to the sheer magnitude of investment required for a single item.

As a small retail business, haul videos can help you connect to relevant consumers through influencers.



Basically, viewers watch and subscribe to YouTube videos of people they trust or who share similar tastes in products.

So when that influencer shares a collection of products, a viewer might see an item that strikes their fancy and decide to purchase one as well.

Flipping the narrative, from the perspective of influencers, haul videos are more than just content; they’re a conduit to deepen the bond with their audience.

Whether you’re a content creator on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or even maintain a blog, sharing your personal narratives around products can be instrumental.

The video medium inherently fosters a more intimate connection, allowing viewers to perceive the nuances of your personality.

Beyond showcasing products, these videos become an avenue to seamlessly weave brand-centric content into your narrative, opening doors to collaborations and lucrative partnerships in the future.

  • Popular Niches: Makeup, fashion, toys, and bulk-buy product areas.
  • Less Suitable For: Service businesses and high-ticket item retailers.
  • Benefits for Retailers: Connect with consumers via influencers, enhance brand visibility, and drive sales.
  • Benefits for Influencers: Offer valuable content, showcase personality, and integrate branded content.

Image: Depositphotos.com


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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. The haul video is definitely something to note. It has so many items that interests the customer that it ends up getting more sales.

  2. Though I’ve never taken the time to watch one, I know exactly what these are. Was unaware they were on the decline. I’m thinking keeping an eye/ear out for haul videos that mention your brand might be a bad use of time. Maybe a side gig for a daughter and her network of girlfriends. I seem to recall there was an issue awhile back with fake hauls in the U.K. or Australia — I didn’t dig into the issue; heck I don’t recall the country.

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