By Alexandra Burlacu | May 20, 2013 02:33 PM EDT
YouTube is all grown up and evolved from a basic video-sharing venue to a very promising online shopping site, which is good news for businesses.
Google-owned YouTube was originally designed as a video-sharing site back in 2005, allowing users to freely and easily upload, view and share videos using Adobe Flash and HTML5 technology. YouTube is now the most popular venue for watching all sorts of videos, from music videos to funny cats, educational DYI clips, TV shows and much, much more.
YouTube is now offering a new tool for businesses and brands. On the TRESemme channel, for instance, videos featuring various hair products also sport links for viewers to buy each featured item. Other platforms previously offered such "shoppable videos" as well, but YouTube has a far wider reach than any other platform.
Mr. Porter and Neiman Marcus are two of the brands experimenting with such shoppable content. Both brands invite viewers to click on fashion items that various characters wear within the video, pausing it so that interested users can shop the items in question.
The shoppable videos on YouTube, however, work in a slightly different manner. Instead of having viewers interactively clicking within the videos, YouTube displays a side bar that brings up the featured products. This way, users can shop for items that interest them without ever having to pause.
"Every day, millions of people turn to YouTube for advice, from learning how to use the perfect smokey eye to trying out a new recipe for mashed potatoes," touts Danielle Tomassini from the Google Shopper team. "People are using YouTube not just for entertainment, but to learn a new skill, find more information, and shop for products. This presents a unique 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."
"This new channel gadget will enable shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing how-to-videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices and make a purchase, all with fewer clicks than today," Tomassini further explains.
Check out the feature in action at the TRESemme YouTube channel (link in third paragraph) and prepare for a new shopping experience.
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