Is YouTube the next big event in social shopping?

The last few years have seen video media increase in popularity. YouTube streams billions of hours of video in a month and ecommerce companies see this accessibility to potential customers, as a valuable way to advertise their products to a vast audience.

Social shopping is an increasing trend on Facebook and many people who enjoy the social network are happy to buy directly from the site, without searching the wider internet. Ecommerce leaders Amazon and eBay also foster social communities through their product reviews and similarly people buy from eBay or Amazon without searching elsewhere, because it is a medium they know and trust.

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Video product reviews are increasing in popularity for the whole range of products from books to electronics. Rather than writing their product reviews, customers are filming short videos, detailing what they like about the product. Amazon provides the facility for video reviews on its site.

Google is also set to capitalise on this trend with YouTube. They are soon to offer their True View advertisers the facility to combine ecommerce with their ads, by linking True View ads to Google shopping. This is another step into the social shopping forum for Google who has already announced its plans to introduce a buy button into its mobile search function.

The popularity of video, especially with the younger age groups means that YouTube and the other social media sites may become a more popular advertising forum for ecommerce companies than traditional television. The quality of the TV View adds is likely to improve with greater targeting of audiences; such as linking the ads to popular review channels on YouTube and seamlessly linking to the ecommerce sites through Google shopping. Social shopping is moving away from wish lists and reviews and more about seeing and buying.

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