With YouTube’s vast and every expanding library of content it’s easy to forget that the video giant isn’t just an entertainment platform, it’s also a marketplace. We tend not to think of it this way, but YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and now that we’ve passed through the Black Friday and Cyber Monday into the heart of the holiday shopping seasons, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that many of us are making YouTube a big part of our buying experience. A recent study published by Google found that 64 percent of consumers referenced YouTube as the most influential source of information for shopping decisions.
Style guides, haul videos, product reviews are all booming on YouTube, and not just because they provide entertainment. YouTube is the new window shopping, and shoppers are increasingly turning ot the site to experience a product first hand before they by. As online shopping has slowly eclipsed trekking to malls and department stores, consumers want a way to see and experience products before they buy, and those Amazon product reviews aren’t enough.
When a superstar like Bethany Mota shares her latest purchases in a haul you learn more than just the color and size of a particular item. You get Bethany’s impressions, her recommendations and an upclose, 360 view of the item in 1080p. The same goes for iJustine when she reviews her latest Apple product. Instead of a manufacturers description you get a personal account from a source you know and trust. Because a YouTube creator’s greatest asset is their audience, they have an incentive to give a genuine review. They can also act as curators for the gift giving impaired among us. The number of gift guide tutorials as skyrocketed in recent years as the population of YouTube shoppers has grown.
Will you be turning to YouTube to complete your holiday shopping this year? Or are you already done? Is everyone already done? AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO’S NOT DONE? Ahem…