YouTube plays a pivotal role in holiday shopping, emerging as a dynamic and influential platform that significantly impacts consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. The platform transforms holiday shopping from a transactional experience into an immersive journey, where individuals find inspiration, make well-informed decisions, and feel a sense of camaraderie, elevating its importance as a catalyst for successful holiday commerce.

Did you know?

  • Consumers go to YouTube as the first video platform when searching for a product online (Jungle Scout) 
  • YouTube is the most trusted social media platform for finding & purchasing products in the US (Statista)
  • 75% of viewers say YouTube enhances the traditional shopping journey by delivering unexpected inspiration (Google) 

Read on for 3 tips on how to reach YouTube consumers at every stage of their holiday shopping journey. 

Build Brand Awareness Early to Capture Shoppers in Inspiration Mode

When researching the right gift, YouTube serves as the primary navigation point, as 90% of consumers say they discover new products on YouTube. However, with so many brands vying for attention, executing your holiday strategy early is important to capture consumer attention and build brand awareness among shoppers. 

Google’s research shows that 74% of consumers plan their holiday shopping early, and, on average, consumers need 10 touchpoints to evaluate purchases. In fact, ⅓ of consumers have already finished their holiday shopping by the end of October. 

One great way to get ahead is to tap into seasonal trending searches when consumers are in inspiration mode by using key search trends such as “Gift guide” or “Wishlist.” Gift guides serve as a form of inspiration to YouTube viewers who need help finding gifts for others, or for themselves, during the holiday season. Store-specific guides can show shopper top products they could purchase, while demographic-specific guides provide tailored recommendations for a specific persona, such as “Mom.” Brands can then direct shoppers viewing gift guide content to a shopping browse page or another direct line of conversion.

Build Shopper Confidence to Drive Consumers Down the Funnel

While highlighting peak shopping deals and promotions in your holiday creative can be a great way to drive immediate action closer to the holidays, successful brands should begin to drive consumer confidence and sell shoppers on the value of their products to move them towards conversion. 

Google recommends testing online ratings and reviews in your holiday creative to help build consumer confidence in large purchases. Additionally, “Shop with me” videos have grown on YouTube by 35% year-over-year, solidifying the need to partner with creators to drive your brand’s and product’s authenticity. This type of content is typically vlog-style and personal to creators. Viewers see what creators buy and their thoughts and opinions, making shopping fun to watch. While “Shop with me” content is popular all year, viewers particularly enjoy watching during the holidays. Brands are encouraged to consider adding “Shop with me” videos to their holiday YouTube strategy in the fall to maximize their audiences as soon as holiday shopping begins.

Prompt Immediate Conversions with Video Action Campaigns

Consumers shopping in November and December gravitate towards major sale events, making these months the ideal time to execute Video Action Campaigns. 

Video Action Campaigns enable advertisers to run campaigns across different inventory types and ad formats seamlessly and benefit from increased reach, additional conversions, and decreased ramp-up time. These campaigns leverage smart bidding across YouTube in-stream, in-feed, and Shorts ad formats and run across YouTube’s home feed, watch page, watch next feed, and GVP inventory.

Why use Video Action Campaigns? According to Pixability’s proprietary research: 

  • VAC click-through rates are 18% higher on average in H2 compared To H1 and earned CTRs 8x greater than the next leading ad format. This makes VAC the optimal format for driving immediate action among shoppers.
  • More than 50% of online shoppers worldwide use their mobile phones to make online purchases, and Pixability data shows roughly 95% of VAC impressions serve on Mobile. VAC is a great way to meet consumers where they are and provide a seamless purchase on their mobile devices. 
  • VAC allows you to add a product feed to your campaign to showcase products directly within your ad creative. According to Google, advertisers who add product feeds to their Video Action Campaigns achieve 60% more conversions at a lower cost.

Want to learn more about how YouTube plays a role in the holiday shopping journey? Download our proprietary insights study “Holiday Shopping Behavior on YouTube” for more information!