Where does holiday shopping take place? Certainly at the mall. And undoubtedly on any number of ecommerce sites. But also on YouTube.
It turns out that YouTube has become a massive hub for shopping and retail-related content. Considering YouTube’s huge engaged audience and the intent-driven nature of the platform, it becomes a way for retail brands to reach their consumers when they’re in a shopping mindset.
To help brands navigate the opportunity, Zefr analyzed over 14 billion shopping and retail-related views on YouTube. The goal: Make sense of the ad opportunities this holiday season by zeroing in on precise content targeting opportunities.
Here are the five kinds of YouTube videos that will be driving the shopping conversation this season.
These videos—where consumers take home products and walk their audience through the process of opening the box—have become so popular that they’ve spawned multiple subcategories. Shoe unboxings, for example, are popular for sneakerheads who want to show off what they’ve added to their collections. Tech unboxings are geared to people who want to see new mobile accessories, cameras or wearables. But for the holidays, two key areas are certainly toy unboxings, which often capture the unabashed excitement of opening a new toy, and holiday unboxings, which often document the actual opening of a present.
Opportunity: tech, toy and apparel brands
Haul videos are like shopping spree post-mortems. Fans go out and make fashion, beauty or retail purchases, and then document what they’ve bought by pulling out their “haul” from their shopping bags. Many YouTubers use this method to provide reviews of their favorite products or to convince their audience to buy a specific brand.
Opportunity: big box and beauty retailers
What’s it like to experience a certain store? In shopping vlogs, YouTubers shoot on location at their favorite places to shop, from huge malls to small businesses. They spend time exploring the store and providing commentary on their potential purchases. There are as many different segments as there are types of stores, but one area that’s grown recently has been grocery vlogs, where people show the different foods they’re buying. ”New chapter” grocery vlogs, meanwhile, feature shoppers going through various new life stages such as first-time parents, new college students, or living on their own.
Opportunity: retailers promoting in-store experience
DIY content on YouTube takes the form of a visual instruction manual or inspiration guide. The host often details the steps needed to complete a specific project, whether it’s home improvement, home furnishing, crafts, hacks or the like. These present excellent opportunities for major furniture brands or home improvement centers that want to inspire people to create their own projects.
Opportunity: home-improvement retailers
Industry events—showing the latest styles—are extremely popular on YouTube. But these go beyond the runway events of New York, Paris and Milan. There are also unofficial fashion shows, tutorials, video “photo” shoots and a range of other videos that let YouTubers document their unique styles. Uploads of pop-up shops and special brand events have also gained large viewerships, and with brands opening special holiday shops, this can gain more traction during this season.
Opportunity: fashion and luxury retailers
So what should brands look for? There are certainly YouTube videos that relate to a specific product, store or brand. But that’s not the only opportunity. It’s also possible to align with content that shows the “emotion” behind the shopping experience—things that YouTubers communicate during an unboxing, haul or retail tour. After all, that’s what the holiday season is all about.