YouTube Brings Shopping Ads to Its Home Feed, Search Results for the Holiday Season

They were already available as cards either alongside or below videos

Mattress brand Nectar is using discovery ads with holiday-focused creative - Credit by YouTube/Google
Headshot of David Cohen

YouTube’s present to marketers comes in the form of its debut of shopping ads in its home feed and search results just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Nicky Rettke, director of product management for the Google-owned video site, said in a blog post that 48% of shoppers are open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season, adding, “And how are they discovering these new brands? Increasingly, shoppers are leaning into videos and inspirational imagery.”

According to YouTube, watch time of shopping videos with “holiday” in the title shot up more than four times over the past two years.

On that note, YouTube revealed Tuesday that it is introducing shopping ads in its home feed and search results, enabling advertisers on its platform to extend their reach.

Shopping ads had already been available in the form of cards on the right side of videos on desktop and below videos on mobile, and Rettke said brands already using shopping ads with campaigns that are opted into YouTube on Display Network may see their ads appear on the home feed and in search results.

She wrote, “Now, when potential shoppers are browsing on YouTube, they may see shopping ads based on their shopping interest. This means if a consumer expresses an interest in running, they could see ads from retailers that offer running apparel, like Puma.”


Puma Group vice president of ecommerce Rick Almeida said in the blog post, “Consumers are continuing to watch more content on the YouTube platform, and we want to be where they are, to reach and engage them. This new opportunity will enable Puma to extend our shopping strategy into a new property and inspire consumers.”

Rettke also cited a recent study by Google and Ipsos, which found that 76% of consumers enjoy making unexpected discoveries while shopping, and 85% will take a product-related action within 24 hours of discovering a product.

She said Google’s showcase shopping ads are being extended to Google Images, adding that queries such as “holiday party dresses” trigger those ads and enable brands to group related products together.

According to Google, about 85% of traffic from showcase shopping ads to retailer websites comes from new visitors.

Rettke added that the ad format had previously been used mainly for apparel and furniture searches, and it is being expanded into new categories such as beauty and electronics.

Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters expanded its showcase shopping ads to 50 categories across apparel, home décor and beauty, and it saw click-through rates soar 241%, with 52% of those customers being new, as well as a 186% jump in sales from new customers via those ads, compared with sales from reactivated customers.


Rettke also cited Google’s discovery ads, currently in beta, which enable brands to reach people scrolling their personalized feeds across YouTube, Google Discover and Gmail.

She added that mattress brand Nectar is using discovery ads with holiday-focused creative to showcase its 365-Night Trial and Forever Warranty special offers, using a variety of high-resolution images and highlighting those promotions in the text.

Nectar saw an 8% life in total sales, with cost per acquisition 70% lower than paid social campaigns, according to Rettke.

Rettke said brands interested in joining the global discovery ads beta should reach out to their Google account teams. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.