YouTube is introducing "Shopping" ads in time for the holiday season.
YouTube visitors who have searched for a product on Google will now be served ads based on their activity. So if a consumer expresses interest in running, for example, they may receive a horizontally scrollable catalog of static images with product offerings from retailers, like Puma (an official launch participant).
The ads will surface on YouTube’s home feed and in YouTube search results, according to the company.
This comes as other digital platforms work to become easier to shop on. In recent months Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok have all released ad units that make it easier for consumers to click on to buy products.
For its part, YouTube has already been offering brands ways to help surface their wares to users. Earlier this year the company introduced so-called "Discovery" ads, image-based lifestyle ads meant to inspire consumers browsing YouTube feeds, and encourage them to make a purchase. Discovery ads don't necessarily correlate to one specific product, whereas Shopping ads promote a single product offering, like several different running sneakers at various prices. Advertisers use Discovery ads to inspire a purchase, while Shopping ads are designed to tap into the intent already expressed by users via their searches.
Back in 2015, it rolled out Trueview for Shopping, video ads which allow brands to showcase product details and images, as well as the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site.