11th April 2017

On 23rd April 2005, Me at the zoo became YouTube’s first video. 19 seconds long, it featured the site’s cofounder, Jawed Karim, chatting about the zoo’s elephants. The site’s come a long way since. 114,077 years’ worth of content is watched there daily by a billion-strong audience. The YouTube app is the world’s third most popular. And it’s proved sufficiently lucrative for YouTube partners to earn six figure salaries, just from ad revenue.

We want to look at YouTube’s promise for eCommerce – is it worth your while?

There are several elements when considering YouTube’s eCommerce potential:

  1. YouTube’s advertising program, harnessing those ads at the beginning of videos.
  2. Using existing YouTube celebrities to plug your product(s).
  3. Setting up a YouTube channel of your own, uploading videos that demonstrate and promote.

YouTube and eCommerceDeploying ads on YouTube comes with significant caveats. Take its alleged audience, one billion. Of these, how many are reached by ads, and for those that watch them, how many do so all the way through? The statistics make for somewhat grim reading. An estimated 23% of internet browsers have an ad blocker installed, screening out ads entirely, with the percentage predicted to rise by half every year. Then there’s the ability to skip ads five seconds in – how many do? 94% of YouTube users. Take that all together and you’re left with just 4.6% of YouTube’s audience watching ads all the way through. That’s 4.6 million people worldwide – roughly the population of African country Liberia.

So, if you’re going to splash out on ads, bear this in mind

You’ve realistically got a five second window to sell your goods and/or services before people click away. Some have successfully used this to their advantage, creating a striking impression that captured people’s attention. But it requires lateral thinking and hard work – there’s no recipe for viral ads.

YouTube Personalities

Next is making the most of popular YouTube personalities. They’ve already got tens of thousands of committed subscribers and they got there without product placement alienating their audience. They know how to weave it in without appearing shoehorned, with some making product and service reviews the centrepiece of their channels. An example is Colin Furze, who lives not far from Khaos HQ in the ‘shire, constructing a near-life size Star Wars AT-ACT walker in his back garden to promote, you’ve guessed it, Rogue One. At the time of writing, the below video has a cool three million views.

Personalities not for you? Do It Yourself!

Of course, there is a straightforward cost relationship between a personality’s subscriber base and the cost of advertising with them, namely, the larger the base the greater the cost. Therefore we come to our third option; setting up your own YouTube business channel. It’s a versatile tool that allows tutorials, demonstrations and readings of blog content. Slikhaar TV showcases men’s hair products available on their eCommerce store, while we’ve taken to YouTube to run through Khaos Control Cloud’s awesome functionality. Other businesses YouTubers even run competitions with their products as prizes. And while YouTube isn’t a traditional sales channel, annotations can point customers towards online stores.

What does the future hold for YouTube?

Video resolution has increased exponentially since 2005 when it was 320 by 240 pixels. Today, maximum resolution means 8K HD content. And that’s not all. The advent of 360-degree video has opened a world of virtual reality (VR). To our minds, this will only extend businesses’ ability to show off what they have on offer.

We’ll keep you abreast of all the latest developments

And while you’re thinking about the possibilities of YouTube, why not consider a FREE demo of Khaos Control Cloud? We’ve just integrated eBay, Amazon and Shopify so you don’t have to log in to different sales accounts. Control your product range from one, convenient place. An essential, time-saving ability for any rapidly growing eCommerce business.

Please Note: This article was edited on 21/02/2018 to reflect Khaos Control Cloud’s updated process re: trials.