Haul videos are short product review videos posted online (generally to YouTube), predominantly by teens and young women espousing their adoration of recent fashion,  make-up and accessory purchases.

Haul and other shopping related content on YouTube has continued to explode with unboxing videos, product reviews and haul videos all increasing their importance in the shopper research process. Haul video views spike during key shopping periods and peak during the US holiday shopping season - primarily during Black Friday and Christmas.

The trend is clear:

  • Videos with “Haul” in the title have been watched more than 1.1 billion times on Youtube and views are up 170% year on year
  • People watched 5.6 million hours of haul videos this year alone.

This trend has seen the rise of a new generation of fashion influencers like Bethany Mota who is reportedly making half a million dollars annually and has 4.8 million YouTube subscribers (more than Lady Gaga)! There are also some great local examples of haul video success with Shoes of Prey seeing amazing results with a campaign they ran in 2010 with a 16 year old vlogger, Blair Fowler. Blair's video had over 450,000 views at the time and more than 90,000 comments (from people that were encouraged to visit the site, design shoes and write a description of the shoes for a competition). The outcome was that the video was the 5th most viewed video on YouTube for that day and contributed a massive spoke in traffic (although not instant conversions) for Shoes of Prey.

It's clear that video content isn't just being used for research ahead of time. Customers are also consuming video content whilst they’re in stores to help them make decisions. Google research has indicated that one in four shoppers say they've used YouTube to search specifically for a product they’re considering while in store.

Checkout how retailers are using video to drive site conversions for additional examples of video usage throughout the purchase process.