L2’s Department Stores Insight Report: Social Media found that most department store videos on YouTube were practically invisible, lost in a sea of user-generated content. Department stores control just 24% of first page organic real estate for brand terms, and nine retailers appear in none of those results. In fact, YouTube presence has decreased among department store brands. In 2013, 85% of brands were present on YouTube. By 2014 just 77% remained, all while presence on social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Sina Weibo and WeChat increased.


A brand that is doing well on YouTube is El Palacio De Hierro, despite a ‘Challenged’ ranking based on poor site traffic and a desktop site that defaults to a mobile user interface. Treating YouTube as a television platform, El Palacio De Hierro drives traffic to its videos with aggressive ad buys. It has more video views than any other department store in the Index.


Many (half of) brands in the Department Stores study have attempted to up their views through display advertising, but only 4% have purchase what might be the better option: ads for branded search terms on YouTube.

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