As Australian retailers and shoppers plunged headlong into Christmas retail mayhem, Boxing Day sales frenzy and New Year buying meltdown we thought we’d take a look at who’s winning a loyal audience and who should be upping their game in this month’s multi-platform video analysis courtesy of our Tubular partnership – Tubular has data for 2.5B videos across 30+ platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, AOL, Daily Motion and more.

Coles took out number 1 spot in cross platform video views in November achieving a whopping 5.8 million views with former bed-fellow Myer in at number 2 with 5.5 million views.

Taking a deeper dive into the Coles numbers, their most watched video uploaded in November was a 15 second video optimized for social media entitled “Watermelon, meet Iceblocks! Here’s the coolest new way to eat watermelon.” which was viewed 1.1million times on Facebook across just 4 days from November 11th – 15th, garnering 14,000 Likes and nearly 3,000 comments and almost 6,000 shares (you do the Engagement Rate maths…). Coles have recognised and are tapping into the shareable nature of social style food vids pioneered by BuzzFeed Food.

In fact, 98% of Coles video views came via Facebook in November 2016 with the views shared across 8 videos and all of them were less than 15 seconds long, with of course accompanying ad spend. Interestingly in the same period Coles published 24 videos on YouTube achieving collectively only 129,000 views. On YouTube though the videos are much longer with many between 1-3 minutes long.

Coles strategy is clearly to achieve reach through social style videos on Facebook, realising the audience is less likely to stick around and watch anything longer than 15 seconds, whilst YouTube is being used much more as an engagement platform for longer form videos. To achieve these Facebook views would require a significant amount of paid activity - acknowledging that Facebook organic reach sits at around 10% (at best) and Coles has 1.1 million followers on Facebook, based on the average Engagement Rate (ER), to achieve 5.8 million video views across 8 videos would require significant paid investment.

Rounding out the Top 5 were Woolworths with 3.5 million cross platform video views, Harvey Norman with 2.4 million and David Jones with 1.9 million cross platform video views.

David Jones is interesting as it is the only retailer in the Top 5 which generated a significant amount of video views from Instagram. David Jones published 24 videos to Instagram in November generating almost 200,000 views with a mixture of influencer and social videos plus more traditional ads. David Jones clearly recognise the importance of Instagram as part of their content strategy for their audience and product range although the engagement rate for the videos on Instagram is fairly low across the board when compared to peers, something which could warrant further investigation.

When it comes to the big players in the retail category Facebook is clearly winning the battle as the platform for video views and, by default, advertising dollars over Christmas holiday period with the platform making up the large majority of video views ahead of YouTube and other social video platforms. The audience numbers and stats for Facebook are obviously there, but with recent rumblings about the way Facebook had overestimated their audience measurement and the fact that audience views on Facebook are measured at only 3 seconds for a view to “count” plus the fact that all videos are autoplayed in an ‘audio mute’ state vs YouTube for example where around 30 seconds is required for a view count and audio is ‘active’ on play, a more integrated approach to digital/social video content strategy and a deeper understanding of the platforms should always be the first consideration beyond just paid reach metrics of the traditional ad model.