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YouTube Mimics Instagram With New Shopping Play

YouTube Testing Ecommerce & Shopify Integrations 

YouTube wants to become a shopping destination.

In a move that mimics Instagram’s efforts to shift product through the app, YouTube will now try to do the same.

Back in July, Instagram opened up its Shopping features to everyone from big brands to solo operations – as long as you had a business account.

Testing has started on a limited number of YouTube channels – as per Bloomberg – while creators will be able to control what products are shown and tagged for sale within video.

YouTube stressed that this was just an experiment. Still, if it goes well, we could see the platform transform itself from an entertainment beast into an eCommerce giant that could rival Amazon and Alibaba.

YouTube’s Moves Beyond Advertising To Ecommerce

How much YouTube will make from these videos hasn’t been established yet, and it’ll be interesting to see if they go close to the 30% cut they take from each subscription a creator generates.

YouTube has been inching its way to this announcement for some time.

Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai has said in the past that unboxing videos could be used to sell products eventually. At the same time, in July, there was a Google Shopping integration announced with Shopify. YouTube also started testing a Shopify integration that lets creators list up to 12 items below the video on a carousel.

COVID-19 has kickstarted a surge in global demand for online shopping. After witnessing Facebook’s success with their updated Shops feature, Google is not going to want to miss out again.

What’s In It For Marketers & Influencers?

The latest trial is a fascinating move, and it builds a logical progression from their previous decision to allow the tagging and tracking of products in video.

The aim of the game is to use the platform’s massive backlog of videos as a way to increase revenue, reach additional customers and to give marketers a different approach and new revenue opportunities beyond traditional platforms.

YouTube has awesome scale, the same market penetration as Facebook (give or take) and a previously untapped way for digital marketers to jump on and do more than just buy ad space, creating transactions on YouTube and getting more bang for their buck.

Creators, on the other hand, will now be able to diversify their source of income beyond just ads. As well as the newly launched subscriptions, creators will now be able to sell things directly from their videos.

In tandem with brands, creators who are able to show off products can help lead the way as YouTube looks to expand to an eCommerce platform.

Similar to how Chinese users of Douyin (TikTok), YouTube creators could now flog everything from phones to lipstick to electronics.

While there’s no official word as to how much this could earn creators, the potential is clear for all to see.

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