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YouTube Testing New Shopping Feature

3-D YouTube logo.

Google-owned video platform YouTube is testing a new e-commerce feature – YouTube Shopping. This will allow users to purchase items directly from YouTube videos. According to the Google report, the new feature allows creators to add certain products to their videos. Viewers can check out the listed products. Then, if interested, can click through to checkout without leaving the YouTube platform.

As this development materializes, creators will find another avenue to sell products directly to customers. All while consumers benefit from the increased convenience due to a shorter buyer journey. The following is a breakdown of the new feature.

A Little Background

The battle for a piece of the e-commerce cake has rumbled on for some time. Although Amazon currently dominates the industry, players, especially search and social media platforms, have increasingly sought ways to stake a claim in the vast market.

Facebook and Instagram already have functional Shopping features that allow users to purchase items without leaving the platform. Google also has a similar setup where you can buy items without leaving the search platform.

The Shopping feature likely marks YouTube’s entry into the lucrative tap-to-shop market. Additionally, it opens up a new revenue channel for creators and gives consumers another e-commerce platform to consider.

How Does YouTube Shopping Work?

As Google announced earlier this year, YouTube Shopping purchases will be made via a new shopping bag icon in the lower-left corner of the YouTube interface.

The whole purchase process begins with creators adding products to their videos. YouTube will decide which products creators can add, though creators will have some say. As users watch content from their favorite creators, they can choose to click the shopping bag to view or buy items from that creator.

When a user clicks the shopping bag, they will see the products and sales information from the selected creator. Clicking on the desired product reveals more details about the item, associated videos, and a purchase option. Then users can click on the checkout icon to purchase the product if they choose to.

YouTube explained the entire process in a support.google.com thread in January. The following is what the team had to say;

“We’re testing a new way for people to discover and buy products on the YouTube platform easily. Creators in this pilot can add selected items to their videos. Viewers will see a list of the featured items when they click a shopping bag icon at the bottom left corner of the video.”

“From there, interested viewers can explore different product pages for more details and sales information.”

What Now?

For brands and marketers, the YouTube Shopping feature can be another excellent opportunity to expand your e-commerce presence. It also presents a potential new revenue channel.

However, there’s a major sticking point. As evident from the YouTube excerpt, this is currently only a pilot project. Unfortunately, not all pilot projects go to full implementation. And, the pilot isn’t available to all sellers/creators. YouTube says it’s “testing this feature with select creators.” This means that you may not be able to use it right now, even if you wish to try it.

Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see. Bloomberg reported that a little while ago YouTube started asking creators to use YouTube software to tag and track the products featured in their videos. They claim this data is linked with Google Shopping tools and analytics. Though perhaps it was in preparation for the Shopping feature.

However, no matter what happens, you should always keep track of these trends for your business or marketing needs.


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