How YouTube is Creating More Direct Shopping Options for Video



In addition to allowing creators to tag and track specific products in their videos, the company is also working on a Shopify integration.


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According to Google, over half (55%) of shoppers use online videos while shopping in-store. In addition, 50 percent of shoppers say online videos help them decide the specific brand or product to buy. What’s even more, Bloomberg Intelligence predicts the e-commerce retail market, excluding China, could reach a whopping $2.8 trillion by 2025. While the pandemic continues to accelerate online shopping and the digital transformation of many businesses, platforms and brands are preparing for the future.

After adding a merchandise ‘shelf’ for product tie-ins last year which helped creators display branded products beneath clips and unveiling ‘merch alerts’ for live-streams earlier this year as well as AR try-ons for makeup tutorials and various ad-driven tools, YouTube is upping its game.

Here’s a peek at the latest and what it means for marketers and our industry as we look ahead.

Creating a catalog of items for YouTube shoppers

Per Bloomberg, YouTube is introducing a process in which creators will have the ability to tag specific products mentioned or worn in their content directly in their videos to spur more direct shopping on the actual platform itself as opposed to driving viewers elsewhere. More specifically, viewers can simply tap on any product they see in a clip for more details.

This is not officially rolled out yet, rather still in the beta phase with a limited number of channels though a Google spokesperson also revealed YouTube is testing integration with Shopify as part of this push.

More opportunities to reach consumers online

On a recent earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai emphasized that the video-sharing giant’s overwhelming amount of tutorials and unboxing videos are an untapped shopping opportunity where products are touted on screen. The pandemic may have taken a hit at marketing budgets but these simple opportunities in the e-commerce space are proving to be inexpensive and highly effective as people use more of their free time browsing their devices and not in physical brick and mortar stores.

For creators, this opens the door to greater creative freedom to include more products in their content. Separately, for brands, a shift towards integrated product listings for video is a meaningful opportunity to engage with creators and learn more about the values and interests of younger demographics, but also engage with emerging storytelling formats that resonate. Finally, for YouTube parent company Google this represents a chance to glean more insight into its consumer base to enhance its advertising efforts over time.

Influencer-led consumer habits

Recent researchh from Takumi found that in the last six months roughly a quarter of 16-44-year-olds (27%) have been influenced to purchase a product or service by YouTube creators, followed by 24 percent on Instagram and 15 percent on TikTok. Further, consumers prefer the legacy platforms such as YouTube more (28%) than those on newer platforms such as Instagram (22%) and TikTok (15%).

“Influencer marketing in 2020 will continue to push boundaries, innovate and become a trusted awareness, engagement and sales attribution approach for brands,” shared CEO Mary Keane Dawson. “Brands who can entertain and educate through influencers will capture the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers versus traditional media.” The key takeaway to note: there is a clear correlation between trust developed over time and increased purchasing and this applies to all platforms and age groups.

Regardless of which platforms you’re utilizing to fuel your e-commerce initiatives the time is now to be platform agnostic and arm yourself with the insights of influencers who know how to engage across each in the most meaningful and successful ways.

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