Every toy, gadget and good you see on Youtube could soon be for sale online — not on Amazon, but right on YouTube itself.
The world’s largest video site recently started asking creators to use YouTube software to tag and track products featured in their clips. The data will then be linked to analytics and Shopping tools from parent Google.
The goal is to convert YouTube’s bounty of videos into a vast catalog of items that viewers can peruse, click on and buy directly, according to people familiar with the situation. The company is also testing a new integration with Shopify Inc. for selling items through YouTube.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the company is testing these features with a limited number of video channels. Creators will have control over the products that are displayed, the spokesperson said. The company described this as an experiment and declined to share more details.
The moves have the potential to transform YouTube from an advertising giant into a new contender for e-commerce leaders such as Amazon.com Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
“YouTube is one of the least utilized assets,” said Andy Ellwood, president of e-commerce startup Basket. “If they decided they want to invest in it, it’s a huge opportunity for them.”
It’s unclear how YouTube will generate revenue from these sales. However, the service has begun offering subscriptions for creators and takes a cut of 30% from those payments.
The company has also revamped its e-commerce and payments division. In July, it announced a plan to lure merchants to Google Shopping, its online storefront, which included an integration with Shopify so that sellers could manage their inventory.
Late last year, YouTube began testing a similar Shopify integration for creators who can list as many as 12 items for sale on a digital carousel below their videos, according to the company. Merchandising is one of several strategies YouTube is pursuing to diversify revenue for creators beyond ads. At a minimum, the new measures could help YouTube deepen the data it collects from videos to strengthen its ads business.
source – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-09/google-tries-to-turn-youtube-into-a-major-shopping-destination
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