YouTube’s taking the next steps in its gradual integration of eCommerce tools, via a new partnership with Shopify, which will enable Shopify merchants to feature their products across their YouTube channels and content.

As shown in this video, using the Google Channel app within your Shopify add-on tools, you’ll now be able to activate YouTube Shopping, and connect your YouTube account to easily display products from your Shopify inventory.

As explained by YouTube:

Creators who link their stores can display their products across their channel and benefit from Shopify’s real-time inventory syncing, so that viewers are never disappointed to find a product out of stock. And, for a more seamless shopping experience, creators in the US can enable onsite checkout so that viewers can complete their purchases without leaving YouTube.”

Shopify merchants will be able to display their products on YouTube in three ways:

  • Live streams – Merchants can tag and pin products at key points during a livestream, and picture-in-picture playback means consumers can watch while they check out
  • Videos – Merchants can show a curated list of products in a product shelf below on-demand videos
  • Store tab – A new tab will be added to a merchant’s YouTube channel, featuring their entire selection of products

Merchants will need at least 1,000 subscribers to qualify for these options, while there are also requirements around appropriate content and channel strikes. But if you meet the criteria, it could be a good way to maximize exposure for your product listings, while also helping YouTube to expand its in-app shopping push.

Which has become a bigger focus in recent months, especially as TikTok looks to integrate live-stream shopping and other eCommerce tools, with in-stream selling now a key revenue pathway for the Chinese version of the app (Douyin).

Thus far, such options haven’t caught on with western audiences in the same way. But they still might, and as such, YouTube’s not going to risk letting TikTok dominate another element of online video engagement, especially given the ways in which YouTube is already used in the product discovery and decision-making process.

As such, YouTube’s working on several shopping integrations, including live shopping, which it’s looking to expand to more creators soon.

YouTube Live Shopping

In addition to this, YouTube’s also added new tools within the ‘Shopping’ tab in YouTube Studio, in order to help creators manage how their products are tagged and appear across their channel.

YouTube’s also launching a new shopping destination in the Explore tab for users in the US, Brazil and India, which highlight shoppable content within the app.

More shopping features will be rolled out to more regions throughout the year – and again, with the majority of consumers now using online videos for shopping research, it makes sense for YouTube to align with this shift, while also fending off another potential challenge from TikTok.

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