Sunday October 11, 2020 |Notes

A new Youtube & Shopify integration

Youtube will be adding shopping features to its platform for the coming holiday shopping season. The new features include an integration with Shopify. This is Google/Alphabet's most siginificant move into ecommerce in some time, greatly overshadowing the changes to Google Shopping earlier this year.

After re-introducing free shopping listings to merchants this past spring, the platform has yet to see widespread adoption by merchants, especially as compared to Amazon. With the new integration, Youtube creators will be able to sell products directly to their audience without leaving the Youtube platform. From a Bloomberg report on the topic:

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.


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.

Youtube is among the largest search engines on its own, and offers creators a direction connection with fans, something that isn't possible via search. There's an enormous opportunity for creators to sell products directly to audiences, and YouTube's new shopping integration with Shopify will make it much simpler, creating a huge potential channel for sales.

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