YouTube Unveils 2021 Roadmap Powered by In-Video Shopping

New e-commerce tools will allow content creators to sell their products directly through YouTube.

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Need to Know

  • The video platform is expanding its integrated purchasing, allowing users to make purchases directly from trusted content creators on YouTube.
  • YouTube says this new feature will benefit its roster of content creators who have developed their own product lines.
  • The new, integrated shopping tool will expand later this year.

Analysis

YouTube is expanding its integrated purchasing tools, enabling its huge roster of content creators to sell their branded products directly within the platform.

YouTube first announced its plans to introduce integrated shopping last fall. At the time, it started asking its content creators to tag and track products found in their clips, laying the groundwork for e-commerce implementation. At the time, the company confirmed to Bloomberg that it was testing shopping features with a limited number of channels.

Now, YouTube appears to be pushing its e-commerce plans forward, announcing that integrated shopping will expand across the platform later this year. In a blog post on the company’s website, Chief Product Officer Neil Mohan wrote that beta testing a shopping integration is an “opportunity to meet the growing demand for e-commerce”.

“We also want to build on this full suite of monetization opportunities through commerce,” Mohan wrote. “We’re beta testing a new integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases directly on YouTube.”

Mohan cited creators such as Daisy Marquez, a beauty blogger who now has her own line of cosmetics, and Rhett & Link, a comedy duo who sells a variety of merchandise, as examples of the types of content creators who could soon be using the e-comm integration. “Together, this group of products will further fuel the ambitions of today’s pioneers in the creative economy and their next-generation media companies,” he wrote.

YouTube’s expansion of its integrated e-comm plans comes just months after the platform launched shoppable ads, which allows brands to convert video ads into storefronts. The company has also been a valuable platform for brands looking to experiment with livestream shopping: QVC, for instance, launched its first livestream shopping channel on YouTube earlier this month. Last year, YouTube also began testing a Shopify integration that allows creators to list as many as 12 items for sale on a digital carousel below their videos.

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