Will you soon be shopping on YouTube?

Watch out Amazon, YouTube is looking to become a major e-commerce hub. The goal is to make shopping on YouTube possible by converting YouTube’s videos into a catalog of items that viewers can peruse, click on and buy directly. Every item you see on a YouTube video could soon be for sale online on YouTube itself.

How it all began

Late last year, YouTube began testing a Shopify integration for creators who can list as many as 12 items for sale on a digital carousel below their videos. Merchandising is one of several strategies YouTube is pursuing to diversify revenue for creators beyond ads. CEO Sundar Pichai suggested YouTube’s sea of popular product “unboxing” videos could be turned into a shopping opportunity. The video site is full of other popular categories, such as makeup and cooking tutorials, where creators advertise commercial products on air.

Shopping on YouTube

YouTube has recently started asking creators to use YouTube software to tag and track products featured in their clips. The data will be linked to analytics and shopping tools from their parent company, Google. The company is also testing a new integration with Shopify for selling items through YouTube. This has the potential to transform YouTube from advertising giant into an e-commerce leader such as Amazon.

As we all know, the pandemic has hurt marketing budgets. It has especially hurt the travel and physical retail sectors that are major Google advertisers. On the other hand, e-commerce has boomed as people stay home and order more products online. Amazon, the U.S. e-commerce leader, has seen sales rise, while Google suffered its first ever revenue decline in the second quarter. Facebook and Pinterest recently added shopping features to their sites leaving Google to be the odd one out.

Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys. She is looking forward to adding Shopping as yet another reason to go to You Tube.