Over time, YouTube has become a place for all sorts of advertisements and product reviews. As channels grow, they share their setups with audiences. The platform has also contributed massively to the rise of Amazon’s affiliate program. However, new developments suggest that Google might develop its popular video hosting site into a buzzing online marketplace.
The plan aims to transform YouTube’s catalog of videos into an interface where people can browse, explore and buy products. This will remove the step where people need to use a third-party website to explore and buy a product they found on YouTube. For its experiments, Google is working on integrating Shopify with the site.
What is Google doing with YouTube?
Recently, some YouTube creators are asked to use the site’s tools to tag and track the goods showcased in their videos. Later, this data will be shared with Google’s analytics and shopping tools. Google will use the data as part of its experiments on YouTube’s potential as an eCommerce alternative.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the experiment. The creators will exercise full control over the products that feature on their channel. The setting is currently under testing with a small number of channels. However, the company has refused to share any further details about the process.
This will involve Google integrating YouTube with Shopify. Based on Google’s test from last year, creators might be able to list up to twelve items for sale. This aims to add new sources of revenue for creators apart from the ads.
If successful, this model can take YouTube to a level where it directly competes with the likes of Amazon and Walmart. While the two established eCommerce giants have attempted exploring shop-able videos, they have never obtained success. Hence, it remains to be seen if YouTube can do what others failed at accomplishing.