YouTube is introducing a slew of new store features for creators, including the ability to link storefronts and sell products directly on the platform through a partnership with Shopify.
In a blog post Published today, YouTube says its partnership with Shopify will allow creators to display products on their channels, such as the videos below, during live streams or at the end of videos. Inventory syncs with Shopify so viewers can see if something is out of stock in real time. YouTube is also giving US-based creators the option of on-site checkout, meaning viewers can purchase products directly on the platform without leaving YouTube.
In addition to the Shopify integration, YouTube says it will dedicate a section of its Discover tab to a “shopping destination” that will start showing shopable content to users in the US, Brazil and India starting next week.
YouTube is also advancing livestream shopping and expanding tools for all eligible creators that allow YouTubers to tag products during livestreams. Live shopping is popular in countries like China, and platforms like TikTok, facebook, Pinterest and eBay have introduced similar features in other regions, hoping that live shopping will continue. However, the results may be mixed. Even TikTok — where product recommendations go viral and sell out overnight — is reportedly scaling back the expansion of live shopping in Europe and the US, where adoption is apparently lagging.
YouTube wants to be a place where users find things they want and where they buy them, and these new features are an attempt to make that process smoother. But other platforms also want to participate. For example, Instagram announced this week that shoppers can order products via direct messages with businesses, track their orders, and ask questions in the same thread.