Google aims to turn the YouTube video sharing platform into a major shopping destination to rival US Amazon and Chinese Alibaba.
Bloomberg reported that the platform is testing features that allow viewers to purchase products directly from videos, while some creators are testing tools across YouTube that allow them to differentiate the products featured in the videos.
The data from the videos can then be tracked to see how these products are performing after linking them to Google Analytics and shopping tools.
With the tools, viewers will be able to click on and purchase the products that appear in the videos.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed that the company is testing these features with a limited number of video channels, and the spokesperson said that content makers will control the products offered, and the company described this as an experiment, without sharing further details.
In addition to its tools, Google is said to be testing ways to integrate Shopify – a complete online store provider – into its platform.
YouTube appears to have tested the “Shopify” integration last year, allowing some creators to list as many as 12 items for sale on a digital platform below their videos.
It is unclear how YouTube plans to generate revenue from direct sales, and it appears that content creators will receive a percentage of any sales made through the new initiative, allowing them to diversify revenue other than advertising.
The initiative turns the platform into a major shopping destination, a space that YouTube does not use enough.
It appears that YouTube has considered turning the platform into a major shopping destination for a while, but has not been able to implement it correctly.
Bloomberg says that declining marketing budgets and increasing interest in e-commerce have made the initiative a priority in light of this pandemic.
YouTube is a business with revenues of $ 15 billion annually, so opening it to e-commerce would raise this number to new heights.
The platform is full of creators and content makers who promote products through affiliate links, and it seems that viewers may very soon be able to buy products directly from the platform and get rid of the middleman – Amazon – completely.