With consumers everywhere looking for more convenient ways to shop, platforms all around the globe have been looking for ways to improve their business and shopping tools. In relation to this, YouTube has recently announced that they will soon begin testing various tools that will enable shopping within live-streams. The new feature is being tested in order to expand their eCommerce tools and improve creator monetization.
According to Google:
"As we announced earlier this year, we’ve been beta-testing an integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases on YouTube. This test was first available on videos on demand, and we’re now piloting this experience on live-streams with a handful of creators and brands. So if you’re watching a supported live-stream on YouTube, you can browse and shop products in real time, without interruption."
The live-stream shopping option bears similarities to TikTok’s recent experiment, wherein the app partnered with Walmart in several live shopping broadcasts.
This new shopping option will work wonders for eCommerce and will yield new ways to increase product discovery on YouTube. According to reports, 33% percent of shoppers say that they purchase products that they discovered on YouTube. Moreover, the views and watch times on videos with the word “sale” in the title, have increased by almost 400% in the past year alone. With the high numbers the platform is displaying, it's safe to say that YouTube has limitless potential in terms of product advertisement.
With the interest in product-related content increasing, YouTube has begun testing and developing a number of tools for an improved in-app shopping experience. These tools include eCommerce product listings being displayed underneath videos, as well as new Try-On ads that utilize AR technology. Moreover, the platform has also been rumored to be looking into product tags within video clips, which may eventually be manually added by creators or automatically added by Google’s AI image recognition systems.
YouTube’s automatic image recognition and tagging system is part of a greater initiative which aims to enable the platform’s users and viewers to purchase any items that are featured in video clips, despite being tagged or not.
As a matter of fact, YouTube has already started to make small moves in order to maximize the platform’s potential in terms of business and marketing. Late last year, the platform started inserting videos into non-monetized content. Based on this, it's possible that, through the platform’s AI systems, product tags may be added to multiple, if not all, clips in several videos.
This will take the platform to another level, and will allow its users to become accustomed to purchasing and viewing items within various social apps.
With the changes in shopping and displayed content, it can be expected that user habits and platform trends change in turn.
In response to the growing eCommerce market, YouTube is trying their best to get ahead and reach the next level of eCommerce before any of its competitors. While live-stream shopping isn’t everything, it's certainly a big and important step to building on the platform’s limitless potential. As part of an initial test, YouTube’s live-stream shopping tools will be made available to a few creators.