Since its founding in February 2005, YouTube has gathered billions of users to the platform to discover and share videos. It has also become a platform for brands, creators and users to connect with each other – whether it be through entertainment, popular “how to” videos or product reviews.
With over 5 billion views every single day, YouTube is becoming the latest revenue stream for retailers to advertise and promote their products, along with other forms of social commerce including Meta and TikTok.
YouTube recently announced several new shopping features through their latest integration with Shopify. The partnership will allow eligible creators to link their Shopify store to their YouTube channel, enabling shoppers to complete purchases without having to leave YouTube’s platform.
We spoke with our industry experts at Tinuiti to get their take on the latest integration, what this means for advertisers, and how brands can get started today.
Ready, Set, Shop on YouTube
According to a blog post from YouTube’s Vice President of Shopping Product David Katz:
“To make it easy for creators to keep doing what they do best, we’ve introduced new tools within YouTube Studio’s ‘Shopping’ tab so that creators can easily manage how their products are tagged and appear across their channel. Additionally, all eligible creators can now access live shopping features like the ability to tag products to a live stream directly from the Live Control Room. We’re announcing our partnership with Shopify to enable creators and merchants to easily feature their products across their YouTube channels and content. Now eligible creators can link their Shopify store to their YouTube channel in just a few steps.”
Starting as soon as this week, YouTube will introduce the new shopping destination in the Explore tab that will feature “shoppable relevant content for viewers in the US, Brazil and India, with additional countries to roll out later this year.”
“We also know that creators spend a lot of time building a business and developing their products, so we want to make it even easier for them to connect and manage their stores on YouTube and bring their products directly to their audience”, Katz says.
YouTube and Shopify Integration: How To Get Started
According to the announcement, creators who link their stores can display their products across their channel and benefit from Shopify’s real-time inventory syncing so that viewers are never disappointed to find a product out of stock.
In an effort to promote a seamless shopping experience, creators in the US can manually turn on the onsite checkout so that viewers can complete their purchases without leaving YouTube.
If you are interested in setup, YouTube is encouraging creators to visit the ‘Shopping’ tab in their own YouTube Studio, or find out more about how to connect their Shopify stores here.
How Does YouTube’s Integration With Shopify Impact Google Merchant Center?
According to Courtney O’Donnell, Senior Director, Shoppable Media at Tinuiti this setup bypasses the Google Merchant Center and connects Shopify directly with YouTube.
“Google continues to focus on making YouTube more of a shopping destination. They want to make it easier for merchants to sell their products. As a result, this update is geared more towards creators, less towards the brands and retailers that we work with,” O’Donnell says.
“Many creators have stores with Shopify, but lack the sophistication to set up Google Merchant Center and/or jump through more technical hoops. These creators also do not typically run Shopping or Video Action ads. For brands and retailers that are looking to complement their video with compelling product imagery, we recommend running Video Action Campaigns with Feed.”
How Does YouTube’s Integration With Shopify Impact Influencers?
This integration showcases that YouTube sees and understands the value of Influencers and that they realize these voices can help drive sales.
“The seamless integration with Shopify should only increase the number of conversions we’re seeing as the transition from consideration and information gathering to purchase is so simple – this is very attractive to brands and marketers that work with YouTubers,” Crystal Duncan, Senior Vice President, Head of Partnership Marketing at Tinuiti says.
“On the flip side, this also gives Influencers and Creators another revenue source – this opportunity empowers them to build content relevant to their followers and work with brands that they think their audience would be interested in. It gives more control and power to the Influencers to build their businesses as they see fit.”