YouTube Adds Shopping Features for Products, Virtual Stores

In 2023, viewers watched more than 30 billion hours of shopping-related videos on YouTube, according to the platform, which reports “a 25 percent increase in watch time” for videos that help people shop. The uptick coincided with the introduction of tagging features for creators, and now YouTube is expanding its retail involvement even further by allowing creators to set up storefronts and sell products in-app, as yet another way to monetize the service. The move comes as TikTok seeks to grow TikTok Shop as high as $17.5 billion in the U.S., a tenfold increase.

The shopping updates “allow creators to curate shoppable collections, better plan their shoppable videos, quickly monetize older videos and more,” reports TechCrunch.

The new Shopping Collections is a way for creators to curate products “from their favorite brands — or even their own line,” YouTube explains in a blog post.

“Collections will appear in a creator’s product list, Store tab, and video description,” according to YouTube, noting that at launch, “creators can make Collections on the Studio app on their phone, with the feature coming soon to desktop.”

The Google-owned platform is also launching a new Affiliate Hub inside the YouTube app where creators will find a current list of Shopping partners, commission rates, promo codes, and even be able to request samples from top brands. The Affiliate Hub is designed to make it “easier for Shopping creators to find the information to start planning their next shoppable video,” YouTube says.

And, after 2003’s enabling of bulk tagging of products across videos for affiliate members “on products creators have added to the description,” the video purveyor is adding the feature for “all Shopping creators, so they can tag their own products and merch across their video library.”

Finally, a “Fourthwall” is being added to integrated platforms “to make it easier for creators to create and manage their stories directly in YouTube Studio.”

“PYMNTS Intelligence has found that 43 percent of consumers browse social media to find goods and services,” reports PYMNTS. “YouTube’s longer video format is effective for showcasing products requiring demonstrations, contributing to purchases in categories like appliances, home furnishings and pet products.”

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