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Google trials ability to shop from YouTube videos on mobile

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Google is trialling a new way to shop from YouTube videos, as it looks to ramp up how video commerce can be made easier.

In the US-based trial, Google is adding a simple shopping basket to the video control panel that lists any products officially in that that video. The user then just clicks on the ones they are interested in to see more information – and more videos – about those products, as well as being given the option to buy them.

For now the trial is only available to select US iOS and Android users and works only with a small group of channel creators, but it paves the way for Google and YouTube to further leverage video commerce – a shopping channel that has grown wildly in 2020’s lockdown. It also helps YouTube keep pace with the video shopping services being run by Pinterest, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The move has piqued the interest of some technologists. Commenting on the move, Marcel Hollerbach, CMO of Productsup, says:  “Joining the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that YouTube is the latest social media platform to make its way into in-app shopping experiences. Video is an increasingly relevant medium for consumers, influencers and brands, and the new initiative could eventually allow consumers to make purchases directly from YouTube videos.”

He adds: “YouTube is a well-known platform with a steady viewership base that caters to thousands of niche interests and hobbies from cooking videos to gaming videos to arts and crafts videos. While TikTok and Instagram host short-form content, YouTube is known for its full, long-form style of videos and even product reviews. This presents a unique opportunity for retailers looking to sell their products on YouTube as this could add an entirely new dimension to e-commerce and even alter how consumers search and learn about products before making a purchase online.”

Hollerbach concludes: “For brands aiming to sell on YouTube, it’s important for them to test what type of product data works best for engaging users on the platform. For example, they should experiment with using product descriptions that match YouTube’s style to help develop a more authentic, personal relationship between the brand and consumer.”

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