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Retailers can integrate stores with YouTube as Shopify partnership goes live

YouTube: a new force in V-commerce? (Image: Shutterstock)

YouTube has joined forces with Shopify to launch YouTube Shopping on Shopify, giving merchants and creators a powerful new way to connect to consumers, build businesses and share their stories. 

With the new service, merchants can easily integrate their online store with one of the world’s biggest entertainment platforms – reaching more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users – to meet their consumers, and viewers, where they already are.

Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, Shopify EMEA explains: “YouTube has been integral in building the creator economy over the past decade, and Shopify has helped millions of merchants quickly start, run, grow, and manage storefronts. By partnering together, we’re accelerating the next evolution of social commerce by giving creators and merchants more ways to sustainably monetise and build successful businesses, while still authentically connecting with their fans and buyers.”

The creator economy is booming and the bridge from content to commerce is getting shorter all the time. A movement of 50 million+ independent entrepreneurs, content creators, community builders and curators using social platforms to sell products and grow businesses, the creator economy is estimated to be worth $104.2 billion globally. Shopify’s partnership with YouTube will expand the opportunity for independent brands in the creator economy, providing new ways for creators and merchants to meaningfully connect with their communities. 

From mushroom farmers such as GroCycle, football fan channels like The United Stand and fitness influencers like TeamRICHEY, UK YouTube creators are already tapping into live shopping through YouTube to engage, connect with and sell to their audiences.

Mark Goldbridge, presenter for The United Stand, which has amassed a community of over a million football fans hungry for merchandise to show their football passion, says: “Since we started The United Stand seven years ago the most important thing to us has been our community. One of the best ways for our community to show their support and add an extra layer to their involvement with our channels is by purchasing and gifting the merchandise we sell through Shopify, which has just become a lot easier with this Shopify and YouTube Shopping integration.”

Shopify merchants can sell their full range of products on YouTube in three ways. Firstly, using YouTube Live, Merchants can tag and pin products at key points during a livestream, and picture-in-picture playback means consumers can watch while they check out. Secondly, on-demand videos allow merchants to show a curated list of products in a product shelf below on-demand videos. Finally, Store tab offers a new tab will be added to a merchant’s YouTube channel, featuring their entire selection of products.

Because Shopify acts as a merchant’s retail operating system, product details including names, images, pricing, and shipping are seamlessly kept up-to-date across channels. If a product sells out, it’s automatically removed from YouTube. And merchants can track performance of live and on-demand videos directly from their Shopify admin, with a full view of multichannel sales.

“For years, creators have built businesses around their YouTube content, often extending their entrepreneurship into building their own brands, but it hasn’t been as seamless to reach their audience with these products directly on YouTube,” says David Katz, VP of Shopping Product at YouTube. “We’re excited to partner with Shopify to help creators easily bring their stores front and centre for their communities on YouTube, who are increasingly turning to them to shop.” 

Paul Rogers, Managing Director at Ecommerce Consultancy Vervaunt adds: “The level of adoption in other countries shows there is a huge interest from consumers in shopping video content, which in my opinion makes Live Shopping and Social Commerce in general a very promising new channel for ecommerce. Live Shopping connects merchants to consumers in a novel way and helps foster a relationship. We’re looking forward to seeing how UK merchants will use this new opportunity for their future success.”

Shopify has recently introduced a new era of Connect to Consumer (C2C) commerce. YouTube Shopping is a fast follow to make this vision come to life by offering a direct way for creators and brands to connect to their already active audiences. It builds on the existing foundation of Shopify’s partnership with Google as they extend their commerce collaboration.

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