Google plans to turn YouTube into a major E-commerce Hub

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The goal is to convert the YouTube’s bounties of videos into an enormous catalog of items that viewers can directly peruse on it by just ‘click ON and BUY it’ directly.

San Francisco/Los Angeles: Every Gadget, Toy and good you see on YouTube could soon be for sale online — not on Amazon nor on Flipkart or anyother E-commerce site but right on YouTube itself.

The world’s largest video site ‘YouTube’ recently started survey by asking the creators to use YouTube software to ‘Tag and Track’ products featured in their videos. The data will then be directly linked to analytics and shopping tools from parent Google.

The main motive is to transform YouTube’s bounty of videos into a vast catalog of items where viewers can directly peruse just by ‘click ON and BUY it’ directly from their platform, according to people familiar with the situation. The company is also testing a new integration with Shopify Inc. for selling items through YouTube.

A YouTube spokesperson has confirmed the company is testing these features with a limited number of channels only. Although, creators will have control over the products that are displayed on their channels, the spokesperson said. The company mentioned this as an experiment and declined to share more details.

This moves have the potential to transform YouTube from an Advertising Giant into a new contender for E-commerce leaders such as Amazon.com Inc., Flipkart and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. “YouTube is one of the most least utilized assets,” stated by Andy Ellwood, president of E-commerce startup Basket.

Till now it’s unclear how YouTube will generate revenue from these sales. However, the service has already begun offering subscriptions for creators and takes a cut off 30% to them from those Payments.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has taken multiple stabs at online commerce, with limited success. The company has mostly preferred to sell ads that redirect’s viewers to other digital stores rather than selling products itself.However, this pandemic has hammered marketing budgets particularly in the Travel and physical retail sectors which are majorly Google Advertiser’s. Meanwhile, the E-commerce businesses has boomed as people stay home and order more and more products online this is often what Google left watching from the sidelines as rivals such as Facebook Inc. and its Instagram app has now become the hot-beds of online shopping. Amazon, the U.S based E-commerce Gaint company has seen sales soar, while Google suffered its first ever revenue decline in the second quarter.

A recent RBC Capital survey of marketers revealed ‘social commerce’ as a hot area that’s especially bullish for Facebook and Pinterest Inc., a digital search and scrapbooking company. After, Facebook ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ unveiled an updated Shops feature for retailers in May, the company’s stock jumped damn high by this move taken by Facebook. Google doesn’t want to miss this out.

For months now Google executives have signaled that YouTube will be the central to their E-commerce strategy. On a recent revenue call, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai  suggested YouTube’s sea for popular product ‘unboxing videos’ which can be turned into a shopping opportunity. The video site is full of other popular categories, such as makeup, lifestyle and cooking tutorials where creators tout commercial products on AIR.

The company has also revamped its E-commerce and payments division lately in July. In July, the company has announced a plan to lure merchants directly to Google Shopping, its online storefront which included an integration with Shopify so that sellers could manage their inventory too.

Last year ‘YouTube‘ has already been testing a similar Shopify integration for creators who can list as many as 12 items for sale on a Digital carousel below their videos, according to the company. Merchandising is one of several strategies YouTube and YouTuber’s are pursuing to diversify revenue for creators beyond Ads. This new measures could help YouTube escalate the data it collects from videos to strengthen its Ads business.

Amazon and Walmart Inc. have tinkered with shoppable videos for several years. Thus, far neither retailer has shown much progress in it. In China, though, this business model has been taken off. On Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, influencers use live streamed videos to hawk wares from lipstick to smartphones in real-time to hundreds of Millions of users.

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