Google will try to turn YouTube into a marketplace

All interesting products that users can see in YouTube videos will soon be available to purchase in a couple of clicks without leaving the video hosting site. Google recently started asking video bloggers to use YouTube software to tag and track products featured in published videos. The data will then be linked to Google’s analytics and shopping tools.


According to people familiar with the matter, the goal is to turn YouTube into a vast interactive catalog of goods that users can purchase without leaving the service. To expand the trading platform’s capabilities, Google is testing integrations with Shopify Inc.

A YouTube spokesman said the company is testing new features on a limited number of channels. He stated that content creators will be able to control the display of purchase links for displayed products. The company calls this an experiment and declines to provide details. However, it is clear that such a move could turn YouTube from an advertising giant into a serious competitor to e-commerce leaders like Amazon and Alibaba. However, it is not yet clear how YouTube will benefit from sales.

Google has attempted to enter the online trading market in the past, but with limited success. The search giant continues to make its main profit from advertising. It is likely that Google’s new intentions are related to the fact that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more purchases began to be made on the Internet. Recent research by marketers at RBC Capital has highlighted “social commerce” as a very promising area where Facebook and Pinterest are particularly successful. Google, apparently, decided to keep up with the competition.

For months, Google executives have made it clear that YouTube will be the centerpiece of the company’s e-commerce strategy. Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted that the slew of popular product unboxing videos can be easily turned into an interactive product catalog with quick shopping options.

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