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Dive Brief:

  • Expanding its social commerce presence, video platform YouTube is partnering with Shopify to allow creators to directly link to their Shopify store on their channels, according to a Tuesday blog post from YouTube’s Vice President of Shopping Product David Katz. 
  • U.S. creators can also enable onsite checkout, allowing consumers to buy from Shopify stores without leaving YouTube, per the blog post.
  • YouTube also said it will continue to expand its existing shopping functionality to Live, Shorts and long-form videos, and will launch a shopping section within the Explore tab next week for the U.S., Brazil and India.

Dive Insight:

Creators and YouTube both benefit by keeping users onsite with the more seamless shopping experience this partnership brings. The company cited a study it conducted with Publicis and TalkShoppe, which found that 89% of viewers think YouTube creators give product recommendations they can trust.

“We know that creators and viewers have a unique relationship and it’s this trust between them that helps inform what viewers ultimately buy,” Katz said in a statement.

Following the news it would partner with Shopify, YouTube released its 2021 U.S. Impact Report featuring an Oxford Economics study about the creator economy. That report estimates that YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed over $25 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2021. It also found that 85% of small- and medium-sized businesses with a YouTube channel agree that the channel helped grow their customer base.

The new Shopify partnership pushes YouTube further into the social commerce arena, but it isn’t the only social platform looking to expand its small business impact. Instagram on Monday launched a new pay-in-chat commerce feature for small businesses, creating another way for users to stay in-app for purchases. It also streamlines a payment option for those who don’t have an Instagram storefront. TikTok launched a six-week small business education program in July to help owners increase sales using the platform. Snapchat also released a feature in May that allows users and eBay business owners to share eBay listings in the app.

With social commerce expected to grow three times as fast as e-commerce and 64% of social media users saying they made a purchase through social media in the last year, according to an Accenture report, it’s no wonder most major platforms are investing more in the space.

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