With many other platforms building out their e-commerce resources, YouTube is jumping into the race with a new e-shopping tool. The popular social media site is expanding its testing for a feature that allows viewers to buy products directly from YouTube livestreams.

The feature was initially designed for on-demand videos only. YouTube has been testing the feature since the beginning of 2021, allowing only a few trusted creators and brands to try out the feature. It seems the testing has been going well, or at least well enough that YouTube is ready to roll out the tool to more creators heading into the latter half of the year.

Making it easier for YouTube creators to sell products

In the past, if YouTubers wanted to sell products in its videos, it needed to do so with affiliate links. The links would need to live in the video’s description or a pop-up element in the video. After clicking the link, you would then be sent to the company’s site to purchase the product. 

Now, the process of buying the product is incorporated directly into YouTube. Viewers can purchase the items shown in the video by selecting the “view products” button that will appear on the video. After selecting the button, people will see a list of all the products featured in the video. Though the feature is still in testing, we’re likely to see it have a wider release soon.

YouTube e-shopping
Image courtesy: YouTube

Expanding its e-commerce tools

Right now, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are incorporating video shopping tools into their user experiences. It’s clear YouTube wants to compete in this market of the industry. After expanding the availability of this tool and just acquiring the Indian video shopping app Simsim, we expect to see the platform roll out more e-commerce tools soon. Its parent company, Google, is also investing in its video shopping features, such as a new section in the Google Shopping tab for deals and sales. With Google’s rising interest in e-commerce tools, YouTube is very likely to incorporate more tools and features shortly.