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Shopify and YouTube Have Joined Forces! What Does This Mean for Marketing?

The next phase of ecommerce content creation has arrived. YouTube creators will be bringing Shopping to life with the video platform’s latest partnership with ecommerce giant, Shopify. 

So, what’s this all about? And why should you be seriously excited (as both business owners and content creators alike)?

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Marketing Strategist Discussing Shopify x Youtube

We’ve explored the concept of Live Shopping on other platforms, but now, the on-the-fly impulse-purchase characteristic is the latest feature to be integrated into YouTube! It’s just one of the platform’s several tactics to adapt to the ever-changing digital marketing and online business landscape (YouTube Shorts being one of the other main changes).

Shopify’s partnership with YouTube will help scale the creator economy into its next growth phase, with the new feature available for their two billion unique monthly users.

Eligible channels will be able to incorporate sales of their merchandise and products directly to their viewers across videos and live streams. No more “click the link below to buy”, or “use my code on this website” – nope, it’s now as seamless as ever.

YouTube’s influencer marketing just got a whole lot more streamlined.

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR OWN PRODUCTS ACROSS YOUTUBE

There are two lenses from which we can look at the Shopify x YouTube partnership:

  1. A business with its own YouTube channel wanting to promote its product (or similarly a YouTube Creator with their own business) 
  2. A business wanting to partner with unrelated creators in an ambassador or affiliate relationship. 

Let’s look at the former first: the introduction of this shopping feature means creators can now build both their brand and their business in one place. This differs from previous integrations as viewers can shop live directly on YouTube rather than visiting an external link. 

As social commerce is being embraced as a sales channel globally – we discussed this relationship recently with Instagram – social networks can provide an opportunity for creators to forge a community – and once you’ve got a community, it’s MUCH easier to build the brand. 

Youtube’s partnership with Shopify can now capitalise on this engagement, giving businesses and creators more control in marketing their brand straight to their online community. 

It means that the products are brought to front-of-mind without disrupting the user’s viewing or browsing experience. In bygone days, a purchase was a multi-step affair.

Now it’s streamlined. Unichannel. Cohesive. 

As for the latter – the affiliate relationship – think of this as a modern, more efficient version of traditional influencer ambassadors. Once you’ve set up partnerships with either macro or micro YouTube influencers, it’s as simple as connecting their channel to your store. Then it takes care of itself.

Either way, this Shopify integration allows channels to easily sell products directly to viewers in three unique ways: Live streams, on-demand videos, and the new ‘Store’ tab. 

Live streams

Viewers will be able to shop items while they watch live streams, and creators can tag or pin products at key points and within the live chat. Currently, viewers in the US can check out their cart while they watch, but this feature will be rolled out further in the future. Yep, you don’t even have to finish the video to make the purchase. 

 On-Demand Videos

Creators can show a curated list of up to 30 products on a product shelf – an overlay below videos – as well as highlight hero products on end screens. 

Store tab

A new tab will be added to a creator’s YouTube channel: an entire storefront featuring the products they want to promote.

Using YouTube Studio, you can easily organise which products appear on each surface and turn Shopping on and off at any time. 

The launch will be for eligible channels. In Australia, this means you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours, and your channel (obviously) needs to follow YouTube’s policies and guidelines.

MAKE MONEY WITH LIVE SHOPPING ON YOUTUBE

The process of unlocking the Shopping feature and connecting your channel with Shopify isn’t rocket science. Here’s a quick rundown: 

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio and select Monetisation from the left menu. 
  2. Next, click the shopping tab. From here, select ‘connect store’, select Shopify and click continue. 
  3. This opens Shopify in a new tab. Make sure you’re logged into Shopify and follow the prompts to add a sales channel. Next, sign into the Google account that manages your YouTube channel. 
  4. Complete the store requirements and connect your Shopify merch account. 
  5. Google will then verify your identity by sending a text to your mobile. You can then finalise the connection process by syncing your store’s products and agreeing to YouTube’s shopping terms of service. 
  6. YouTube will then review your products for compliance with their policies and Google Merchants. The approval process will be complete in a few business days. 

Once connected, automatic syncing with your Shopify store means that out-of-stocks will be updated on YouTube automatically, so no more disappointing your customers.  

HOW CAN MARKETERS BENEFIT? 

In short, it’s a new, modernised form of influencer marketing.

As more people turn to YouTube to shop from their favourite creators, live Shopping will boost visibility and drive revenue, all without the advertising spend. 

Due to the vast amount of competition in the direct-to-consumer space and the downfall of cookie-ing and tracking people via Facebook (we looked at myth-busting the end of targeted ads) means that the most essential way to survive is going to be building up your brand and brand loyalty to maximise customer lifetime value.

If you’re a creator, your brand’s storytelling is in your own hands. If you’re a business owner, you can reach out to affiliate ambassadors (who share your brands’ values – because authenticity is key) in order to connect with new audiences.

YouTube’s live Shopping makes it easier to take action on a product you see in a video. The relationship creators have with their audience is a unique one, and the best social sellers create unique and exciting ways to let viewers know about new product drops or limited runs without sounding too salesy. 

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Marketing Strategist Discussing Shopify x Youtube

Ready to grow your business? 

Want to learn best sales practices for YouTube live Shopping and learn how your brand can leverage the new-wave partnership? Claim your free business growth plan today (valued at $1,200) and let’s chat.