YouTube has launched a Holiday Streaming and Shop Livestreaming Event as part of its ecommerce ambitions. Clickable content is expected to soon be the norm at Netflix.

YouTube users will be able to sell their own merchandise as well as select brands through the platform. YouTube is often used as a portal to product research and showrooming. Users search YouTube for product recommendations, and then make purchases on other channels like Amazon.

YouTube wants to get in on the action. Bloomberg was informed by David Katz, YouTube’s vice-president for shopping. “YouTube offers a huge shopping opportunity.”

YouTube in iPhone screengrab

Video for sale

YouTube has the potential to become a major shopping destination for Gen Z, with both selling and buying possible through its platform. YouTube asked creators to record the items featured in their footage last year as a first step in building buying features within videos. Bloomberg News first reported that it had begun asking for this information. YouTube hired Bridget Dolan (executive with Sephora) and Katz (an e-commerce veteran to head a new shopping division.

Bloomberg reports that social media platforms are now high-grossing shopping channels. Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook have all transformed into shoppable platforms.

YouTube is able to access huge amounts of data because it has Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Alphabet announced in July that it was beta-testing an integrated shopping experience. This allows viewers to tap into trusted creators’ credibility and knowledge to make informed YouTube purchases. This was available for the first time on video on demand. We’re currently piloting this experience live-streamed with a few brands and creators. You can shop and browse products while you watch a YouTube supported live-stream, so you don’t have to wait for any interruptions.

Social Media Today reports that consumers are more comfortable buying products from social media apps based on the content they see. This is part of Facebook’s wider shopping shift, which will change consumer habits and shift expectations about platforms.

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