YouTube and Shopify partnership: what does it mean, and how can you harness shoppable video?

As YouTube and Shopify announce a highly significant integration, we focus on how you can get ahead in a world where commerce meets community. 

If you want to sell eCommerce products, you need to connect with your audience. For some time now, social media has provided the basis for marketing, while eCommerce platforms facilitated sales. But the disconnect between the Like and the Buy Now button is often a few steps too far. 

The idea of in-content shopability changed that – and it’s revolutionising eCommerce. In China and the Far East, the line between influencer and seller has blurred, as Gen Z creators make video content where the viewer need only click on an item in-video to buy it. Indeed, most major innovation in social and live commerce is coming from the highly trend-driven youth culture in the East.  In fact latest research suggests that nearly half Gen Z would rather search on Tik Tok than Google (Google Trends). 

In the West, we’ve been slower to catch on. But as two big hitters of eCommerce and content – Shopify and YouTube – announce a crucial new partnership, it’s clear that shoppable video isn’t just on the around the corner, but at the door. 

So what does it mean? If you imagine CTAs, links, signs and other clickable points on a YouTube video, you’re on the right track. For merchants, this offers up a whole new landscape of influencer marketing opportunities. 

 

The key points of the YouTube-Shopify integration 

The Shopify-YouTube integration: 

  • Makes it easier for merchants to integrate their online store with YouTube – and reach over 2 billion monthly users. 
  • Gives Shopify merchants three ways to sell their products: live streams, store tab and videos 
  • Provides a single touchpoint for merchants and creators selling across multiple channels. 
  • Offers back-end synchronisation with inventory 
  • Creates opportunities to buy products from DTC sites, Shopify vendors or in YouTube itself.  

All in all, it’s a powerful way to connect with consumers, tell brand stories and build your business – and it firmly positions the creator economy at centre stage of the commerce sphere.   

What’s more, it marks a bold move for Google into the world of down-funnel eCommerce. 

As a global agency working from East to West with major eCommerce retailers, we’ve seen the writing on the wall (or the CTA on the video) for a while. Shoppable video is a when, not if. 

Here are five take-homes for your eCommerce business – and how we can help you make your first steps into shoppable video. 

 

Tip #1: Test and learn 

It’s important to take small steps. Before you kick off your shoppable video campaign, be sure to spend some time researching, testing and learning first.  

YouTube is such a great platform because it integrates so easily elsewhere. So think about your audiences, and the different ways you can improve your user journeys through the format. Consider your flagship products, and how they translate on screen. Come up with some great video ideas and think about how you can roll them out. User, market and competitor research is a must. 

Remember – though shoppable video is a hot topic, this is a marathon, not a sprint. We can help you work out a timeline that gives you plenty of time to create great content and release it when it’s most relevant.  

 

Tip #2: Prepare for disruption 

At Reprise Commerce, we think customer Flow is essential. We remove barriers between our clients’ customers and important conversions – giving them a seamless path to purchase from media content and experience.  

Shoppable video is a great example of how marketers and creators have removed friction in the customer journey – and may one day make ubiquitous social media phrases like ‘Link in bio’ redundant.  

But in the short term, shoppable video might be disruptive to your customer Flow. This makes sense – after all, you’ll be inserting a brand-new touchpoint into the sales funnel, and you might not be quite prepared for the impact. We can help you look at the bigger picture and how you can make your shoppable launch as smooth as possible. 

 

Tip #3: Are your products practical? 

Shoppable video isn’t the best option for every kind of product. For example, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) like perishable packaged foods are not overly shoppable online. Similarly, you may struggle to sell clothing via shoppable video because of issues with sizes and returns.  

Whatever your industry, we can help you iron out the right products to sell in-video, and which to keep to more traditional methods. 

 

Tip #4: Make sure your data is ready 

A major limiting factor for your shoppable success is tech integration. Plug and play capabilities are essential to shoppable video. You’ll need to synchronise the back end of your website with your content, as you would with traditional eCommerce. If you don’t have real-time data on stock and inventory, you might end up selling products you don’t have in the warehouse. 

From there, it’s worth considering how to account for your data – and ways you can use it as part of a holistic media strategy.  

 

Tip #5: Embrace AI and VR 

A final tip is to embrace AI and VR technology to help sell your products. Here, you can help people visualise a sofa in their living room, or check out a pair of sunglasses on their face before they buy. Needless to say, a shoppable link here is particularly effective to seal the deal. 

We can help you make the most of this technology for your own products – helping you decide on programmes, products and more before you launch.  

 

What’s next? 

We’re here to help you get on top of shoppable video and get the very best results for your business. And if the format isn’t right for you yet, we can help you prepare to launch further down the line. Get in touch today to create customer Flow for your business. 

Want to know more about the Shopify-YouTube partnership? 

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