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YouTube Adds New Shopping Display Tools and Affiliate Partnership Opportunities

YouTube has announced some new in-stream shopping tools, as it works to drive more product discovery and purchase activity in the app.

Because if it can get more people shopping from video clips, that will present significant new revenue opportunities, while also providing YouTube creators with expanded monetization potential by leaning into this shift.

First off, YouTube’s adding “Shopping Collections”, which will enable creators to curate products from their favorite brands.

YouTube shopping update

As you can see in this example, with Shopping Collections, YouTube creators will be able to build a display of products that they love, and even include their own products in the display.

That could be a good way to help YouTubers facilitate more direct promotions, on a broader scale, which could help them drive more revenue via their presence in the app.

It’s essentially an expansion of YouTube’s “Product Shelf” which displays affiliate products below your video clips, with this new variation providing a more central destination for the same.

Creators will be able to create their Collections on the Studio app on their phone, with the feature also coming soon to desktop as well. Once created, Shopping Collections will appear in a creator’s product list, Store tab, and video description.

YouTube’s also launching a new Affiliate Hub within the YouTube app, in order to help creators find the latest list of Shopping partners.

YouTube shopping update

As you can see in this example, creators will now be able to scroll through a list of potential affiliate partnerships, which they’ll then be able to apply to, in order to establish new brand partnership deals.

The Affiliate Hub will display offers, commission rates, and promo codes, while creators will also be able to ask for samples to help make their partnership decisions.

The initiative is somewhat similar to the creator marketplace options from Meta and TikTok, providing a more direct linkage between creators and potential brand partners.

YouTube’s also expanding the capacity for shopping creators to tag products across their videos in bulk, based on products that creators have added to a video description.

And finally, YouTube’s also adding Fourthwall to its list of integrated platforms, providing more ways for commerce managers to list their products in the app.  

As noted, it’s the latest in YouTube’s push to make shopping a bigger element of the platform, which thus far hasn’t had a huge impact. Though it is seeing some success.

YouTube says that, in 2023, people watched over 30 billion hours of shopping-related videos in the app, while there was also a 25% increase in watch time for videos that help people shop on YouTube.

In-stream shopping may not have become the transformative trend in Western markets as it has been in some Asian regions, but still, interest is growing, which could present significantly more opportunities for the platforms, and sellers, in future.

Which is why these new additions are important. They may not be game-changers, as such, but they add to this larger in-app shopping push, which, over time, is shifting user behaviors.

And as younger consumers, who are more accustomed to shopping online, grow up into more lucrative spending brackets, that could still grow into a transformational shift. It’s not going to happen all of a sudden, as it seemingly did in China, but the trends show that the in-stream shopping shift is evolving, just a little more gradually than the platforms might have hoped.

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