YouTube makes e-commerce play with in-video shopping

19 Jul 2022

Image: © Claudio Divizia/

Sellers on Shopify will now be able to connect their online stores with their YouTube channels and sell directly through live and on-demand videos.

Shopify has partnered with YouTube to give merchants new ways to sell their products via video.

The companies have launched YouTube Shopping with the aim of helping merchants and creators connect to consumers and build their businesses.

It includes multiple features for engaging with YouTube users. For example, sellers can tag and pin their products at key points during a livestream video. They can also show a curated list of products on a product shelf below on-demand videos, while a new tab on their channel page will feature their product selection.

A phone screen showing a make-up tutorial on YouTube, with the option to purchase items that have been used in the video.

YouTube Shopping. Image: YouTube

Shopify said the new service will help sellers integrate their online stores with YouTube, getting easier access to the platform’s 2bn monthly logged-in users.

Shopify EMEA MD Shimona Mehta said the video platform has been “integral” in building the creator economy over the past decade.

“By partnering together, we’re accelerating the next evolution of social commerce by giving creators and merchants more ways to sustainably monetise and build successful businesses, while still authentically connecting with their fans and buyers,” Mehta added.

The companies said there are more than 50m independent entrepreneurs, content creators, community builders and curators using social platforms to sell their products.

The new partnership aims to expand the opportunities for independent brands in the growing creator economy. Anyone using YouTube Shopping will be able to track sales from their live and on-demand videos via their Shopify admin.

Shopify said its retail operating system will keep track of product details such as names, images, pricing and shipping, while removing products from YouTube automatically when they’re sold out.

“We’re excited to partner with Shopify to help creators easily bring their stores front and centre for their communities on YouTube, who are increasingly turning to them to shop,” said YouTube VP of product management David Katz.

YouTube rival TikTok expanded in the e-commerce space last year when it launched in-app retail features. This was an extension of the social media platform’s partnership with Shopify, which was first announced in October 2020.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic