E-commerce platform Shopify on Tuesday announced a new partnership with YouTube for content creators to sell their merchandise via the video platform.
Shopify, a website used by millions of merchants across 175 countries, wants to make buying and selling products an easier and more communal experience for a market of over 2 billion monthly logged-in YouTube users.
Through YouTube, merchants can now host livestreams where they can tag and pin product recommendations, upload on-demand videos related to merchandise, and add a store tab to their YouTube page for viewers to refer to at any time.
These developments are meant to enhance consumers’ shopping experiences, Kaz Nejatian, Shopify’s vice president of product, told Fast Company.
One added benefit of Shopify and YouTube’s partnership is the speed and ease of making a purchase.
“It’s kind of like going to a baseball game and in the middle … being able to buy the bat that they’re using,” Nejatian says.
But Nejatian understands that while consumers value efficiency, they also desire community.
“The problem is that so much of what happens on the internet is buying, not shopping. Shopping is a social experience,” Nejatian says, noting that Shopify avoided simply “slapping a checkout on a page” to integrate a YouTuber’s curated profile with their product recommendations. “In many ways, Shopify is like a commerce infrastructure to connect, and our job is to keep the internet interesting and weird and cool.”
The brands people tend to gravitate toward are those to which they feel a connection, Nejatian says. With users already engaged with, and trusting of, the YouTubers they follow, he believes that integrating Shopify onto the platform will facilitate the ability to purchase products from a trusted source.
The collaboration builds on Shopify’s existing partnership with YouTube’s owner, Google.
Nejatian is hopeful about the opportunities this partnership will provide merchants and their brands. He noted that a brand like Kylie Cosmetics likely would not have risen to the prominence that it did without the virality it gained through Instagram.
“Hopefully the ideal merchant has not been created at this point,” he says. “Hopefully what we’re doing is creating a new venue for entrepreneurship in a way that didn’t exist before.”