YouTube wants to handle all your Christmas shopping with livestreaming
The Future. YouTube is launching its social commerce ambitions with this week’s Holiday and Shop event. With supply chains issues and COVID continuing to complicate in-person shopping, it may actually be the most opportune time for YouTube, its creators, and consumers to take the live-stream shopping plunge.
Shop ‘till you’re out of battery
If those supply chain issues have you hurting for gifts, try YouTube.
- This week, YouTube is hosting a week-long livestream shopping event called Holiday Stream and Shop.
- The event will see social influencers — MrBeast, Merrell Twins, and Gordon Ramsay — sell merch and products directly on their channels, QVC-style.
- Participating brands include Verizon, Samsung, and Walmart.
The event is a kick-off for YouTube’s live-shopping features, as more creators will be given the opportunity to sell products through shoppable video… and throw down a gauntlet at competitors such as Amazon and Instagram.
YouTube said that it will first focus on support for tech and beauty products but will expand into other physical and digital goods in the near future.
While social commerce isn’t huge yet in the U.S., it’s a monster in China (a $352 billion market). Every major tech platform sees the sector as the next great goldmine, especially after Apple’s new privacy tools have crippled advertising revenue.
But how is YouTube going to separate itself from its competitors? Two ways: 1) leveraging its status as the home of the OG internet influencers, and 2) capitalizing on its alliances with Shopify, Square, and parent-company Google, which give the platform the infrastructure and scale to become a market leader.