YouTube1 has begun trialling shoppable videos as it seeks to evolve from purely an entertainment destination into an e-commerce platform.
This week it launched “Holiday Stream & Shop” in the US, a week-long livestreaming event where a selection of popular influencers will sell their own merchandise and branded products on the platform. Viewers can interact directly with the creators to ask questions about the products, enjoy exclusive discounts, and browse and checkout without ever leaving the livestream.
Shoppable livestreaming on social media is already big business in China, but has been slower to catch on in America, despite the popularity of cable shows QVC and the Home Shopping Network. Yet, the video-sharing platform is confident there is a market for it, and is using this week’s event as a trial for future experiences.
“We’re going into this with an open mind, and an appetite for learning,” Bridget Dolan, YouTube’s head of shopping partnerships said2. “[YouTube is] inherently a shopping destination, and it always has been from day one. The secret sauce is in the creators that YouTube has that have a deep passion and experience with whatever their category is, so they already organically sell products.”
Thinking of selling on an online marketplace? Your timing couldn’t be better – recent research found they are now the starting point for 44% of all product searches3. This eclipses the 19% of consumers who use search engines.
Inriver4 surveyed 6,000 consumers across the US, the UK and Germany, and found the trend is particularly present amongst those aged 18-24 – up to 52% of consumers in this age bracket use marketplaces as the starting point to search for products.
“Brands can no longer rely on their name alone to seal the deal. Loyalty has shifted and brands need to ensure they’re meeting customer expectations both of the product and in the purchase journey to beat stiff competition on the digital shelf”, said Inriver’s CEO, Thomas Zanzinger5.
Consider yourself a talent in the kitchen? Then you may be intrigued to learn of a new platform which can help you monetize your creations.
Foody6 is a website where culinary whizzes can publish and sell recipes to others. The recipes are initially free for users to access, but they are charged a small fee if they wish to save them to a collection. Foody is launching with over 30 creators including bloggers and Michelin-star chefs, who will be able to push out recipes to fans with QR codes and URLs.
The idea for the company came when co-founder Brenna Stitzel’s culinary school classes were stopped during the pandemic. “People were looking for content, so I started putting out recipes, but I wasn’t satisfied with the tools available,” she said7. “There was not one great software to help food creators of all kinds, from restaurants to authors, to monetize their content and get it out there, nor was there one central place for home chefs to save, share and store their recipes.”
Foody hopes to fill the gap in the market, with plans to integrate with grocery-delivery services in the future, too.
Amazon has announced it will stop accepting UK-issued Visa credit cards from 19 January next year. The retail giant attributed the decision to the high fees the payment processor charges for transactions.
"The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers,” a statement from the company said8. “These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise.”
In response, a spokesperson from Visa9 said they are “disappointed” and hope to “work toward a resolution” with the online marketplace before the restrictions come in10.
Etsy’s elves have been hard at work to ensure it enjoys a bumper holiday sales period.
The online craft marketplace11 has already begun offering early Christmas deals on festive décor and gifts, whilst a new gift finder tool will help customers filter through the site’s almost-100 million items to find the perfect one. The company has also invested heavily in its last-mile customer service, reducing the number of late deliveries in the US by 50% since the beginning of 2021.
“With our product development initiatives, improved user experience and multichannel full funnel marketing campaigns, we believe we will once again make Etsy a meaningfully better place to shop for the holidays,” CEO Joshua Silverman said on a Q3 earnings call12.
Is your e-commerce business ready for the Christmas rush? Check out our dedicated holiday season guide to ensure you’re positioned to cash in on every opportunity.
1 - YouTube
2 - Bridget Dolan, Digital Commerce 360, November 2021
3 - Inriver research, Ecommerce News Europe, November 2021
4 - Inriver
5 - Thomas Zanzinger quote, Ecommerce News Europe, November 2021
6 - Foody
7 - Brenna Stitzel quote, Tech Crunch, November 2021
8 - Amazon statement, The Guardian, November 2021
9 - Visa
10 - Visa statement, The Guardian, November 2021
11 - Etsy
12 - Josh Silverman quote, The Motley Fool, November 2021