YouTube Finally Makes Some Videos ‘Shoppable’




By Lauren Indvik
Marketers have long been experimenting with “shoppable” videos, partnering with third-party technology providers to allow viewers to click on, say, a handbag in a music video or a lipstick in a makeup how-to to pull up product information and even make a purchase. Now, Google is releasing a “channel gadget” that brings some of that functionality to YouTube.

Here’s how Google describes it, per a blog post published Wednesday:

“To shorten the path to purchase and translate video views to sales, today we’re introducing a new channel gadget on YouTube that will enable consumer goods brands to connect consumers directly with retailers throughout the entire YouTube experience. This new channel gadget will enable shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing how-to videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices and make a purchase, all with fewer clicks than today.”

Unilever is the first of Google’s clients to get access to the new tech. Its hair care brand, Tresemmé, has already built out a YouTube channel featuring a number of prominent YouTube personalities and other “style setters” in the hair and beauty category. Viewers can now click on the products used in the demo videos for more information and to buy from a selection of retailers. The functionality only appears on brand channel pages — not when videos are embedded on other sites, a Google spokesperson said.

The experience is being powered by Gloto, an “engagement technology company” that has partnered with YouTube in the past to produce interactive mobile apps.

Google says that the new gadget will be made available as a “premium offering” for its consumer good clients, and is asking advertisers to seek out their respective Google representatives to explore the option. Google does not take a cut of sales made through the gadget, a spokesperson for the company said.

Screenshot courtesy of YouTube

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