Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Shopify partners YouTube to scale creator economy

Shopify and YouTube have joined forces to give merchants and creators a new way to connect to consumers, build their businesses, and share their stories. With the launch of YouTube Shopping on Shopify, merchants can integrate their online store with one of the world’s biggest entertainment platforms – reaching over 2 billion monthly logged-in users.

The creator economy is booming and the bridge from content to commerce is getting shorter all the time. A movement of 50 million+ independent entrepreneurs, content creators, community builders and curators using social platforms to sell products and grow businesses. The creator economy is estimated to be worth $104.2 billion globally. Shopify’s partnership with YouTube will expand the opportunity for independent brands in the creator economy, providing new ways for creators and merchants to

Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, Shopify EMEA comments: “YouTube has been integral in building the creator economy over the past decade, and Shopify has helped millions of merchants quickly start, run, grow, and manage storefronts. 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.”meaningfully connect with their communities.

Mushroom farmers like GroCycle, football fan channels like The United Stand and fitness influencers like TeamRICHEY are among the UK YouTube creators are already tapping into live shopping through YouTube. 

Mark Goldbridge, presenter for The United Stand, which has amassed a community of over a million football fans, commened: “Ever since we started The United Stand seven years ago the most important thing to us has been our community and one of the best ways for our community to show their support and add an extra layer to their involvement with our channels is by purchasing and gifting the merchandise we sell through Shopify.

“Being a supporter of a channel like the United Stand means the world to us so that is why we are so grateful for every one of our amazing fans that buy a piece of merchandise from us as not only does it allow us to deepen the connection we have with our viewers but it also allows us to provide even great levels of content though the financial support it offer the channel.”

Shopify merchants can sell their full range of products on YouTube in three ways: YouTube Live lets merchants tag and pin products at key points during a livestream, and picture-in-picture playback means consumers can watch while they check out; On-demand videos allow merchants to show a curated list of products in a product shelf below on-demand videos; Store tab adds a new tab to a merchant’s YouTube channel, featuring their entire selection of products.

Because Shopify acts as a merchant’s retail operating system, product details including names, images, pricing, and shipping are kept up-to-date across channels. If a product sells out, it’s automatically removed from YouTube. Merchants can track performance of live and on-demand videos directly from their Shopify admin, with a full view of multichannel sales.

“For years, creators have built businesses around their YouTube content, often extending their entrepreneurship into building their own brands, but it hasn’t been as seamless to reach their audience with these products directly on YouTube,” said David Katz, VP of Shopping Product at YouTube. “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.” 

Paul Rogers, Managing Director at Ecommerce Consultancy Vervaunt, said: “The level of adoption in other countries shows there is a huge interest from consumers in shopping video content, which in my opinion makes Live Shopping and Social Commerce in general a very promising new channel for ecommerce. Live Shopping connects merchants to consumers in a novel way and helps foster a relationship. We’re looking forward to seeing how UK merchants will use this new opportunity for their future success.”

Youtube Shopping builds on the existing foundation of Shopify’s partnership with Google as they extend their commerce collaboration. YouTube Shopping is available now to Shopify merchants globally.