Google reveals trade-related updates – WWD


Google on Wednesday unveiled new retail efforts, including a beta program for live shopping on YouTube and updates to help retailers reach shoppers looking for deals.

“This test was first available on video-on-demand, and we’re now piloting this experiment on live broadcasts with a handful of creators and brands,” Google wrote on its blog, The Keyword. “So if you watch a supported live stream on YouTube, you can browse and buy products in real time, without interruption. “

The video platform revealed in February that it was beta testing “integrated shopping experiences,” which included purchasable videos. The company touted it as a way for consumers to “tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases straight from YouTube,” he wrote at the time, promising continued expansion until 2021. Last month, he dipped a toe into live shopping with Small Biz Day, a new event that brought together the direct purchases of 20 small businesses.

YouTube’s shopping ambitions have led to partnerships with numerous fashion and beauty brands, as well as technology providers such as Modiface from L’Oréal and Perfect Corp. on virtual trials of beauty products.

The latest announcement follows notably YouTube’s revelation this week that it has acquired Simsim, an India-based social commerce startup, in a confidential deal that some experts say exceeds $ 70 million. . Expectations are high that the acquisition will inform the commercial reach of the company in India. But it’s worth noting that YouTube first launched other features in India, such as YouTube Shorts, before rolling out more widely.

The news comes at a pivotal time for social commerce, as contestants have been busy planning their next act. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok and many more have sought to delve deeper into online shopping trends, including live shopping, augmented reality trials, shopping with friends, and other initiatives.

Whether they can do it successfully or not is not a question: Social commerce will bring in more than $ 36 billion in the United States this year, according to an eMarketer report, which fixes the growth of national commerce sales. social electronics in 2021 at 35.8%. While not as high as the 38.9% growth recorded in 2020, it has managed to keep some momentum from the year fueled by the pandemic.

Social media companies apparently see a cash cow in social media shopping, although this is not without risks of reducing the appeal and authenticity of the same influencers that power these platforms, their popularity and their results. commercial offers.

In essence, if they just become product sellers, it’s hard to imagine that fans will continue to follow, like, and subscribe at the same levels. The fundamental question then becomes, if these platforms become little more than online shopping malls, do they lose the essence of what made them popular in the first place?

As if to answer the question and keep all kinds of content creators engaged and motivated, YouTube this week also revealed a new monetization tool. Now widely available as a beta feature, Super Thanks lets fans cheer – read: tip – to show appreciation for unique uploaded videos ranging from $ 2 to $ 50. This is the fourth method developed by the platform for direct paying creators, beyond the paid monthly subscriptions and the Super Stickers and Super Chat live tip mechanisms.

YouTube, which boasts that its massive user base of over 2 billion people makes up almost a third of the internet, is poised to be Google’s best weapon in the battle to dominate social commerce or video.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the tech giant’s only retail bet. Google also revealed new Google Shopping research and updates on Wednesday targeting bargain shoppers and amplifying seasonal promotions.

A tool highlights offers related to Google searches in a new section of the Google Shopping tab. As the Google Ads team explained on their site, “Today when shoppers browse the results page in the Shopping tab, they will now see a new ‘Offers related to your search’ prompt that highlights the most competitive offers based on the discount. ”Advertising partners can participate by uploading promotions to Google Merchant Center.

Google noted that searches for “discount code” have jumped 50% since last year. And since seasonal shopping naturally tends to spur searches for sales and promotions, it’s natural to extend the concept to include vacations.

This year, shoppers in the United States looking for holiday discounts will see a new carousel appear in their search results. The update will launch in October and will cover “the most popular offers ranked on the web for major retail moments,” the company explained. “This Deals section will become a staple for current and future selling times, such as Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.”

Other updates allow brands to personalize the way people find out about offers or gain new insight into data.

For example, businesses can set public promotions to apply only to new customers, as well as distinguish specific offers for indexing through organic traffic, which is free, versus paid listings. When it comes to reporting, historical best-selling data can help stores understand trends and even forecast demand, while a new data field sheds light on the “relative demand” between products at the same category and from the same country.

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