Social media has a significant share in the new digital world that is emerging with the developing technologies. The “Digital 2021 Global Overview Report” shared by We Are Social and Hootsuit draws attention to the increasing number of social media users every year. According to the report, there are 4.66 billion internet users worldwide and 4.20 billion of them are active social media users.
As can be deduced from these figures, social media inevitably causes radical behavioral changes in many industries and has a huge impact on customers’ purchasing habits. For this reason, more and more companies and retailers prefer social media as a marketing and communication channel. They quickly adapt to sell their products on these platforms, and they initiate the development and gradual spread of the social commerce system.
Why Are Users Turning to Social Media?
First of all, online shopping is more practical than conventional shopping methods. Given that it is difficult for many people to keep up with the pace of daily life, the idea of shopping online without having to physically go anywhere seems appealing. However, people do not only shop online, but also shape their shopping preferences on online platforms. At this point, social media comes into play.
Social media has become an environment where emotions, thoughts and even preferences are shaped. Of course, it is possible to say that the share of social media celebrities and influencers in this is quite big. With influencers, people have the chance to learn about the opinions of other people who are using a specific product or brand. Moreover, people who are tired of seeing ads everywhere show interest when the person who shares the product is an influencer.
As people shape their shopping preferences through social media, more and more stores that people enjoy are starting to appear on online platforms and the gap between physical store shopping and online shopping is widening. In physical stores, the number of consumers and sales are gradually decreasing. Of course, it did not take long for social media platforms to take action in such a market environment. Being aware of people’s changing shopping preferences, social media platforms continue to try to meet these new demands.
How Do Social Media Platforms Respond?
After the pandemic, sales figures skyrocketed all over the world in purchases made through e-commerce sites and applications. In this period, every social media platform that wanted to get a bigger slice of the cake increased the opportunity for its users to shop on-platform. Especially the shopping features added to Facebook and Instagram turned the platforms into online stores rather than social networks. With tools such as product tagging and swipe up that allow users to shop through the platform, brands now have many options to support their e-commerce activities.
Many people are shopping more and more online now. As expected, shopping-focused add-ons continue to increase on social media platforms this year. According to the latest news, Google is preparing to add a new shopping channel to its family with a brand-new feature.
Shop Directly from YouTube
Google is testing a new feature that will allow users to shop directly from YouTube videos. With this new feature, users will now be able to buy products offered by channels with thousands of followers more easily on YouTube.
The feature is planned to appear as a shopping bag icon in the lower-left corner of the video screen. Through this icon, creators will be able to add specific products to their videos. When users click or tap on the shopping bag icon on the screen, YouTube will display a list of featured items. In addition to checking out more information about the products, users will be able to watch related videos or purchase the items.
Benefits for Creators
There is no doubt that many creators and influencers will benefit from this feature on their YouTube channels in an on-brand way, such as food creators recommending kitchen appliances, or make-up artists giving product lists so that viewers can create a specific look. This means, the new shopping tool will be a brand-new advertisement and income channel for YouTubers. Content creators will be able to place more products on their videos and advertise more with this new shopping button.
When Will It Be Available?
Google has been testing its new feature for YouTube on small groups in the United States for the past few months. Now the number of channels that can use the feature has started to increase gradually. It is thought that this purchasing tool will be available globally after the end of the test phase in the US. However, since there is no official statement regarding this issue, it is not yet known when the feature will be available to the rest of the world.
Do you prefer to shop online or are you one of those who prefer to see and try the products before buying? Are there any other shopping features you’d like to see on social media platforms or are they bothering you? Leave a comment below or contact us on social media and tell us all about what you think!