Shopify is a leader in the ecommerce world when it comes to multichannel selling. The platform offers tools to sync and sell products with sites like Google and Walmart, and you’re able to list or link products on social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
After Shopify’s new feature announcements during Shopify’s Winter ‘23 Edition, we learned the major ecommerce platform has released a feature for selling products on YouTube. In this YouTube Shopping overview, we’ll dig into what’s offered with YouTube Shopping, how to set it up, and what you can expect in terms of pricing (hint: it’s free for just about all Shopify users).
What is YouTube Shopping?
Released in Shopify’s Winter ‘23 Edition, YouTube Shopping is part of the “Sell Across Channels” category of new features from Shopify. This implies that it goes along with the wide range of other multichannel apps you have access to as a Shopify user, including options like Instagram, Walmart, and Facebook (all of which allow syncing with your Shopify store).
YouTube Shopping is another one of those channels, which allows Shopify merchants to sync products from their Shopify stores with a YouTube channel.
You can also sell products by listing them with relevant YouTube videos. Much of the configuration happens through the Shopify dashboard, but you’re still able to utilize YouTube’s powerful videos tools for editing and uploading.
The idea is for merchants to create authentic shopping experiences as opposed to shelling out ads. This way, a merchant might run a live selling show, or feature a tutorial on how to use a product, allowing customers to engage with the video, then make the decision to purchase based on their reaction.
The YouTube Shopping feature enables selling in:
- Live YouTube videos
- Prerecorded YouTube videos
Furthermore, you can list product links in various places on YouTube:
- Right below the video (in its YouTube description)
- Tagged throughout a live stream
- Pinned within the chat section of a video
Overall, YouTube Shopping brings together the most popular video search engine in the world with one of the easiest to use ecommerce platforms. Brands are searching for more organic ways to reach out to their customers, and this integration opens up the potential for flexible product linking, streamlined syncing, and options to minimize the amount of work done on multiple dashboards.
The Best Features from YouTube Shopping
Making videos for YouTube is left entirely up to your creative abilities. Yet, YouTube Shopping provides a comfortable suite of tools for syncing Shopify products with your YouTube channel, listing product links in the comments, and running live streams while recommending products in the process.
So, you shouldn’t expect YouTube Shopping to make editing a video, or setting filters, easier for you. But it’s the essential system you need to help monetize videos. In short, all that work that goes into brand videos now has a more fruitful purpose.
In this section, we’ll dive into some of the best features you receive after installing YouTube Shopping (through the Google app in Shopify).
Live Shopping Experiences in YouTube Shopping
The best possible shopping experience is one that makes customers feel lively, connected with the brand, and excited about purchasing. In short, it’s best to make shopping fun, as opposed to a tedious process, or one where there’s little human or interactive element. Unfortunately, online stores often feel just like that: robotic. Many customers are okay with that, but others see shopping as more of a hobby. You’ll even find that many shoppers want to learn about products, see them in action, long before hitting the Buy button.
That’s where YouTube Shopping comes in with its features for creating and running live shopping experiences. Essentially, the app allows you to generate live videos through YouTube and host a gathering for people to discuss the items, ask questions, and learn more.
The best part about streaming live is that you can share product links through the description or chat box. There’s even a picture-in-picture element that allows users to continue watching the live stream as they go shop on your website.
As we’ll explain in the section below, all products from your Shopify store sync with Shopify. This way, you can share the most updated versions of the items without wondering whether or not you need to change the pricing or description.
A setup like this helps you run your very own shopping network. Bring on guests to elaborate on products, run free tutorials where you use the products, or produce videos whenever you have a new line of products to announce.
Much like everything in Shopify, the sales you accumulate directly from YouTube Shopping appear on the Shopify dashboard.
There’s no need to go to YouTube to figure out which customers may have clicked through to make purchases. This feature also eliminates the need for constantly checking Google Analytics, since you’re able to view sales channels statistics right from the Shopify dashboard.
You’ll see stats like:
- Net sales over time
These give you an idea of the effectiveness of your YouTube videos, while also helping you improve upon the content. You may find that some videos are receiving all sorts of impressions but no sales. Well, perhaps it’s time to change around your calls to action!
The one-stop tracking from YouTube improves your ability to manage sales data from multiple channels. You can even check video performance directly from the Shopify dashboard.
Control from One Dashboard
Although we’d assume that anyone using YouTube would still go into YouTube to upload and edit videos, a significant portion of the commerce equation gets handled within the Shopify dashboard.
As mentioned previously, you can see everything from video metrics to sales data right from Shopify. Shopify also automatically syncs all product details with YouTube, leaving you to managing live shows instead of jumping back and forth from one dashboard to the next.
We also enjoy that the Google/YouTube functionality in Shopify lets you start those video making processes within Shopify. You can, for example, run a live-streaming show from Shopify. It actually opens a window to your YouTube page, but it’s all connected back to Shopify, leaving you with one fluid process.
Other than that, all YouTube product management occurs in Shopify. Pick products to feature in certain videos, and make sure you block some of the products from syncing (if there’s no reason to ever pin them in videos). There’s even a manual function to add products to any of your videos; simply go to Monetization > Shopping inside the Shopify dashboard.
Syncing Shopify Products to YouTube
What is product syncing? In Shopify, it entails sending all product page data to an integration, like YouTube.
An ecommerce business might add a product to any one of their YouTube videos, but then wonder if their future product updates get reflected on the YouTube videos. That’s the whole point of the YouTube Shopping tool: elements like prices, stock counts, pictures, and descriptions remain updated, so there’s no need to modify YouTube videos after introducing changes to products.
Say, for instance, you run out of stock of a product. In that case, there’s no need to rush to YouTube to explain to users that it’s entirely sold out. Instead, Shopify makes the change by either removing it completely from the video or providing a “Sold Out” label.
Product syncing maintains the correct item details on YouTube, pulling directly from your store’s catalog.
YouTube Shopping updates:
- Product names
- Product descriptions
- Stock counts and statuses
- Shipping details
- Weights and dimensions
- Product types
- And much more!
Pinning Products to Videos
The simplest way to use YouTube as a Shopify sales channel is to take the videos you currently have and pin products to them.
With products pinned, viewers can:
- Like the video and product
- Subscribe to your channel
- Buy an item by going directly through your website
What’s great about pinning is that you can add items in several places throughout YouTube.
Pin products to:
- The description section below the YouTube video
- In the comments area (especially useful when answering questions about products)
- In the chat module when running live YouTube streams
- To the video itself
How to Get Set Up with YouTube Shopping in Shopify
To activate YouTube Shopping in Shopify, you need:
- An active Shopify account (Basic, Shopify, Advanced, or Plus plans)
- A YouTube/Google account
- Products added to your store with a payment gateway configured
With all that, you can move onto installing the Google app (YouTube is owned by Google) in Shopify. The feature doesn’t come automatically with your Shopify account, but it’s available in the Shopify App Store.
Open your Shopify dashboard. Go to Apps > Add Apps, or navigate directly to the Google App page within the Shopify App Store.
Click the Add App button to begin installing the Google Channel to your store. Remember, you must have previously logged into your Shopify account for the App Store to link the app to your shop.
If you have multiple Shopify accounts, pick the account to which you’d like to install the app. The next page explains details about the integration, with information on what information the app needs to function. For instance, the Google app can access things like your contact information and location.
Click the Add Sales Channel button to continue.
You now have the Google sales channel active on your website. This means you can showcase products on Google for free, reach customers with Google Ads, and manage all products directly through Shopify. And considering this is a YouTube Shopping overview, we’ll mainly talk about how to configure the YouTube Shopping features through the Google app.
Click to Connect Google Account. Again, YouTube is owned by Google, so that’s how you access your YouTube page.
Note: This process automatically creates a Google Merchant Center account for you. You may see a notice that you must verify that you own Shopify site. If that’s the case, navigate to Google Merchant Center and log in with your Google account. Under the Website tab, you’ll see two options for ownership verification: Adding an HTML tag to your website or verifying with Google Tag Manager. Complete one of those to continue the Google setup process in Shopify.
Note 2: Since Google requires a high level of trust to list products on its sites, they require you to have your Shopify account completely set up for the safety of its users. As such, you must add a valid payment method, remove any online store passwords, add a refund policy, add your terms of service, and confirm that you’ve added contact information to the store. That’s all necessary before moving onto the YouTube part.
After that, you must go through the following steps to complete the setup of YouTube Shopping:
- Open the YouTube Shopping section in the Shopify Google app.
- Click Get Started.
- Confirm that your YouTube channel and Shopify store both meet all requirements to sell on YouTube.
- Use the provided drop-down menu to choose your YouTube channel.
- Walk through and confirm all product feed settings.
- Agree to terms and conditions from YouTube.
- Click on the Complete Setup button.
You now have YouTube Shopping configured in Shopify. You’ll see your YouTube channel synced with Shopify by going to the Overview or Settings pages inside the Google sales channel.
YouTube Shopping: What Does it Cost?
YouTube Shopping costs nothing, outside the fact that you must subscribe to one of the following Shopify plans: Basic, Shopify, Advanced, or Plus.
Other than that, the Google app, and the YouTube Shopping features that come with it, are entirely free. You can always, of course, publish Google or YouTube ads (which cost money) through the Google app, but that’s not really related to the YouTube Shopping features we’re talking about.
Our YouTube Shopping Review
In this YouTube Shopping review, we highlighted the basics of how to configure YouTube Shopping in Shopify, and we dove into how it costs nothing to use for merchants with Shopify accounts. In addition, we explained the best features from the YouTube Shopping app, particularly those that help you run interactive live videos with options for customers to purchase products right from your store.
We hope you’re excited about YouTube Shopping in Shopify. The announcement during Shopify’s Winter ‘23 Edition provided a look into where Shopify is going as a platform: we understand that Shopify is assisting businesses to expand globally and sell on multiple channels. With YouTube Shopping, that’s just another channel to find new customers with engaging content.
Please let us know in the comments if you have tried YouTube Shopping in Shopify. Share any thoughts you have about the interface, or if you can think of any questions along the way.
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