Shopping within live-streams is being launched initially by YouTube over the forthcoming weeks as part of the ongoing expansion of its creator monetisation and eCommerce tools.

As described by Google ” As we announced earlier this year, we’ve been beta-testing an integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases on YouTube. This test was first available on videos on demand, and we’re now piloting this experience on live-streams with a handful of creators and brands. So if you’re watching a supported live-stream on YouTube, you can browse and shop products in real time, without interruption.”

The new feature will give more options to increase product discovery on YouTube, which is particularly key when you consider that 33% of shoppers say that they have purchased products that they discovered on YouTube. To add to this watch time of shopping videos with “sale” in the title has increased by more than 400% in the past year as due to the pandemic going to the shops has nearly become a thing of the past.

As a result of the pandemic and everyone being locked at home, YouTube has seen a considerable rise in interest in product-related content. In response, YouTube has begun testing eCommerce product listings within video as well as new AR Try-On ads. YouTube is also planning to take a more significant step with product tags within video clips which could be either manually added by creators and in the future automatically detected via Google’s evolving image recognition.

That’s part of a broader conversion of the app into an eCommerce machine, which will enable viewers to purchase any item that they see in a video clip, right there and then when viewing, whether the creator has tagged those items specifically or not.

YouTube is making the new live-stream shopping tools available to a small number of creators as part of this initial test but if all goes well it will be released to the wider community in the not too distant future.