YouTube’s looking to improve its live-stream product listings with a new process for uploading product details that can be scheduled to appear at a set time, as opposed to uploading all of your product info ahead of the actual stream.
As it stands right now, if a creator wants to showcase a product within a live stream, they have to upload the product details before going live, which makes it difficult to maximize interest and excitement for the stream itself.
With this new process, creators will be able to schedule a time, within YouTube Studio, for the product to appear, which will help to feed into this element.
As explained by YouTube:
“With Product Drops, creators will be able to release products for the first time during a livestream, without disclosing them before the drop moment. Creators with connected Shopify stores or direct access to the Google Merchant Center of their connected stores will be able to set up Product Drops on YouTube using the Live Control Room.”
As you can see in the above screenshot, creators will be able to set-up the relevant product details in the YouTube Live Control Room, including the date and time when you want a product listing to go live.
“Viewers will be able to see a mystery product tagged at the product shelf and product list until it gets revealed. As the product gets close to its availability date and time, you’ll see a timer bar under the drop title and description. You’ll be able to pin the product to the chat at or after the drop time.”
It could be a good way to maximize hype, while also getting more people tuning into your live streams, and sticking around for the big reveal.
It’s hard to tell as yet whether live shopping is going to become a bigger deal for western consumers. Live shopping is huge in China, bringing in close to $400 billion in the region in 2022 alone, which is equivalent to almost half of all eCommerce spending in the US last year.
Yet, it hasn’t resonated with western users, with Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok all scaling back their live shopping ambitions of late.
But Pinterest is still pushing ahead, and YouTube has seen some good indicators – and maybe, with the right tools in place, it could still become a thing.
YouTube’s product scheduling option will be available to all YouTube channels that meet its shopping eligibility criteria, while all live-stream viewers in shopping-enabled regions will be able to purchase a product drop from a creator with access.
You can find more details about the setup process in the Google Merchant Center.