Reportedly, Google is looking at more options to boost its bottom line, and one of them appears to be shopping links that are tucked under the videos that are uploaded on YouTube. According to The Information, the tech giant is running a test where it displays recommended products along with their prices on its video-sharing platform.
It appears that some test ads have already popped up under Nike videos. Clicking on them would take the viewer to the Google Express marketplace to complete the purchase. According to the report, more and more retailers are joining Express, while earlier in the year, Google began testing shoppable ads in image searches. The firm is said to be banking on these features to help boost its shopping business.
This week, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reported that revenue for physical products such as Home smart speakers and Pixel phones year-over-year, highlighting that there is an opportunity for growth for that area. Meanwhile, the ad business of Amazon is growing, which might be prompting Google to concentrate on other revenue streams since ads are a fundamental source of its income.
Google takes a cut from goods that are sold through Express, even though the revenue pales next to the retail income of Amazon. Last year, Express is said to have pulled in a little under $1 billion, while the retail arm of Amazon generated approximately $141 billion in North America in 2018.
Later this month, Google is scheduled to hold an event that is called Google Marketing Live (at which it has revealed ad products in the past), while the I/O developer conference takes place next week, so we might already have official word regarding the YouTube product ads soon.
YouTube has attempted some similar sales initiatives in the past. In 2019, it allowed creators to add links to their merchandise below their videos, so perhaps that was a precursor to this latest move. However, Google has to carefully tread on the e-commerce front. Antitrust authorities in the European Union fined it $2.7 billion in 2017 for favouring its products in search results.