YouTube is testing an automated product detection system which will provide viewers with a shoppable list of items alongside videos.
As part of its ongoing experiments to encourage shopping on its platform, YouTube has announced in one of its blogs that it will begin testing the system in the US this week.
The online video sharing platform will detect products featured in a video, then provide a list of products and related products “in between the recommended videos to viewers scrolling below the video player”.
According to YouTube: “The goal is to help people explore more videos and information about those products on YouTube.”
This could have significant implications for both brands and influencers who feature products on the platform giving them a seamless new way of putting their products just a click away from customers.
It will also help YouTube tap in to the affiliate link market, enabling it to charge retailers a commission on all items sold through the new system.
This is the latest push into ecommerce from the video sharing giant, which recently began testing new technology which allows content creators to tag items within their videos, then sell them directly to customers via integrated tools from Google Shopping.
While Google confirmed that this was currently only being tested, it has the potential to transform the world’s largest video sharing platform into a vast interactive marketplace.
This would enable Google to dramatically ramp up its advertising revenues and seriously challenge big retail hitters like Amazon and Alibaba, which it has struggled to contend with in terms of ecommerce until now.