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Tips For Creators
June 6, 2024
min read
Aviva Matan

YouTube Shopping vs TikTok Shop: A Deep Dive into Creator Commerce

It is no secret that most people trust creators more than celebrities or even family members when looking for recommendations before buying something. Over the last few years, creator-driven shopping has taken over our feeds. 

Who can forget the hashtag TikTokMadeMeBuyIt? 

A few years ago, this hashtag appeared on the scene and has since gained billions of views on the social media platform. Consumers, especially Gen Z, are more eager than ever to buy products directly on the app. 

As more and more consumers are buying things on social media, brands are investing more and more into these community-focused influencers.

Why is Creator Commerce so successful?

Creator commerce uses the influence of content creators to drive sales and engagement for brands. The appeal of this type of commerce lies in creators' authenticity and the personal connection they establish with their audiences. These elements translate into powerful endorsements that consumers trust. 

The apps are trying to make it easier for viewers to purchase directly from inside their platforms. Shopping features are available across all of the social platforms. Each platform, however, offers different things. 

What is YouTube Shopping and YouTube Shoppable Video?

YouTube has been developing shopping features since 2018 when creators were given the ability to sell their own merchandise. It then expanded in 2022 to allow creators to set up online stores on their channel pages.

YouTube Shopping is a feature that allows creators to put shoppable elements directly into their videos, making it easier for viewers to purchase products featured in the content. When before, users had to scroll down below the video to find the link to purchase a product, new features allow users to buy something by simply clicking on a tag or link within the video or channel page.

Recent YouTube Shopping Updates 

Last month, YouTube rolled out several new shopping features aimed at making shopping on their platform even easier. This update is part of Alphabet’s (YouTube’s parent company) broader strategy to stay competitive in social commerce, especially when up against TikTok’s massive success in generating sales.  

What are YouTube’s new shopping features?

Here's an overview of YouTube's new shopping features:

  1. Shopping Collections: Creators can now make personalized shopping experiences through Shopping Collections. With these collections, they can feature products from their own line as well as those from affiliate brands. By selecting the best products for specific themes or occasions, creators can increase visibility and potentially earn more through their channel. Shopping Collections are accessible through the Studio app on mobile devices and will soon be available on desktop.
  2. Affiliate Hub: Affiliated creators in the U.S. can use the new Affiliate Hub within YouTube Studio to access commission rates, promo codes, partner lists, and even request product samples from top brands. This new centralized hub makes the management of affiliate partnerships much easier for creators, along with offering exclusive promos and offers directly within the platform.
  3. Tagging Feature: Originally introduced for affiliate shopping creators, the bulk tagging feature is now extended to all Shopping creators. This feature allows creators to tag their own products and merchandise across their entire video library efficiently.  Creators can also add timestamps to tagged products to increase their earnings further.
  4. Integration with Fourthwall: YouTube has expanded its list of integrated platforms to include Fourthwall, making it easier for creators to link their online stores directly within YouTube Studio. 

YouTube also recently announced an enhanced partnership with Shopify. This will allow creators and brands to manage orders and retain customer data within Shopify while offering a frictionless shopping journey on YouTube.

The introduction of these shopping features has the potential to rival TikTok in their seamless shopping experience. This not only benefits creators by providing additional revenue streams but also offers brands a more direct way to reach their target audience.

For more information on YouTube shopping, you can visit their support page here

What is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop has become a major player when it comes to shopping on the apps. Launched in November of 2022, it sold about $7 million worth of stuff a day in the U.S. in the beginning, according to The Wall Street Journal. TikTok aims to make as much as $17.5 billion this year alone in the US, according to Bloomberg.

TikTok’s massive success is due in part to the platform's seamless end-to-end user experience, which fosters impulse purchases. This has particularly appealed to Gen Z. Unlike YouTube, where users often consume product comparison videos and may purchase in physical stores, TikTok’s format encourages immediate purchases. They can stay inside the app the entire time when making a purchase. However, YouTube's new shopping features are now rivalling that experience. But TikTok Shop's ability to attract new creators and brands with continuous ad network improvements has also given it an edge.

How can you set-up TikTok Shop?

There are a zillion how-tos out there for creators wanting to set up a TikTok shop. Our suggestion is to head to the source as TikTok offers a great rundown of the process for beginners which you can check out here


How does shopping on Instagram and Facebook compare?

Meta’s social commerce is also not to be sneezed at. Instagram offers shoppable posts, product tags, and an in-app checkout feature, making a pretty good streamlined shopping experience. Shopping on Instagram has captured 71% of likely Gen Z shoppers. Instagram's user base does include a significant number of shoppers, but it lacks the same level of impulsive purchasing behavior seen on TikTok, which seems to resonate more with Gen Z’s preferences for trendy, lower-cost items.

Further, Facebook is taking the lead in sheer numbers. They are expected to have 64.6 million social commerce buyers this year. 

What is the future of Creator Commerce?

Creator commerce is transforming online retail by placing the power of influence directly in the hands of content creators. The success of platforms like TikTok Shop and the evolving capabilities of YouTube Shopping shows the growing importance of this type of shopping experience. 

As platforms like YouTube and TikTok refine their shopping features, the competition will intensify, ultimately creating a boon for both creators and viewers. Consumers want easier ways to make purchases and creators want more ways to make that money.

Looking for creators to grow your brand? Sign up to our platform to discover top creators in our network.

Creators: want to discover how much you should be charging for your channel? Check out our sponsorship calculator here

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