YouTube is expanding into e-commerce by hosting a weeklong livestreaming event—Holiday Stream and Shop—where social media influencers will sell their own merchandise and brand name products directly on the platform through shoppable videos and livestreams, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The blending of e-commerce and social media influencers is still developing in the United States, but it is already a booming industry in China. Research firm EMarketer estimates that Chinese social commerce will hit $352 billion this year, almost 10 times larger than the market in the United States.
For its Holiday Stream and Shop event, YouTube is partnering with industry leaders like the Merrell Twins, Gordon Ramsay and MrBeast, and selling items from Verizon, Samsung and Walmart.
Initially, YouTube will limit its shopping service to physical goods within the tech and beauty industry but plans to expand to digital items and possible cryptocurrency.