SOUTH KOREA: YouTube plans to launch its first official shopping channel in South Korea on June 30 to enter the live-streaming e-commerce market, as per reports. This move aims to diversify revenue sources and counter competition from platforms like TikTok.
YouTube’s entry into South Korea’s live-streaming e-commerce market is a test project. The launch could extend beyond the initial 90-day period.
Over 30 Korean-based brands will showcase their products on a shopping channel, primarily handling Korean brands like Baskin-Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts, Cosme, Puma, Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics, as per media reports.
These firms will provide a modern shopping experience through live streaming sessions, showcasing their products and engaging with customers.
Philipp Schindler, Google’s Chief Business Officer, emphasized the potential of YouTube’s retail channel for convenient shopping from creators, brands, and content.
An ideal test ground for the global powerhouse as it concentrates on becoming more shoppable is South Korea, which already has a thriving live-streaming commerce industry driven by digital giant Naver.
YouTube’s vast user base and reach could revolutionize discovery and purchase. Following the announcement, Lotte Shopping’s shares dropped by 3.3%, while Naver’s fell by 4%. This highlights the impact of YouTube’s entry into the industry and its potential threat to established businesses.
The live e-commerce market in South Korea is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, from 2.8 trillion won in 2021 to 10 trillion won in the near future, according to Jingbo Securities industry analysts.
Naver currently controls 60% of the market, but YouTube’s entry is expected to encourage competition and change the business environment.
The impact of the platform’s creative shopping channel on online buying in South Korea and the world remains uncertain, but it could create a new way for businesses and creators to connect with their audiences through the blending of entertainment and commerce.