It’s no secret that Google has a tight grip on the online shopping market. From its Shopping section in Search, and its large ad network, to numerous product reviews on YouTube, the company has become a staple of online consumerism. And now the company wants to capitalize on its dominance in the market with a new shopping app.
Enter Shoploop, a video shopping platform for discovering, evaluating, and buying products all in one place. It’s basically like a social media platform built around product reviews and affiliate links. Users will be able to save products to check out later, or simply follow creators for more content.
Google says the idea for Shoploop came after its research showed that people often follow a very specific path to buying products. Once they come across something that catches their eye, they’ll often seek reviews from real people on other platforms like YouTube, and then circle back to an online shop to complete the purchase.
So the Big G decided to combine all of these aspects into one unified experience.
That said, the new approach raises some additional questions.
While affiliate linking is already deeply embedded in the review industry, the focus is usually placed on good content — there might be a product promoted in those videos, but the content itself is the product. Shoploop seems to reverse that dynamic, putting the emphasis back on discovering and purchasing products, and leaving the entertainment part of it in the background.
The way I see it, Shoploop is almost like a telemarketing channel for beauty influencers, with a sprinkle of entertainment.
At launch, the app will mainly focus on “categories such as makeup, skincare, hair and nails.” Google is also limiting access solely to content creators, publishers, and online store owners, but if you fit that description you can apply to be an exclusive creator by clicking here.
For the time being, Shoploop seems to be rolling out exclusively to select markets — I couldn’t access it in Amsterdam where I’m based, but that shouldn’t be a problem for US netizens. Ah, it also appears the app works only on mobile for now, so make sure you check it out from your phone.