19 August 2020
Google’s Area 120, a workshop for experimental products has launched a new mobile web app called Shoploop that lets you discover new products via short and fun videos. I know the term “short video” naturally triggers a common thought and that is “here we go! Yet another TikTok competitor” but, it is certainly not. However, let’s be brutally honest, it is definitely inspired by TikTok and feels more like “Instagram for sellers.”
Google’s Area 120 team has given the classic and boring online shopping a juicier twist, where the promotions of the products are not irksome. In fact, you may want to stick to Shoploop for hours, where you would just watch your favorite influencer’s videos in the loop and get inspired to buy something right away. This way, Shoploop feels more interactive and engaging as well.
You can like, share, and bookmark the videos so as to purchase the shown products later. All Shoploop videos are shorter than 90 seconds and Google touts these videos will show reviews of the products you may want to purchase. Clicking the product will take you straight to the merchant’s website from where you can complete the purchase.
Currently, Shoploop only shows product reviews from Beauty (makeup and skincare) industry but its goal is to provide a platform for every category. Also, if you go to Shoploop’s creator page for filling up the form to become a creator, you would see that the form shows many content categories like Electronics, Art & Crafts, Home & Garden, and Toys & games. And going by the description, you can choose many categories and build content around it. So, the plan is already outlined but it is unknown if the platform is just ready now to accommodate more categories other than Beauty.
Lax Poojary, General Manager, Shooploop says the idea of developing such kind of app comes from the people who follow a specific path to buying products. Like discovering something on a social media app then learning reviews from YouTubers and then heading over to particular online portals in order to finally purchase that researched item. This is indeed a long process and Shoploop cuts your efforts almost into half as you would do everything in one place, from discovering, researching to even buying.
Shoploop is definitely a better place for influencers but at the same time, it raises many questions like if every video added reflects the genuineness of the product or the creators are just getting paid by the brands to advertise the product? In its blog post, Google touts “Information from real, relatable people,” and claims that the product reviews come from “real people who are knowledgeable about the products in a particular area,” but we all know that the reality could be different.
It is already an arguable topic on platforms like YouTube and Instagram where creators promote so many brands. Some just stand by their ethics and some just promote products for the sake of money. And, with Shoploop where affiliate marketing looks to be deep-rooted, these concerns may rise even further.
Google’s Shooploop hits directly on the idea of TikTok for Business where one can sell products in collaboration with several brands via their short and entertaining videos. And, at the same time, it advances the online shopping experience. Let’s see how Shoploop will work from here when more and more influencers from different areas around the world will connect.
Shoploop is currently available as a web app on your mobile devices. So, visit Shoploop.app on your mobile device and check out the experiment.