Social commerce isn’t just about selling physical products.
Last week, YouTube expanded its relationship with creator commerce platform Spring to allow creators to sell digital and downloadable products directly from their videos.
The expanded partnership reflects a cultural shift in the industry, as more creators launch digital products such as fitness guides, financial apps, photography presets and educational materials, as opposed to selling physical products. On Spring, digital products sold have increased 140% in the past six months even before the integration with YouTube, as tokens such as NFTs make it easier to transact on such items.
Spring, previously known as Teespring, allows creators to integrate their products on YouTube videos and other social posts.
“We retooled our product in line with what creators were asking for,” said Chris Lamongtane, CEO of Spring. “Digital products are one of the fastest growing categories we've ever had on our platform.”
YouTube first partnered with Spring back in 2018 to help creators sell physical merchandise on the platform. The transition to digital products helps democratize the ability to sell for all creators — with a large or small following, said Les Green, VP of marketing at Spring.
“The barrier for entry is really low,” he said. “People [may be] in parts of the world where logistics and shipping may be tougher to overcome. Delivering digital products is an easy and straightforward way to engage with fans.”
Creators can link their YouTube channel directly to the Spring platform to create a “store” with all of the products they sell.
“We're seeing creators take that step to not just create content, but also figure out how to sustain themselves from a business perspective,” Lamongtane said.
While Spring understands that creators live on many platforms, its main focus is scaling on YouTube where there is a large creator population.