Google has launched Shoploop, a site where brands and influencers can create short videos showcasing a product and provide a direct link to buy it. The site, currently only available on mobile web, aims to combine ads, tutorials, reviews and shopping in one platform.
The idea for Shoploop came when Lax Poojary, founder of Google’s experimental workshop Area 120, was riding the New York City subway and saw a woman switching between apps on her phone, Poojary wrote in a Google 120 blog post. Turns out, the woman had seen a social media post about a makeup product, looked up a review for it on YouTube and then had to navigate to an online shop. It occurred to Poojary that this process could be simplified.
As of now, Shoploop’s focus is makeup, skincare, hair and nail products. Scroll through the main page and you’ll see a feed of videos of people demonstrating how to use certain products and sharing their thoughts on them. Each video is available in vertical format only, showing Shoploop is going all-in on vertical mobile video. Underneath each video’s title is the name of the product in the video, along with its brand, price and a link to an online shop. Some accounts seem to belong to influencers while others belong to brands.
Shoploop bills itself as an “entertaining new way to shop online.” Other big sites like Facebook and Instagram have recently made attempts to beef up online shopping features. Instagram is a major destination for beauty influencers. And considering Shoploop’s product focus, it appears the site is trying to appeal to Instagram shoppers. We’ll see if Shoploop proves to be more entertaining and practical -- and if Poojary’s subway snooping ultimately pays off.