Stay in the loop with the latest developments in e-commerce and omnichannel businesses. This roundup highlights a range of updates, from advancements in generative AI assistants, inventory management solutions, and live streaming capabilities to marketplace enhancements and international shipping innovations.
We intend to maintain this post as a regularly updated resource.
eBay Canada prolongs special rates for U.S.-bound shipping: In a collaborative effort in 2023, eBay and Canada Post introduced discounted rates for the Tracked Packet USA service, facilitating affordable, tracked shipping from Canadian sellers to U.S. buyers. The promotion, initially temporary, now extends until March 31, 2024. eBay sellers can continue to benefit from these reduced rates by utilizing eBay Labels for their shipping needs.
Bonanza marketplace introduces website builder Vercado: Vercado is a groundbreaking website builder and business hub. Seamlessly sell on Bonanza, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon while efficiently managing orders from one central location. Compare shipping rates with top carriers like FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Vercado offers integrated financials, limitless digital storage, and robust analytics for a streamlined and innovative entrepreneurial experience.
Duality AI aligns with the Amazon Web Services Partner Network (APN): As a pioneering digital simulation company, Duality AI enters APN to expand the reach of its spatial simulation tools. Falcon, the innovative twin simulation platform, enables organizations to construct intricate digital twin scenarios, simulating them to generate valuable synthetic data. APN serves as a global community of AWS Partners, utilizing programs, expertise, and resources to develop, market, and sell cutting-edge customer offerings.
Onbe and CardCash debut a groundbreaking instant-payout marketplace: The collaboration between Onbe, a corporate payout platform, and CardCash, a leading online marketplace for unused gift cards, introduces a seamless process for instant payouts via virtual Mastercard cards. This innovative partnership empowers consumers to transform unwanted gift cards into immediate spending power, valid with the 37 million merchants worldwide accepting Mastercard.
Visa pioneers a Web3 loyalty program, redefining consumer engagement for brands: This innovative value-added service is designed to captivate next-generation customers in the digital and virtual realms through immersive initiatives like gamified giveaways, augmented reality treasure hunts, and inventive loyalty point systems. The program, powered by SmartMedia Technologies, acts as an enterprise platform and seamlessly connects Web2 and Web3 innovations. Brands can tailor this platform to craft curated experiences and exclusive offers, ushering in a new era of interactive and personalized consumer interactions.
OpenAI is set to unveil an online store for personalized versions of ChatGPT: Empowering users, OpenAI announced the ability to build GPTs, customized iterations of ChatGPT, without coding at its developer conference in November. This initiative allows users to effortlessly craft chatbots, whether for teaching math or concocting cocktail recipes, opening up a realm of creative possibilities.
Ex.co unveils vertical video players tailored for publishers’ websites: The video technology platform has introduced a mobile-optimized vertical video player, along with a desktop version, designed to provide an optimal viewing experience. With a 10:16 aspect ratio mirroring social platforms, Ex.co’s player supports seamless navigation through videos using familiar swiping-gesture controls.
MarketGap upgrades its Amazon FBA calculator for sellers with AI-driven precision: The enhanced tool estimates potential profits, factoring in key elements like FBA fees, sales volume, commodities, and shipping costs, providing sellers with a more accurate and comprehensive tool for decision-making on the Amazon platform.
Perplexity AI, an AI-powered search engine startup, secures an impressive $73.6 million in Series B funding: The round was led by IVP, with continued backing from seed and Series A investors like NEA, Elad Gil, Nat Friedman, and Databricks. New investors include notable names such as Nvidia, Jeff Bezos, Tobi Lutke, and Bessemer Venture Partners. This funding round brings Perplexity AI’s total raised capital to $100 million.
Amazon unveils the integration of Buy with Prime with Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Integration enables Salesforce merchants to enhance their shopping experience. With Buy with Prime for Salesforce, shoppers can easily search and filter for Prime-eligible items. The integration empowers Salesforce merchants to provide Prime benefits, such as free delivery and 24/7 live chat support. Initially, Buy with Prime for Salesforce is rolling out as an invitation-only feature for selected Salesforce merchants.
Shopify and Manhattan Associates are collaborating to create an enterprise order management solution: The joint platform will include Manhattan’s post-purchase customer service tools for a comprehensive approach to order management and customer support.
X partners with Shopify for in-stream product promotion: X has announced a deal with Shopify that offers merchants more advertising opportunities on the social platform. According to a post on the X Business account, the partnership will enable “all Shopify merchants to reach even more customers by leveraging the power of X.
Rokt, the post-purchase ecommerce ad platform, is set to acquire AfterSell: AfterSell is a Shopify upsell and cross-sell provider. This move aims to broaden Rokt’s client base to over 20,000 SMB merchants. The transaction is anticipated to be completed by February 1, 2024.
Vencru, accounting and inventory management software, announces its integration with Shopify: Vencru will streamline accounting processes for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). This integration simplifies and automates tasks for Shopify stores, offering features such as multichannel sales tracking, real-time inventory management, financial reporting, automatic journal entries, sales tax calculation, and multi-currency support. Vencru aims to provide a seamless and efficient solution for SMBs navigating their accounting and inventory needs on the Shopify platform.
BigCommerce and Marketplacer join forces for multi-vendor marketplaces: In a strategic partnership, BigCommerce, an open SaaS ecommerce provider, collaborates with Marketplacer, a platform for launching and growing marketplaces. This collaboration empowers BigCommerce customers to seamlessly convert their online stores into multi-currency and multi-language marketplaces.
Pitney Bowes and PackageHub collaborate to introduce a no-box, no-label returns drop-off network: This initiative, available at nearly 1,000 U.S. locations, allows seamless returns without the need for packaging or labels. Ecommerce brands currently utilizing Pitney Bowes returns service can immediately leverage this drop-off network without additional integration. This launch enhances the existing network of 30,000 postal locations already offering Pitney Bowes’ convenient no-label returns.
FedEx introduces Fdx, ecommerce logistics platform that links the entire customer journey: Fdx, as announced by FedEx, is designed to assist merchants in making strategic decisions spanning from demand to delivery and returns. This platform enables merchants to connect with high-value customers, share estimated delivery dates and times, track shipments in near real-time, and access detailed carbon emissions data, among other features, fostering a more informed and efficient ecommerce experience.
Walmart and Unity forge a partnership to introduce immersive commerce for physical goods in gaming: The collaboration aims to empower Unity developers by integrating Walmart’s commerce APIs directly into their games and apps. This integration allows creators to seamlessly sell physical items within real-time 3D experiences across over 20 platforms. By bridging the gap between virtual and physical lifestyles, this venture opens up novel avenues for customer engagement and establishes fresh monetization channels within games and experiences developed with Unity.
Mercari, the Japanese consumer-to-consumer ecommerce marketplace, introduce Bitcoin: Bitcoin payments for purchasing community-listed products will start in June. Users will be able to make transactions using Bitcoin, facilitated through Melcoin, Mercari’s Tokyo-based crypto exchange subsidiary. Vendors and sellers will receive payment in local fiat currency, as Mercari plans to convert the Bitcoin in real time through its exchange partner.
Alibaba’s logistics unit, Cainiao, is introducing a grouped delivery service in the U.S.: This new service allows consumers to consolidate multiple purchases, resulting in reduced delivery times, potentially as short as five days. According to Cainiao, the cross-border shipping initiative is primarily targeted at assisting Chinese consumers and students in the U.S. who frequently make purchases on China-based ecommerce sites.
In February 2024, expect more exciting updates in the world of ecommerce and omnichannel commerce. Stay tuned for the latest developments to keep your business ahead of the curve.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates in the world of ecommerce and omnichannel commerce!
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