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.
Shopify and Amazon: Easy ‘Buy with Prime‘ Integration Coming soon: Shopify merchants can offer ‘Buy with Prime’ directly in their checkout process. Thus, Amazon’s upcoming Shopify app will allow U.S.-based sellers using Amazon’s fulfillment to add this feature while keeping control of their brand and data.
Walmart’s Marketplace Evolution: At the ‘Let’s Grow! Marketplace Seller Summit,’ Walmart announced expanded fulfillment options, catering to larger items like canoes and patio sets. Furthermore, they’re also promoting Brand Shops for businesses to create custom pages. Walmart Marketplace now spans Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., with plans to include Chile next year for cross-border sellers.
DHL Express revamps Same Day service: DHL Express has relaunched its international Same Day service in the U.K., catering to customers with urgent delivery needs or items that cannot be sent through the Express network. This service offers customization options, including onboard couriers for hand-carrying items, dedicated vehicles for temperature-sensitive shipments, and specialized transport for dangerous goods.
BoxHero Empowers Businesses with Barcode Innovations: BoxHero, the go-to inventory management solution designed for small and medium-sized enterprises, introduces two game-changing tools. The first is a complimentary online barcode generator, simplifying the creation of 1D and 2D (QR code) labels. The second is an API, facilitating effortless integration with various external programs and platforms, including seamless point-of-sale connections with Shopify, WooCommerce, Square, Clover, and a host of other options.
CommentSold’s Shopify Integration: CommentSold, a live-selling platform for fashion apparel, has unveiled Videeo for Shopify. This feature enables Shopify merchants to live stream directly on their websites and social media channels, with multi-casting and transaction capabilities on Facebook and Instagram. Consequently, multiple-source video streaming allows guest hosts to take over live shows from any location without additional installations. Users can engage with customers through guest appearances, live reviews, and a consolidated chat feed.
Bloomreach Teams Up with TikTok: Bloomreach, the ecommerce experience platform, has forged a strategic partnership with TikTok. This collaboration empowers marketers to seamlessly integrate TikTok ads into the Bloomreach engagement ecosystem. By harnessing real-time customer data, advanced audience targeting, and precise segmentation, marketers can effectively reach and engage high-value audiences with tailored advertisements. This integration adds to Bloomreach’s existing partnerships with Snapchat, Facebook, and Google.
Royal Mail and Etsy Simplify Shipping: In the UK, Etsy sellers can now utilize Royal Mail for hassle-free shipping label printing. When UK-based merchants purchase domestic shipping labels on Etsy’s desktop or mobile web versions, they can present the label’s QR code at any Royal Mail post office for complimentary label printing. Please note that QR codes are not available through the Etsy Seller app. To access this service, sellers must be based in the UK and accept either Etsy Payments or PayPal.
eBay’s ‘Magical’ Listing Tool Upgrade: eBay has introduced an enhanced version of its image-based listing tool, allowing sellers to capture or upload photos within the eBay app (available on iOS only) and watch as AI automatically populates item details. This AI-driven feature generates titles, descriptions, and vital information like product release dates, detailed categories, and sub-categories, and even suggests listing prices and shipping costs.
Epson’s Colorful Shipping Labels: Epson has introduced Label Boost software, enabling businesses to transform black-and-white shipping labels into colorful and engaging messages. With Label Boost for Epson ColorWorks printers, companies can add full-color coupons, targeted advertisements, and dynamic content to their shipping labels. Furthermore, this versatile tool can also be used to apply secondary labels, such as regulatory or shipping-and-handling labels, or to highlight essential information like parcel counts and expedited shipping details.
HubSpot’s AI-Powered Assistants: HubSpot, a prominent marketing and CRM platform, has unveiled AI-powered assistants for the purpose of assisting teams in content creation, image generation, blog idea generation, website building, and report production. Automated agents, set to launch in early 2024, will eventually enhance customer service across live chat and email. Some AI features, such as AI Insights and ChatSpot, are already available in HubSpot’s suite of AI products.
Unific Simplifies Shopify B2B Transactions: Unific, a HubSpot ecommerce app and Diamond Agency partner, has introduced Quotific CPQ for Shopify B2B merchants. This tool allows businesses to effortlessly create and manage Shopify Draft Orders directly from HubSpot, eliminating the need to switch between platforms. Users can accurately select Shopify products and variants, mirroring their Shopify setup.
Etsy’s ‘Share & Save’ Program: Etsy has rolled out ‘Share & Save,’ a program that rewards sellers for driving traffic to their Etsy shops. Sellers share unique links on external channels to promote their items. When buyers visit an Etsy shop through these links and make a purchase, Etsy takes 4% off the seller’s bill. Participation is free, and all sellers are eligible.
Sprinklr’s Enhanced Customer Experience: Sprinklr, a leading customer experience management platform, has integrated its AI+ platform with Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, offering unified customer experience management. With Google Cloud’s Vertex AI APIs, Sprinklr customers can now access new features across all its product suites, including Sprinklr Service, Sprinklr Social, Sprinklr Marketing, and Sprinklr Insights. This integration allows businesses to use their own models from Vertex AI or create and integrate new ones.
Instacart’s Shopify Integration: Instacart, a grocery technology company, has introduced a Shopify app that empowers emerging consumer packaged goods brands on Shopify to access Instacart Ads. This app enables merchants to track overall sales on Instacart, create an Instacart Ads Manager account, and view high-level ad performance metrics. Once installed within Shopify, the Instacart app allows merchants to establish a free Instacart Ads Manager account.
BigCommerce introduces the B2B Edition Invoice Portal: This new portal streamlines the integration of invoice payments into a centralized purchasing workflow for B2B merchants. According to BigCommerce, this innovative platform enables merchants to pay multiple invoices for both online and offline orders, easily reconcile payments with ERP systems, simplify the invoice payment process, and expedite transaction processing.
Faire and Shopify Join Forces in Wholesale Marketplace: Faire, a B2B marketplace, has announced a global partnership with Shopify. This partnership designates Faire as Shopify’s recommended B2B marketplace and Shopify’s point-of-sale platform as the preferred provider for Faire’s independent in-person and online retail community. Faire and Shopify will introduce new ways for businesses to expand and manage their B2B offerings across both platforms in the coming months.
Shopify Enhances Audiences for Targeted Advertising: The new version of Shopify Audiences, a tool for ad platforms to assist merchant advertisers, helps North American merchants find more customers across major ad platforms, expanding beyond Meta, Google, and Pinterest to include TikTok, Snapchat, and Criteo. Additionally, Shopify has introduced a benchmarking feature for merchants to compare their ad performance with competitors.
Amazon enhances product authenticity tool: Amazon has upgraded its product authenticity tool, Amazon Transparency, to fight counterfeit goods. The tool now integrates with a brand’s product serialization system. When a product is listed on Amazon, the code is verified to ensure only genuine products reach customers. Amazon states that brands can enjoy Transparency’s protective benefits within as little as two weeks after enrollment.
Etsy Prepares for a 5-Week Cyber Sale: Merchants can schedule a sale of 25% off or more between October 23 and November 29 for the chance to have their items featured. Etsy has also published the “Ultimate Guide to Pricing” to assist merchants in preparation. Additionally, merchants can learn how to incorporate trends into their holiday marketing plans by joining Etsy’s trend expert, Dayna Isom-Johnson, and design award winner Candice Luter.
AWS Introduces Innovations in Generative AI: Amazon Bedrock is a managed service offering foundation models from leading AI companies through a single API. These models include Amazon Titan Embeddings and the newly added Llama 2. Amazon CodeWhisperer provides customized, generative AI-powered code suggestions. With Amazon QuickSight, analysts can explore data and create visuals simply by describing their requirements.
Intuit MailChimp Collaborates with Wix for enhanced ecommerce features: This collaboration allows MailChimp users who have a Wix account to seamlessly synchronize and manage their customer data. For creators utilizing the Wix platform, this integration offers increased functionality and user-friendliness. Additionally, agencies and freelancers using Wix Studio will now have the advantage of providing their clients with a comprehensive email marketing suite equipped with robust marketing tools.
GoDaddy Enhances Smart Terminal Features for In-Store Retailers: The updated features include real-time notifications for pickups and deliveries, contactless payment options, reports on recent orders, and expanded integrations with third-party applications. Upcoming additions comprise a visual product catalog, improved product discoverability, smart terminal customization choices, and more.
Uber Expands Package Delivery Services to Include Returns: Uber is extending its package delivery program, Connect, to accommodate returns. With the introduction of the “Return a Package” feature, users can arrange for a courier to pick up prepaid packages, with the capacity to handle up to five packages at once. These packages are then efficiently dropped off at local post offices, UPS, or FedEx locations. Customers can conveniently track their packages in real-time within the Uber app. Upon completion of the drop-off, the courier will furnish a visual confirmation or a photo of the receipt for added assurance.
Meta Introduces Advanced Generative AI for Ads: Meta is rolling out generative AI features in Ads Manager, including background generation, image expansion, and text variations for more appealing and consistent ad content.
Walmart Enhances Shopping with AI: Walmart is using AI to improve the shopping experience. Initiatives include contextual search, voice shopping, and a room design tool that uses generative AI for tailored assistance and recommendations.
Squarespace Expands Earning and Content Tools: Squarespace is rolling out Squarespace Payments in the U.S. (with more markets in 2024), allowing merchants to accept payments directly. They’re also introducing Client Invoicing, Courses for income, AI-driven content tools, and resources for fulfillment, scheduling, and email marketing.
WooCommerce Collaborates with Veem to Expand B2B Payments: Veem, a globally recognized payments provider, has joined forces with WooCommerce to bring their B2B extension to the WooCommerce marketplace. This partnership empowers businesses to seamlessly integrate payment collection into their checkout process without incurring interchange fees, while also streamlining the management of both domestic and international payables.
USPS Announces 2023 Holiday Shipping and Mailing Deadlines: The United States Postal Service (USPS) has released the 2023 holiday shipping and mailing deadlines to ensure deliveries by December 25, covering domestic, international, and military shipping destinations. USPS has further committed not to impose any peak or demand surcharges during the upcoming holiday season.
WooCommerce Unveils Feature-Rich Update: WooCommerce proudly presents its latest update, WooCommerce 8.2.0, which brings notable enhancements to the platform. This update introduces a high-performance order storage system that simplifies the database structure for orders and addresses. Additionally, it offers product collection patterns for customizable product layouts in either a list or grid format, giving online store owners greater flexibility and control.
GoDaddy and Paze Simplify Online Checkouts: GoDaddy has partnered with Paze, a digital wallet provider, to streamline the online checkout process for small businesses. Paze users can conveniently make payments without the need for manual card entry or creating new usernames and passwords. Small businesses using GoDaddy Payments in their GoDaddy store can now seamlessly accept Paze transactions. Paze is currently available as a pilot on GoDaddy’s platform, with a full-scale launch on the horizon.
Perfect Corp. and Walmart Introduce AR-Powered Makeup Virtual Try-On: Perfect Corp., a leading provider of artificial intelligence and augmented reality beauty and fashion technology, has joined forces with Walmart to introduce a makeup virtual try-on experience within the Walmart iOS app. This collaborative effort will enable Walmart shoppers to virtually try makeup products in categories such as blush, lip color, eye shadow, and bronzer. This immersive experience offers users the opportunity to experiment with different makeup products, enhancing the online shopping experience.
Meta Enhances Reels Ads: Meta introduces new ad features for Reels to boost user engagement, including text, template, and music optimizations. Advertisers can now use the Advantage+ Creative Suite in Ads Manager to create compelling reels effortlessly. Collection ads display one primary video or image with smaller images for in-depth product exploration. Multi-Destination Calls-to-Action in Reels Carousel ads guide users to various destinations.
FedEx Enhances Automated Ecommerce for Indian Merchants: FedEx Express has upgraded its ecommerce solutions within FedEx Ship Manager for Indian small businesses. This enables them to automatically download order information, create and print labels with a single click, and sync with electronic trade documents. These features seamlessly integrate with platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and PrestaShop.
Amazon has unveiled a new feature called Consult-a-Friend. It offers a social shopping experience on their mobile app. With this feature, you can request, view, and manage your friends’ opinions on products within the Amazon shopping app. To use it, select the product you want your friend’s input on, click the “Share” button, and choose your preferred messaging app and recipients. Once your friends respond, you can see their overall thoughts and read their comments.
Shopify has launched Mobile Checkout SDKs for both iOS and Android: These SDKs empower app developers to create customized checkout experiences. According to Shopify, these SDKs provide a complete checkout solution that preserves a merchant’s customizations and business rules, including the user interface elements encoded in the presentation layer. The iOS checkout SDK is available as a developer preview, with the Android SDK set to be released soon.
Coalition for Trusted Reviews by Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot: Top companies have joined forces to establish the Coalition for Trusted Reviews. This coalition aims to protect access to reliable consumer reviews and will engage in several key areas to prevent fraudulent content. Members will set standards for hosting online reviews and share methods for detecting fake reviews.
Klarna, a buy-now, pay-later service, has partnered with Rokt, a provider of post-purchase ecommerce tools: This partnership allows brands to target consumer segments by demographics and location, ensuring that ads are relevant and appealing to shoppers. It also enables Klarna shoppers to access offers from brands like Hulu, HelloFresh, and Adore Me.
Amazon is set to launch drone deliveries to new locations: Italy, the U.K., and new locations in the U.S. by late 2024. The specific cities will be named in the coming months. Drones will be integrated into Amazon’s delivery network and deployed from some same-day delivery sites. In Italy and the U.K., Amazon will integrate drones into some of its fulfillment centers.
Etsy Payments is expanding its reach to sellers in seven new countries: Ukraine, Thailand, India, Japan, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Sellers using Etsy Payments will enjoy benefits such as purchase protection, dedicated support, and centralized financial information. The rollout begins with Ukraine and Thailand, with the remaining countries coming on board by the end of 2023.
PayPal has added a free package tracking feature to its app: The app provides live push notifications when there are changes in delivery status or updates to orders. It also offers a visual tracking feature that allows users to follow packages on a live map. This feature works for purchases made even if PayPal wasn’t used for checkout.
Nosto partners with Shopware: Nostro, a commerce experience platform, and Shopware, an omnichannel commerce platform, have partnered to provide ecommerce brands built on Shopware access to AI-powered personalization and merchandising tools. Core features include a dashboard and analytics, segmentation and insights, catalog explorer, and A/B testing and optimization.
Google introduces AR Beauty Tools: Google is now offering AR beauty features on mobile browsers. Shoppers can try on different hair colors from brands like L’Oreal, with Splat and Revlon coming soon. You can also experiment with the foundation by searching for a product and clicking “try on.”
In November 2023, 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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