Here is a list of recent ecommerce-related product releases and updates for late October. There are updates on online grocery shopping, ecommerce personalization, and multiple product launches from Facebook and Amazon.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
RetailMeNot Launches New Mobile Attribution Capabilities. RetailMeNot announced the release of Mobile Attribution Powered by RetailMeNot, available to retailer and restaurant marketers to more accurately determine return-on-advertising spend via RetailMeNot mobile campaigns. Mobile Attribution Powered by RetailMeNot analyzes user actions within the app along with location data to quantify in-store footfall and attributable and incremental sales. Contact on pricing.
Amazon Prime Launches in China. Amazon has launched Amazon Prime China, a version of its membership service tailored for Chinese consumers. The Chinese version offers shipping services, but not the television, music, and additional benefits of Prime’s program in the U.S. The shipping service costs 388 yuan (approximately $57) a year. The program will reach 82 Chinese cities.
BloomReach Acquires Hippo. BloomReach, a commerce personalization platform, has announced the acquisition of web content management company Hippo. The Hippo digital experience and performance platform is a content management system that helps businesses understand all visitors (anonymous or known) and deliver the right content at the right time. BloomReach and Hippo together will use data science and web data to power personalization that understands content, language, context, and behavior throughout the customer lifecycle.
Zendesk Unveils New Brand Identity and Growing Product Family. Zendesk has launched a redesigned company brand and an expanded product family focused on building better customer relationships. As part of its move beyond customer service, Zendesk also introduced two new products: Zendesk Connect and Zendesk Explore. Zendesk Explore powers analytics and unifies data for all of Zendesk’s products and third-party sources. Zendesk Connect provides customer intelligence so businesses can reach out with relevant and helpful messages. Using Zendesk Connect, businesses can guide customers through new product experiences, provide relevant information to avoid support issues, and recommend related products.
Google’s Click-to-message Ads Bring a New and Easy Way to Talk to Shoppers. Google is introducing click-to-message ads to bring the efficiency and effectiveness of messaging to search ads. By setting up a message extension, advertisers can give shoppers an easy way to text, to start a conversation and continue it whenever is most convenient for them. Tapping on the texting option launches a shopper’s SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the product or service he is interested in.
Chinese Seller on Amazon Plans to Go Public. Hunan Oceanwing E commerce Co. Ltd., parent company of electronic brand Anker, gained approval on Sept. 30 to sell its shares on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations. Founded in 2011, Oceanwing has grown its sales by selling cables and electronic components primarily through Amazon and eBay. The company reported a net profit of 161 million yuan ($23.9 million) in 2015. In 2014, its net profit was 11.97 million yuan ($1.8 million).
eBay Tests ShopBot on Facebook Messenger. eBay is testing a personalized shopping assistant, called ShopBot, on Facebook Messenger. The service will use artificial intelligence to learn about each shopper — by asking questions and through Facebook profiles. After chatting with ShopBot or submitting a photo, shoppers will go to eBay to complete the purchase.
Facebook Launches Marketplace to Buy and Sell Items Locally. Facebook has launched Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy, and sell items with people in your community. Marketplace opens with photos of items that people near you have listed for sale. To find something specific, search at the top and filter your results by location, category, or price. You can also browse what’s available in a variety of categories such as Household, Electronics, and Apparel. Use the built-in location tool to adjust the region you’re looking in, or switch to a different city altogether.
Revel Systems Announces RevelGuard. Revel Systems, an iPad point-of-sale app for brick-and-mortar retail, has announced the launch of RevelGuard, a hardware device that monitors the network health and builds alerts for clients with point-of-sale terminals using Revel. RevelGuard provides clients with a solution that quickly diagnoses issues and notifies the Revel Support team by opening up a ticket on behalf of the client. Support is then able to fix the issue or provide the proper guidelines to do so, keeping businesses running efficiently without travel or in-person maintenance. Contact on pricing.
Facebook Launches Food Ordering. Facebook is rolling out a new feature to let users in the U.S. order food through Facebook pages of restaurants. Users will also be able to get quotes from businesses, buy movie tickets, and schedule appointments at spas and salons. Facebook is also adding a recommendations feature that will let users dialog on things like places to eat.
Ad Agency WPP Buys Triad Retail in Online Push. WPP plc, the world’s largest advertising company, is buying ecommerce specialist Triad Retail Media LLC to expand into online shopping. Triad Retail lets retailers advertise to shoppers on mobile phones and websites. Triad Retail had net revenue of more than $120 million last year and includes Walmart and eBay as clients. London-based WPP has purchased more than two-dozen companies this year.
Amazon to Expand Grocery Business with Brick-and-mortar Locations. In its latest move to expand into groceries, Amazon is planning to build convenience stores and launch curbside pickup locations. The stores will sell perishable goods, including dairy products and meats. While in the stores, shoppers can order items with longer shelf lives for same-day delivery. Only subscribers to Amazon’s Fresh service will have access to the stores.
SLI Systems Delivers Enhanced Search Personalization in Real Time. SLI Systems, a provider of ecommerce solutions and services for mid-to-large online retailers, has launched SLI ESP (Enhanced Search Personalization). The cloud-based software personalizes the shopping experience for both first-time visitors and loyal customers, continuously learning, predicting, and presenting in real time the products customers are most likely to buy. By distinguishing the interests of the user based on behavior to personalize search results and product recommendations, SLI ESP is designed to increase conversion rates, items per purchaser, revenue per purchaser, and more. Contact on pricing.
Yummly App Integrates Amazon Cookware into Its App. Yummly, a smart cooking sidekick app, has announced that all of its recipes will showcase cookware products for consumers to purchase on Amazon. The new feature is now available in its iPhone app, and the integration will soon launch for the Android app. Products displayed in the app will be relevant for each recipe. Yummly receives a high single digit percentage of the sale if the consumers make the purchase.