Here is a list of product releases and updates from mid-August from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on branded mobile apps, headless commerce, small business grants, purchase protection, acquisitions of Amazon sellers, and buy-now-pay-later purchasing.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Wix launches mobile app builder for users. Wix, the SaaS web-builder platform, has announced the launch of Branded App by Wix, a tool for users to create and customize tailor-made apps without having to code. Business owners can customize the app’s icon, layout, and content, including product pages, booking services, forums and groups, chat functions, blogs, push notifications, and more.
Hootsuite acquires conversational AI platform Heyday. Hootsuite has announced its acquisition of Heyday, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence platform that enables brands to deliver personalized 1:1 messaging conversations with shoppers. Heyday offers enterprise-grade customer messaging via chat and video that integrates with ecommerce platforms.
BigCommerce partners with Sezzle for buy-now-pay-later service. BigCommerce, the SaaS ecommerce platform, has partnered with Sezzle for buy-now-pay-later payment plans. BigCommerce merchants can now offer interest-free payment options for consumers, including high-risk borrowers and younger shoppers looking to build credit. With Sezzle natively integrated as a payment gateway in the BigCommerce control panel, merchants can enable the BNPL option with a single click to display a Sezzle widget at checkout. Sezzle then collects 25% of the order price from the consumer at time of purchase, followed by three additional automated 25% installments over six weeks.
eBay launches 2021 “Up & Running Grants” to support small businesses. eBay has extended its Up & Running grants program into another year to help small businesses, committing more than $500,000 annually in funding and education resources to support growth and success on eBay. Now in its second year, the grants program builds on eBay’s long-standing commitment to small businesses and expands the company’s Up & Running initiative to another 50 U.S. business sellers who will receive $10,000 grant packages. eBay is again partnering with business accelerator Hello Alice to launch the program’s application and to provide access to mentorship and resources to all sellers who apply, regardless of whether they are chosen for a grant. To learn more, visit ebay.helloalice.com.
Ecommerce provider Cart.com raises $98 million. Cart.com, a Houston-based ecommerce provider, has completed its third funding round this year, generating $98 million and bringing its total funding to $143 million. The company provides software, services, and infrastructure to help small businesses scale online. Cart.com has acquired seven companies, including AmeriCommerce, Spacecraft Brands, DuMont Project, and Sauceda Industries. It plans to acquire three or four more by year-end. Oak HC/FT Partners led the new round of funding and was joined by PayPal Ventures, Clearco, G9 Ventures, Mercury Fund, Valedor Partners, and Arsenal Growth.
Amazon revamps A-to-Z guarantee. Amazon is extending its A-to-Z guarantee to protect consumers from a defective product sold through Amazon that causes property damage or personal injury, regardless of who sells it. Amazon will directly pay customers for claims under $1,000, which account for more than 80% of cases, at no cost to sellers, and may step in to pay claims for higher amounts if the seller is unresponsive or rejects a claim Amazon believes to be valid. Amazon is also launching Amazon Insurance Accelerator to help sellers buy insurance at competitive rates from trusted providers.
Suma Brands raises $150 million to acquire Amazon marketplace sellers. Suma Brands, a platform for acquiring and scaling businesses that sell on the Amazon marketplace, has closed on a Series A investment led by Pace Capital and Material alongside a credit facility led by i80 Group. Suma Brands, which launched last year, has now raised over $150 million. The company says it will use the newly raised capital to accelerate the pace of acquisitions of Fulfillment by Amazon businesses and expand the diverse portfolio of ecommerce brands. The company will also continue investing in its operating platform for growing acquired brands.
Edgemesh to enable one-click headless performance for ecommerce companies. Edgemesh, an AI site-optimization platform, has announced the launch of Edgemesh Server to enable one-click headless performance for ecommerce websites. Edgemesh says Server provides headless-style deployments without developer effort and makes website backends, such as Shopify, Magento, SAP Hybris, and WordPress, render and deliver more quickly. Edgemesh Server delivers 4-times faster site speed and 10-times faster server response time for an accelerated customer experience. The product also includes user experience extensions, such as A/B testing, personalization, and bot protection.
Square to acquire Afterpay, a buy-now-pay-later provider. Afterpay has agreed to be acquired by Square. The acquisition aims to deliver financial services to more consumers and drive incremental revenue for merchants. Square plans to integrate Afterpay into its existing Seller and Cash App business units, enabling even the smallest merchants to offer BNPL at checkout. The transaction is slated to close in Q1 2022.
FeedbackWhiz expands services to Amazon sellers. FeedbackWhiz has expanded its service into eight global Amazon marketplaces. Merchants can use FeedbackWhiz’s advanced Amazon seller tools to improve customer feedback, monitor listings, automate email campaigns, get more product reviews, and analyze accounting data.