Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-December from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on the return and dispute processes, fulfillment, personalization, contact center services, and merchant banking.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
WhatsApp introduces Carts. WhatsApp has introduced Carts to facilitate buying and selling on its platform. With Carts, users can find the items they want and tap “add to cart.” Once the cart is complete, users can send it as a message to the business. Carts will make it simpler for businesses to track order inquiries, manage requests from shoppers, and close sales.
Stripe to offer banking services via Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Stripe is teaming up with banks, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, to offer checking accounts and other business-banking services. Processing payments for millions of online businesses and ecommerce platforms, Stripe will soon give its customers the option of insured, interest-bearing bank accounts, debit cards, and other cash-management services. These products are designed for the merchants and vendors that do business with Stripe’s customers. Among the early adopters of Stripe’s new banking services is Shopify, which will start offering Shopify Balance accounts to its merchants early next year.
FedEx to acquire ShopRunner to expand ecommerce capabilities. FedEx Corp has agreed to acquire ShopRunner, a platform that connects brands and merchants with online shoppers. ShopRunner’s capabilities will complement and expand the FedEx ecommerce portfolio. The parties anticipate the acquisition to close by the end of 2019. ShopRunner connects more than 100 brands and merchants to millions of consumers and offers a seamless shopping experience from browsing through delivery.
Walmart streamlines return and dispute processes. Walmart’s marketplace sellers can now initiate disputes directly from the payments dashboard in Seller Center instead of relying on the Seller Help dispute process. Sellers can navigate to Seller Center and navigate to Payments > Analytics & Reports > Search Transactions. Sellers then enter the order number and all the necessary info will automatically populate. The changes are meant to simplify the returns and disputes process for Walmart’s marketplace sellers.
AWS announces five new capabilities for Amazon Connect. Amazon Web Services announced five new capabilities for Amazon Connect, its contact center service, that improve agents’ productivity and end-user experiences. According to Amazon, Connect is easy to use, quick to deploy, and highly scalable to help companies of any size deliver superior customer service at a lower cost. The capabilities announced give agents the right information at the right time, provide more personalized service, help managers impact customer interactions during calls, and make it faster to authenticate customers more securely, according, again, to Amazon.
BigCommerce partners with EPAM for enterprise customers. BigCommerce, an open SaaS ecommerce platform, has announced a partnership with EPAM Systems, a global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services. Through the partnership, BigCommerce merchants will gain access to EPAM’s global expertise in crafting customer-centric experiences across digital touchpoints. EPAM is a founding member of the MACH Alliance, an independent group dedicated to enhancing education, development, and adoption of technology infrastructures through API-first, cloud-native SaaS and headless technology. BigCommerce recently joined the MACH Alliance.
RichRelevance announces Shopify Plus connector. RichRelevance, a player in artificial-intelligence-driven digital personalization, has announced an out-of-the-box integration with Shopify Plus. Merchants can keep product catalogs, inventory, and pricing always updated. Customers get full visibility with 24/7 monitoring and alerts for any errors or breakages.
ShipMonk raises $290 million to help online merchants scale operations. ShipMonk, an ecommerce fulfillment and technology provider, has raised $290 million in growth equity, led by Summit Partners. The financing represents a minority stake in the business and will further accelerate ShipMonk’s rapid growth through continued investment in research and development, hiring, B2B fulfillment, and international expansion. ShipMonk’s inventory management software, automation technology, and multichannel order fulfillment tools are designed to help businesses scale quickly.
Optimove and Dynamic Yield combine multichannel capabilities with real-time personalization. Optimove, a relationship marketing service, and Dynamic Yield, an experience optimization platform, have announced a strategic integration. Marketers can now leverage Optimove’s multichannel orchestration and optimization capabilities with Dynamic Yield’s real-time personalization technology. This allows customers to unify all user data via Optimove and incorporate engagement-level data captured by Dynamic Yield from apps and websites, among other benefits.
Kenco Logistics launches ecommerce platform. Kenco, a third-party logistics provider for North America, has announced the launch of a platform to connect Kenco’s ecommerce customers with sales channels and supply chain partners. The platform has over 200 pre-built integrations that will help brands boost their speed to market while reducing costs. These integrations include industry leaders such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Amazon, and more. The platform also includes open APIs that can connect to virtually any system within the ecommerce space.
Sitecore launches Experience Edge. Sitecore, a player in digital experience management software, has announced Sitecore Experience Edge, a new SaaS-based platform for headless content delivery at scale to any customer touchpoint. According to Sitecore, Experience Edge meets the needs of marketers and developers by providing flexible options to create digital experiences for shoppers. The first release, available in early 2021, will be headless content delivery, giving brands the ability to publish content to whatever device or channel they want, from watches and phones to tablets and voice-controlled devices.