Here is a list of new product releases and updates from companies offering services to ecommerce and omnichannel merchants. There are updates on loyalty programs, live-selling, generative AI, video players, fraudulent reviews, return shipping, search engines, and virtual goods.
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Product Releases: January 10
Visa launches Web3 loyalty program for brands to engage consumers. Visa has launched its Web3 loyalty engagement program. The new value-added service helps brands engage next-generation customers in digital and virtual worlds through immersive programs such as gamified giveaways, augmented reality treasure hunts, and new ways to earn and burn loyalty points. The new service, powered by SmartMedia Technologies, can provide brands with an enterprise platform that bridges Web2 with Web3 innovation and can be customized to create curated experiences and offers for consumers.
Poshmark offers webinars on hosting Posh Show live-selling events. Poshmark is offering webinars to teach sellers how to host live-selling events called Posh Shows. According to Poshmark, “Intro to Posh Shows” will teach merchants how to go live for the first time and how to utilize the various features to maximize a show. Sellers can bypass the waiting list to become hosts by attending an Intro to Posh Shows webinar. The Zoom-powered webinars will occur on January 10 and 17.
OpenAI to launch online store for custom versions of ChatGPT. OpenAI is launching an online store to let people share custom versions of the company’s ChatGPT chatbot. OpenAI announced at its developer conference in November that users could start building GPTs, its term for custom versions of ChatGPT, without any coding. With this option, users can quickly create chatbots, such as teaching math or creating cocktail recipes.
Ex.co debuts vertical video players for publishers’ websites. Ex.co, a video technology platform for publishers, has launched a vertical video player, optimized for mobile web viewing, along with a desktop version. Ex.co’s player is engineered to play vertical video content with a 10:16 aspect ratio, modeled after the experience on social platforms. The player also includes familiar swiping-gesture controls to navigate between videos.
Factlix uses AI to identify fakes in consumer reviews. Factlix is a just-launched AI-powered technology to identify fraudulent consumer reviews before publication. Factlix says it is based on a decisional AI, identifying and understanding patterns in online content and related cohorts and using the patterns to assess the authenticity of the content in question. Factlix detects fraudulent content generated by humans and machines.
AI-powered search engine Perplexity AI raises $73.6 million. Perplexity AI, a search engine startup, has raised $73.6 million in Series B funding from venture capital firms and prominent tech investor-entrepreneurs. IVP led the round with continued support from seed and Series A investors (including NEA, Elad Gil, Nat Friedman, and Databricks) as well as new investors (including Nvidia, Jeff Bezos, Tobi Lutke, and Bessemer Venture Partners). Perplexity AI has raised $100 million in total.
Pitney Bowes and PackageHub launch no-box, no-label returns drop-off network. Pitney Bowes, a global shipping and mailing company, and PackageHub, a franchise system for retail shipping stores, have launched a returns drop-off network to enable no-box and no-label returns at nearly 1,000 U.S. locations. Ecommerce brands already using Pitney Bowes returns service will have immediate access to the drop-off network, with no additional integration required. The launch augments the existing network of 30,000 postal locations offering Pitney Bowes no-label returns.
Walmart and Unity team up to bring immersive commerce for physical goods to games. Walmart and Unity, a platform for creating real-time 3D content, have announced plans to give Unity developers the ability to integrate Walmart’s commerce APIs directly into their games and apps. The integration enables creators to sell physical items in real-time 3D experiences across 20-plus platforms, unlocking new ways to connect customers’ virtual and physical lifestyles and establishing new monetization channels in games and experiences made with Unity.
Vencru integrates with Shopify to automate accounting for SMBs. Vencru, an all-in-one accounting and inventory management software, has launched its Shopify integration. According to Vencru, the integration helps simplify and automate accounting and inventory management for Shopify stores. Vencru features multichannel sales tracking, real-time inventory management, financial reporting, automatic journal entries, sales tax calculation, multi-currency support, and more.
B2B food company Fresh2 Group acquires cross-border food ecommerce platform, Youfood Group. Fresh2 Group, a B2B ecommerce and supply chain management company for the restaurant and food industry, has agreed to acquire Youfood Group, a B2C cross-border ecommerce food platform. According to Fresh2 Group, the acquisition will connect Asian and South American food resources with customers in North America.
MarketGap enhances its Amazon FBA calculator for sellers. MarketGap, a research tool to help sellers find a market gap on Amazon by estimating product sales, has announced enhancements to its Amazon FBA calculator with more precise, AI-driven calculations. According to MarketGap, its Amazon FBA calculator can estimate prospective profits by considering factors such as FBA fees, sales volume, commodities, and shipping costs.