Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-July from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, live streaming, payments, experience optimization, and augmented reality storefronts.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
WhatsApp introduces new ways to reach a business. WhatsApp has introduced new features to start a chat with a business. Consumers can now scan the QR code a business displays on its storefront, product packaging, or receipt to open a chat with an optional pre-populated message created by the business. With WhatsApp’s messaging tools, businesses can quickly send back information, such as their catalog, to get the conversation going. Also, to make it easier for people to discover products, WhatsApp is making catalogs and individual items available to be shared as links on websites, Facebook, Instagram, and elsewhere.
Instagram tests replacing the Activity tab with a Shop tab. Instagram is replacing the Activity tab with a Shop tab as part of a test with users. Instagram will replace the heart icon on the navigation menu with a shopping bag icon, which leads users to the Instagram Shop section introduced in May. Users who aren’t part of the test can access the new shopping section through Instagram’s Explore area. In the latest version of the Instagram Shop, users will only see products from brands they follow. Products can be filtered by category. Some products can be purchased directly on Instagram, while others will need to be purchased on the retailer’s website.
UPS and Yotpo join forces to offer ecommerce marketing solutions. UPS has selected Yotpo, an ecommerce marketing platform, as a partner of choice for its Customer Technology Program. With Yotpo, qualifying UPS customers can select from a suite of services to build trust and loyalty across digital channels. The UPS CTP program provides Yotpo and other ecommerce offerings at a discount, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to better compete with larger, well-funded companies.
Popshop Live gets $3 million to bring live streaming to shopping. Live-streaming shopping app Popshop Live has raised $3 million in a seed round led by Floodgate and Abstract Ventures. The goal of the funding is to develop a platform that combines social media, ecommerce, and entertainment to help retailers build online communities and grow sales. The investment will be used for hiring, building new features, developing live content, and onboarding new sellers.
BigCommerce expands support for Adyen. BigCommerce has rolled out a new integration with global payments platform Adyen, giving BigCommerce merchants access to an all-in-one payments service. Through this integration, merchants will be able to offer local payment options and alternative payment methods at checkout in over 145 currencies. With Adyen, BigCommerce merchants in Europe and Asia-Pacific can integrate local payment methods into the checkout.
Acquia and Kibo partner to deliver frictionless commerce. Acquia, a digital experience company, and Kibo, a player in cloud commerce, have announced a strategic partnership to provide frictionless commerce to retailers. Together, the two companies will help brands to create headless ecommerce experiences using a unified customer view. The enhanced integration will deliver a holistic solution for brands that want to streamline their ecommerce, customer data, and marketing strategy with open technology, including Kibo’s lightweight native content management system and Acquia’s personalization offering, Lift.
PayCafe announces new partnership with JVZoo. PayCafe, a payment processing services company, has announced a new partnership with JVZoo, an affiliate marketing platform. JVZoo sellers will now be able to access PayCafe’s payment processing tools and resources, such as features that protect merchants from fraud and chargebacks.
Tautachrome ARknet launches MainSt.Shopping for geo-located augmented reality storefronts. Tautachrome has announced the launch of MainSt.Shopping inside the ARknet mobile platform. MainSt provides shoppers and small businesses the power and utility of augmented reality combined with the accuracy of local search using geolocation. Additionally, MainSt provides store owners new to ecommerce easy controls for store pickup, local delivery, and shipping.
Dynamic Yield expands APIs to enable personalization suite beyond the web. Dynamic Yield, an experience optimization platform, has announced the expansion of its eXPerience APIs to provide brands with a greater level of flexibility and control when implementing relevant and consistent digital customer interactions on the server-side. Dynamic Yield also offers flexible implementation options, allowing brands to gradually deploy API-based campaigns alongside those from the client-side, or to run campaigns entirely via API.
Visa kicks off buy-now-pay-later pilots in the U.S. Paying in installments, or having the option to pay in a set number of equal payments at the point-of-sale, is the latest payment service offered by Visa, which is launching pilot programs in the U.S. with partners and clients. Sellers who work with Kibo Commerce will soon be able to offer Visa’s installments by deploying a customized app from Kibo’s marketplace. ChargeAfter, a consumer finance platform, is the first partner to launch Visa installments in the United States. ChargeAfter is also working with CyberSource, Visa’s global payment management platform, to bring installments payment capabilities to CyberSource’s sellers worldwide. These U.S. pilots expand on the recent installments deployment in Russia.