Here is a list of product releases and updates for late June from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, subscription newsletters, payment solutions, email marketing, live-video shopping, last-mile deliveries, and drop shipping.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Shopify updates Checkout and Storefronts. At its Unite 2021, Shopify announced a new Online Store 2.0, developments for custom storefronts, enhancements to checkout, and more. The Online Store 2.0 upgrade includes a new set of developer features, including sections on all pages to personalize multiple aspects of a store, a new editor experience, and theme app extensions. The Shopify Theme Store will be open for developer submissions on July 15, and Shopify is launching a new default theme, Dawn. Shopify is releasing Hydrogen, a new React framework for developers to build custom storefronts (launching soon), as well as Oxygen, a future hosting platform for custom storefronts on Shopify. And Checkout is introducing Checkout Extensions, allowing developers to securely build apps into Shopify Checkout and Shop Pay. Checkout is also introducing Payments Platform, a way to integrate third-party payment gateways into Shopify Checkout.
Facebook expands Shops. Facebook is making it easier for people to discover and buy from Shops. Soon, it will give businesses in select countries the option to showcase their Shop in WhatsApp. In the U.S., Facebook will enable businesses to bring Shops’ products into Marketplace, helping them reach more than 1 billion people globally who visit each month. Facebook is also expanding ratings and reviews to products in Shops on Instagram, including photos and videos from the community. And Facebook is introducing Shops’ ads that provide unique creative based on people’s shopping preferences.
Introducing GoDaddy Payments for small businesses. GoDaddy has announced the launch of GoDaddy Payments, a new payment service that enables GoDaddy customers, including managed WooCommerce customers, to handle all commerce transactions directly through GoDaddy. GoDaddy Payments is built using the technology and teams acquired from Poynt in December 2020. GoDaddy Payments is part of GoDaddy’s expanding commerce platform that will include in-person payment capabilities for online and offline shopping.
Facebook introduces Bulletin newsletter app. Facebook has launched Bulletin, a standalone newsletter platform for free and paid articles and podcasts. Announcing the platform, Mark Zuckerburg introduced some of the writers that the company has recruited, including Malcolm Gladwell, Erin Andrews, and Mitch Albom. The push into the fast-growing email newsletter field follows self-publishing platform Substack, luring journalists with cash advances, and Twitter’s acquisition of newsletter platform Revue.
PayPal launches Zettle in the U.S. PayPal has announced the launch of PayPal Zettle in the U.S., a point-of-sale service that enables small businesses to sell across in-person and online channels. Zettle can enable small businesses to (i) accept a range of payments with the Zettle card reader, (ii) start selling online, and (iii) manage sales, inventory, reporting, and payments across channels, all in one place. PayPal Zettle will also enable businesses to leverage PayPal’s suite of payment and commerce solutions, from invoicing to PayPal’s Business Debit Mastercard.
Bambuser launches Shopify app for live video shopping. Bambuser has announced the launch of a live-shopping app for Shopify. Developed and launched by Woolman, the largest Shopify Plus agency in Europe, the app can be downloaded directly from the app store. Merchants installing the Live Video Shopping with Bambuser app benefit from automated installation, an embeddable live video player, a user-friendly interface for managing calls-to-action, in-stream purchasing via integration with inventory and Shopify’s native shopping cart, and advanced metrics and reporting on audience engagement, add-to-cart rates, and conversions made through live shopping events.
LambdaTest launches Microsoft Teams app for testing. As remote working proliferates around the world, browser-testing platform LambdaTest has launched a Microsoft Teams app. Anyone using Teams can run live tests to see what their company website looks like across 2,000 desktop browsers and mobile configurations. Once a meeting begins, Teams’ participants can pull LambdaTest into the live call and work collaboratively to initiate quick real-time tests and screenshot tests at a click of a button from inside a conversation.
Loadchief and Velo Payments partner for last-mile deliveries. Velo Payments and Loadchief have announced a partnership to modernize driver payments in the final-mile delivery marketplace. The agreement will offer a flexible and easy-to-use platform for delivery companies to compensate independent drivers. Loadchief connects delivery companies with professional, independent drivers to provide contract delivery services. Velo provides a payments orchestration platform that automates payouts from businesses to their vendors and independent workforces. Working with Velo, Loadchief customers can utilize a range of payment options that meet their needs and the needs of the drivers.
Venmo monetizes platform for merchants. As of July 20, Venmo, the payments app owned by PayPal, will allow users to sell products and services on their personal accounts for a fee. Under the app’s previous rules, users were prohibited from receiving money for business transactions through personal Venmo profiles. Users suspected of violating the policy could have their accounts suspended. With the latest changes, merchants using personal profiles for commercial transactions will be charged the same 1.9% plus 10-cent fee as those with business profiles.
BigCommerce and PayPal release report on consumer spending habits post-Covid. How and where people buy products evolved significantly during the pandemic, creating new opportunities for retailers to use new channels, fulfillment strategies, and payment options, according to the results of a new survey out from BigCommerce and PayPal. While most of the 3,000 consumers surveyed said they still prefer in-person shopping, 62.5% of respondents reported doing most of their purchasing online. Close to half said they’re discovering new products on social media at least once a month, and 66.7% of respondents said they made a purchase directly through their phone at least once in the past month.
Litmus launches Integrated Insights Report. Litmus, an email-marketing verification and analytics service, has announced the Litmus Integrated Insights Report. The new email analytics feature provides a single, holistic view of email campaign performance and engagement. Through direct email service provider integrations, Litmus combines core email metrics, such as open rate, with Litmus engagement data to provide valuable context and actionable insights. The service protects consumer privacy, blocking personally identifiable information, removing IP addresses, and making geo-tracking optional.
Shop Pay available for businesses selling on Facebook and Google. Starting with Facebook and Instagram later this summer and followed by Google in late 2021, Shopify’s Shop Pay will be available to merchants across both platforms, even if they don’t use Shopify’s online store.
Wix acquires Modalyst for supplier marketplace and drop shipping. Wix, a SaaS website-builder, has announced the acquisition of Modalyst, a marketplace and drop-shipping platform. The acquisition will connect Wix merchants to a supplier marketplace where they can create scalable relationships and source millions of products synced directly to their store to sell and fulfill online.