Here is a list of product releases and updates for late-May from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on seven-day deliveries, B2B platforms, cross-channel marketing, subscription businesses, selling on Amazon, financial technology, and creative economic development.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
FedEx Ground announces seven-day residential delivery year-round. FedEx Ground delivers seven days per week during the holiday peak season, and beginning in January 2020 the service will continue year-round for most of the U.S. population. In addition to delivering every day of the week, FedEx Ground is making changes to enhance its efficiency in last-mile deliveries. The company is integrating FedEx SmartPost package volume into FedEx Ground standard operations and increasing large package capabilities.
Automattic acquires Prospress, developer of WooCommerce Subscriptions. Automattic, the parent company of WooCommerce and WordPress.com, has acquired Prospress, the company behind WooCommerce Subscriptions, which launched in 2012. The Prospress team will continue developing its products within the WooCommerce division. For current users of WooCommerce Subscriptions, there is no change. Prospress has two other products, AutomateWoo and Robot Ninja, both of which will be part of the acquisition.
Ideoclick announces Cross-channel Marketing Service for improved Amazon sales. Ideoclick, an Amazon managed services agency, has announced the launch of its Cross-Channel Marketing Service to drive consumer traffic to clients’ Amazon listings from multiple digital channels. The expanded marketing service leverages other digital media channels and conversion behavior to improve sales on Amazon.
Shopify acquires Handshake for B2B wholesale purchasing. Shopify has acquired Handshake, a startup that offers a commerce platform for businesses that sell wholesale goods. Handshake and Shopify are targeting the area of the ecommerce market where brands and other merchants sell items wholesale, potentially alongside retail efforts. Deal terms have not been disclosed.
BigCommerce and Ordergroove partner to deliver subscription services. BigCommerce has announced a partnership with Ordergroove, a specialist in relationship commerce, to give enterprise-level merchants a better way to establish deeper relationships with customers. Using Ordergroove’s Relationship Commerce Cloud platform integrated with BigCommerce, merchants can offer a range of recurring revenue programs, including subscriptions, SMS reordering, memberships, and committed programs.
AWS announces the general availability of Amazon Textract. Amazon Web Services has announced the general availability of Amazon Textract, a service that uses machine learning to automatically extract text and data, including from tables and forms, in virtually any document without the need for manual review, custom code, or machine learning. Amazon Textract goes beyond simple optical character recognition to identify the contents of fields in forms, information stored in tables, and the context in which the information is presented. The extracted text and data can be used to build smart searches on large archives of documents or can be loaded into a database for use by applications, such as accounting, auditing, and compliance software.
Matcha announces content-powered popups to help ecommerce websites capture leads. Matcha, a blogging platform for direct-to-consumer businesses, has announced content-powered popups to help ecommerce websites convert more blog visitors into leads. The leadconversion feature adds to Matcha’s capabilities that allow online businesses to publish compelling blog content, distribute articles to the right people, and optimize results with an analytics dashboard.
BigCommerce and Nexcess partner to bring cloud-based headless ecommerce engine to WordPress community. BigCommerce has announced a strategic partnership with managed cloud and application hosting company Nexcess that will bring BigCommerce for WordPress, a full-featured ecommerce plugin that integrates WordPress with BigCommerce’s ecommerce platform, to WordPress sites hosted on the Nexcess Cloud. Nexcess clients that integrate their site with BigCommerce will have access to a WordPress-native interface for managing their store’s content and BigCommerce’s API-driven, cloud-based SaaS for commerce functionality.
Freshworks acquires Natero, a customer management software company. Freshworks, a player in customer engagement software, has acquired Natero, a customer-success, management-software company. The acquisition gives Freshworks a SaaS platform that unifies marketing, sales, support, and customer success. With Natero’s AI-powered technology, the Freshworks platform puts actionable data in the hands of customer success professionals. This helps companies more easily predict and prevent customer churn, increase account expansion, and manage more customers with fewer resources.
Polymath and CrowdEngine team up to offer token issuance solution. Polymath, a security token platform, has teamed up with CrowdEngine, a white-label equity-crowdfunding platform, to enable Polymath issuers to easily and quickly onboard investors for security token offerings. By leveraging CrowdEngine with Polymath, issuers can launch a compliant security-token-offering platform, allowing issuers to quickly onboard investors and begin raising capital. CrowdEngine includes integrations with escrow, payment, and investor accreditation providers, and has hundreds of features built around its compliance engine technology.
Applications for the 2019 Maker Cities Grant Initiative now open. Powered by the Etsy Impact Fund and the Mastercard Impact Fund, the 2019 Maker Cities program will provide grants up to $40,000 to five nonprofit organizations to invest in a year-long economic development project. Maker Cities is seeking proposals for data-driven, innovative programming that supports localized economic development and addresses the barriers that creative entrepreneurs face related to accessibility, building community, small-batch manufacturing, resource sharing, and collaboration. In addition to $40,000 in direct program support, grantees will receive customized training and support, and access to tools and resources to help them bring their project plans to life.