Here is a list of product releases and updates for late April from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on storefronts, payment services, tax compliance, fraud protection, and virtual photo and video shoots.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Mailchimp introduces Stores and Appointments. Mailchimp has launched two free commerce features as part of its marketing platform: Stores and Appointments. Stores will enable merchants to create an online storefront, add and edit products, process orders, and configure payment, tax, and shipping. Appointments will allow businesses to book and manage services online. Both products offer direct access to Mailchimp’s marketing platform to find, build, and engage with consumers. Stores is rolling out now in beta and will be available to all U.S. and U.K. customers by May 18. Appointments has been available since April 28.
Adobe and FedEx launch collaboration. Adobe and FedEx have announced a multi-year collaboration starting with the integration of Adobe Commerce with ShopRunner, an ecommerce platform and subsidiary of FedEx Services. The integration will give Adobe merchants access to FedEx post-purchase logistics intelligence, which will help drive demand, reduce cost, and gain customer insights.
GoDaddy launches Poynt, a payment extension for WooCommerce and WordPress. GoDaddy is launching a free WooCommerce payments extension that gives merchants the ability to accept major credit and debit cards on WooCommerce and WordPress. The Poynt, a GoDaddy brand, is available in the WordPress marketplace for U.S.-based businesses. Shop owners can start accepting payments through Poynt immediately with no set-up fees or contracts. Shop owners will pay a fee of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction and will get paid the next business day.
BringgGreen helps retailers and logistics providers reduce carbon emissions. Bringg, a cloud-based delivery and fulfillment provider, has announced the launch of its BringgGreen Sustainability Tech Practice. With services that focus on green fleet selection, carbon reporting, transparent internal and external sustainability communications, and business innovation, BringgGreen provides a competitive advantage for retailers as consumers increasingly support those with sustainability initiatives. The new suite of services helps retailers and their logistics providers reduce carbon footprints by focusing on last-mile operations.
Amazon launches Intellectual Property Accelerator in Canada. Amazon has launched the Intellectual Property Accelerator in Canada, making it easier and more cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses to obtain trademarks, protect their brands, and tackle infringing goods both in Amazon’s stores and the broader marketplace. Available to any brand selling in Amazon’s stores, IP Accelerator directly connects Canadian business owners with a curated network of local law firms charging reduced, pre-negotiated rates on key services.
Soona raises $10.2 million to scale virtual content-creation platform. Soona, a virtual content-creation platform for ecommerce, has raised $10.2 million in Series A funding, led by Union Square Ventures. Soona’s technology powers virtual photo and video shoots, transforming how brands create content for ecommerce and marketing. The company will use the funding to expand its proprietary camera-to-cloud technology and introduce a subscription product. Soona solves three problems associated with brand content: quality creative from professionals, a quick 24-hour turnaround, and transparent pricing. Soona focuses on four core industries: beauty and cosmetics, fashion and footwear, home goods, and pet care.
Stripe acquires TaxJar to help online businesses with tax compliance. Stripe has agreed to acquire TaxJar, a provider of sales tax software for internet businesses. TaxJar helps businesses automate tasks, such as providing accurate sales tax rates at checkout tied to the street address of the customer; automatically submitting tax returns to local jurisdictions and remitting the sales tax collected; producing local jurisdiction reports to show sales and sales tax collected; and evaluating a company’s products and intelligently suggesting the right product tax code.
PayPal introduces Fraud Protection Advanced. PayPal Fraud Protection Advanced relies on machine learning to protect against evolving fraud. It is available out-of-the-box for Braintree merchants. Fraud Protection Advanced evaluates credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Secure Remote Commerce transactions processed with Braintree. According to PayPal, Fraud Protection Advanced is more accurate and faster at adapting to shifting fraud patterns than other fraud prevention services due to info pulled from both the merchant and consumer sides of more than 15 billion transactions a year.
eBay provides free Terapeak product research to all sellers. eBay sellers no longer need a store subscription to access Terapeak product research. With this research, sellers can dig into eBay marketplace data for insights into what’s selling, where, and for how much. Terapeak product research can optimize listing titles, item specifics, pricing, and more. Also included is a new Terapeak Sourcing Insights tool, providing features to source new inventory, identify optimal categories, and track trends.
Per Diem raises $2.26 million to help local businesses build subscription programs. Per Diem, a Y Combinator-backed startup, has announced a $2.3 million seed funding round led by Two Sigma Ventures. Per Diem helps local businesses develop their own subscription programs by offering software for ordering, pickups and deliveries, payments, and more. Per Diem also emphasizes a strong in-store experience for subscribers. The startup is currently focused on New York, but it’s also working with businesses in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.
Oro launches marketplace to drive multichannel sales. OroCommerce has announced the launch of OroMarketplace, a platform that enables sellers to implement marketplaces for B2B, B2C, franchise network ordering, services procurement, appointments, and physical goods. Oro’s mission to provide B2B businesses with software that fuels growth and aligns with changing needs.
USPS expands package pickup locations. USPS has made package pickup available in more areas, adding 15 zip codes where customers and businesses can use the service. USPS periodically reviews zip codes for inclusion with package pickup, which is currently available in more than 41,900 zip codes nationwide. The service allows customers to schedule a parcel collection at no additional charge when their mail is delivered or collected the next day as part of a USPS carrier’s regular delivery. All packages must have prepaid postage. There’s no limit to the number of packages that can be left for pickup.
Sidecar releases “2021 Benchmarks Report.” The global pandemic led to sweeping improvements in return on ad spend and reductions in cost per acquisition across primary ad platforms. That’s according to Sidecar’s “2021 Benchmarks Report,” new retail research that examined five digital advertising platforms and six key metrics across 16 retail segments. Sidecar examined thousands of ad campaigns for hundreds of U.S. retailers and calculated average performance benchmarks by ad platform, retail segment, and monthly spend. Sidecar has produced the annual benchmarks report since 2017. This 2021 version marks the company’s first analysis of ad performance on Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.