Here is a list of product releases and updates for early May from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on keyword research tools, bid optimization, product returns, video tools, payment platforms, Google Shopping, Etsy listings, and more.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Etailz launches self-service bid optimization software for Amazon advertising. Etailz, an Amazon retailer that provides marketing and logistical support, has announced the launch of AdManager, its self-service Amazon cost-per-click advertising software. AdManager uses artificial intelligence to automate the administration of Amazon Sponsored Product Ads across four processes: daily bids, search term addition, negative keyword audit, and budget optimization.
Google Shopping launches free listings. Google is changing its product search, allowing unpaid listings on the Google Shopping tab, helping merchants (regardless of whether they advertise on Google) better connect with consumers. Google is also kicking off a new partnership with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts.
Shopify unveils Shop, a mobile shopping app. Shopify has announced the release of Shop, a mobile shopping app to create a more intuitive online shopping experience from product discovery to package delivery. Shop offers users the ability to discover local businesses, receive relevant product recommendations, check out quickly, and track all orders. Shopify has brought together features from Shop Pay, a one-click accelerated checkout, and Arrive, an app to track online orders, to make purchasing and order tracking frictionless for shoppers.
Stripe updates payments platform. Stripe has announced three updates to its core payments platform: (i) worldwide direct connectivity to six major card networks, (ii) a revenue optimization engine, (iii) and Stripe Issuing. By exchanging information directly with the card networks, Stripe can reduce latency and remove potential points of failure. By applying machine-learning technology used in Radar (its fraud-prevention tool) to develop bank-specific profiles, Stripe can maximize authorizations without increasing fraud rates. Stripe Issuing, a self-serve product for issuing new contactless cards, reduces the time to create a card from around two months to two minutes (for virtual cards) or two days (for physical cards).
FedEx provides new ecommerce support for small and midsized businesses. FedEx has announced a new alliance with BigCommerce to help small and midsized businesses get online fast and affordably. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many brick-and-mortar businesses have had to close their physical stores and are looking for ways to move their retail operations online. To help with this effort, FedEx and BigCommerce are collaborating on an offer of four months of free service with BigCommerce and discounted FedEx shipping rates. All BigCommerce customers also have access to FedEx shipping discounts through the FedEx Advantage program.
SureDone adds Amazon’s Buy Shipping to its platform. SureDone, a multichannel ecommerce listing and order-management platform, has added support for Amazon’s Buy Shipping labels. Amazon’s Buy Shipping service allows sellers to purchase shipping labels individually or in bulk at discounted rates from UPS and FedEx, and at USPS Commercial Plus Pricing. Buy Shipping is a required component of Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program.
Magnolia partners with BigCommerce to create an omnichannel ecommerce solution. Magnolia, a content management system, has announced a partnership with BigCommerce to deliver an omnichannel ecommerce service. BigCommerce will provide Magnolia customers with the ability to quickly create an ecommerce site with features such as merchandising, checkout customization, digital wallets, and more.
ManyChat acquires ecommerce analytics company Converlytics. ManyChat, a chat marketing platform, has acquired Converlytics, which helps businesses track, analyze, and quantify attribution analytics. ManyChat Pro users now have access to more robust analytics at no additional charge, enabling them to link marketing dollars to specific campaigns.
Amazon launches live video calls to vet potential third-party sellers. To cut down on fraud, Amazon has detailed a “live verification” pilot program for the enhanced vetting of prospective third-party sellers. Underway since earlier this year, the program initially involved in-person verification but has shifted to video calls amid the Covid-19 outbreak. On each call, an Amazon representative checks the prospective seller’s ID to make sure it matches the person on the call and application documents.
Facebook introduces Messenger Rooms. Facebook has created Messenger Rooms for free group video meetings. Users can start a Room directly from Messenger or Facebook, and invite others to join the video call, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. Rooms will hold up to 50 people with no time limit. Start and share Rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups, and Events. Facebook is also adding Rooms to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal.
UPS and Michaels launch contactless curbside pickup of packages and returns. UPS has announced curbside service via UPS Access Point locations at roughly 800 Michaels stores nationwide. The service provides consumers a safe, convenient option to ship UPS packages as well as drop off pre-labeled shipments and make returns to any ecommerce retailer that accepts UPS returns shipments. Customers call the Michael’s store upon arrival, provide their name and a description of their car and the items, and have their ID ready.
Printful launches Keyword Scout, a research tool for Etsy. Printful has launched Keyword Scout, a tool to help Printful customers optimize their Etsy listings and increase their search visibility on the Etsy marketplace. Keyword Scout offers Etsy search tips and keyword suggestions. Using the tool, Printful customers can analyze their listings and learn how to improve.