Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-November from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on holiday shipping, augmented reality, mobile analytics, customer chat apps, influencers, payment wearables, and Singles’ Day.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
ShipStation releases its annual holiday shipping deadlines infographic (PDF). ShipStation, an ecommerce shipping platform, has released its sixth annual infographic that lists the shipping cutoff dates for the upcoming holiday season. The infographic includes information from the top three U.S. shipping carriers, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. The ship-by dates help online sellers and shoppers to make sure their gift orders arrive to destinations in time.
GoDaddy and Square simplify online and offline selling for small businesses. GoDaddy has announced two new integrations with Square for online and offline selling and payment capabilities. GoDaddy has integrated Square payments for ecommerce product sales and online appointment booking in GoCentral, GoDaddy’s mobile-optimized website builder. The second integration provides service-based businesses with the ability to book client appointments online, sync calendars using GoCentral, and get paid using Square. Payment transactions can be processed online, in-person, or both — without switching accounts.
Squarespace releases mobile analytics app. Squarespace has launched a new Squarespace analytics app for iOS and Android, offering access to key insights and website analytics from anywhere. Newly added metrics provide a full range of desktop analytics in the convenience of a mobile app, to measure the impact of marketing efforts on website traffic and revenue.
Alexa gets its first celebrity voice: Oprah. As part of a holiday promotion between Oprah’s O magazine and Amazon, Oprah will help Alexa users shop Oprah’s Favorite Things. Oprah will recommend the product and give a background on why she picked the item, then Alexa will ask if you’d like to buy the product. If you reply “no,” Oprah will move on to her next item. To trigger Oprah’s voice, Alexa users have to say, “Alexa, let’s shop Oprah’s favorite things.”
Facebook introduces Messenger plugin for businesses. Facebook Messenger now offers the ability to extend Messenger experiences onto a business’s website with the release of the customer chat plugin in closed beta. With the plugin, people can chat with businesses on their websites and in Messenger (across web, mobile, or tablet) and transition back and forth seamlessly without losing the conversation’s history and context. In addition to extending the conversation across multiple surfaces, the customer chat plugin supports current platform capabilities such as payments, NLP, and rich media. Apply to the waitlist to be notified when the plugin becomes broadly available.
youXtools launches platform to transform access to real-time shopper insights. youXtools, part of UEGroup, a user-experience design and research consultancy, has debuted the youXtools platform to transform access to real-time shopper insights. The user research and analytics platform deploys artificial intelligence and machine learning, enabling novice-to-expert product teams, startup to enterprise, to rapidly visualize and analyze real-time shopper interactions and move to action. Contact for pricing.
Alibaba and JD.com dominate Singles’ Day. Singles’ Day, China’s 24-hour buying frenzy that takes place on Nov. 11, has become the world’s biggest shopping event, exceeding the combined sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. JD.com’s sales for Singles’ Day and its run-up reached $19.14 billion, up 50 percent from 2016. Surpassing $1 billion within two minutes of the holiday, Alibaba’s sales for Singles’ Day alone reached $25.3 billion, more than a 40 percent increase from 2016. Alibaba promised delivery within an hour for select products. Nearly 100,000 stores were converted into “smart stores,” capable of processing payments using facial recognition and other advanced technologies.
Amazon adds augmented reality to its iOS app. Using Apple’s ARKit, Amazon has added an augmented reality component to its iOS app, allowing shoppers to place items virtually before purchase. Using the AR View tool, consumers can select items to place in their homes and rotate the item to see in real time how it would look.
Content Analytics launches VendorSCOR to optimize product content for retailers. Content Analytics, an end-to-end ecommerce management platform, has announced the launch of VendorSCOR, which combines deep analytics with robust content management to help retailers keep brands accountable for product content. Retailers can send brands scorecards on the quality of the brands’ content for each product, along with actionable insights for fixing and syndicating it. The program allows retailers and brands to work together to drive sales and deliver better customer experiences. Contact for pricing.
Salesforce and Google form strategic partnership. Salesforce and Google have announced a new strategic partnership, wherein Salesforce will use Google Cloud Platform for Salesforce’s core services as part of the company’s international infrastructure expansion. In addition, the companies will offer new integrations that connect Salesforce with G Suite, Google’s productivity and team collaboration service. Eligible Salesforce customers that are new to Google’s productivity and collaboration services will be able to use G Suite at no charge for up to one year
Amazon expands influencer program to include Instagram and Twitter. Amazon is expanding its influencer program beyond YouTube to include Instagram and Twitter. Launched earlier this spring, the program initially targeted YouTube personalities, offering them an affiliate relationship with Amazon. Influencers receive a customizable page on Amazon and a vanity URL to showcase product recommendations, to earn money from qualifying purchases when consumers shop through a page.
Visa introduces new payment wearables for fans attending the 2018 Winter Olympics. Visa, the exclusive payment technology partner at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, has introduced three wearable payment devices. NFC-enabled payment gloves, commemorative stickers, and Olympic pins allow fans and athletes to complete seamless and secure payments with a simple tap at any contactless-enabled terminal.