Here is a list of product releases and updates for late October from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, discounted shipping, holiday deals, live chat, analytics, and content creation.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Shopify brings commerce to TikTok. TikTok and Shopify have announced a partnership to bring the short-form video to Shopify. The TikTok channel allows merchants to create and connect their TikTok For Business account and deploy In-Feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify. Merchants select which product to feature, and video ads are generated automatically that link to their Shopify stores for checkout. Ready-made templates designed for commerce are available using merchants’ existing imagery or video.
BigCommerce announces new Channel Manager and new partners. BigCommerce has announced a new version of Channel Manager, providing a single destination to discover and integrate with all sales channels. Additionally, BigCommerce has two new partners available for U.S.-based merchants: Wish and Deliverr. The new Channel Manager enables easier discovery, creation, and management of all channels, including third-party sales channels and headless storefronts. Wish provides access to mobile-focused consumers, and Deliverr lets merchants accelerate sales with two-day fulfillment capabilities.
UPS and Stamps.com offer discounted shipping rates. Stamps.com has announced a new partnership with UPS. Now, in addition to USPS, Stamps.com customers have access to UPS services with special discounts. Stamps.com provides access to pre-negotiated discounts of up to 62 percent off UPS 2nd Day Air and up to 48 percent off UPS Ground daily rates services. With Stamps.com, merchants can ship and manage both USPS and UPS shipments from one interface.
Etsy creates sales page for easy-to-shop holiday deals. Etsy has introduced a new sales page to assist holiday bargain shoppers. Etsy merchandising experts will curate this new shopping experience and feature on-sale items that holiday shoppers are looking for. Etsy merchants who want listings to be considered for this page should follow Etsy’s guidelines, including free shipping and at least 20-percent off beginning November 2.
PayPal launches new cryptocurrency service. PayPal has announced a new service that enables its customers to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account. PayPal plans to significantly increase cryptocurrency’s utility by making it available as a funding source for purchases by 26 million merchants worldwide. The service will initially feature Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin — all directly in the PayPal digital wallet.
Messenger API to support Instagram. Facebook has announced updates to the Messenger API to support Instagram messaging, giving businesses new tools to manage their customer communications on Instagram at scale. The new API enables businesses to integrate Instagram messaging with their preferred business applications and workflows to drive more meaningful conversations, increase customer satisfaction, and grow sales. The updated API is currently in beta with a limited number of developer partners and businesses.
Powtoon launches centralized Visual Communication Platform. Powtoon, a visual communication platform best known for its tools to create video animations, has announced the launch of a centralized offering to help companies create, manage, distribute, and track unlimited pieces of visual content. The new Visual Communication Platform by Powtoon is designed to help employees collaborate more effectively.
MSTS releases BigCommerce plugin for credit-as-a-service platform. MSTS, a B2B payment and credit services provider, has announced the release of an extension for BigCommerce. The new extension, InvoiceMe, is an alternative payment option within MSTS’s credit-as-a-service platform. With InvoiceMe, buyers seeking to purchase on credit can apply and receive approval in less than 30 seconds and then complete the transaction in a single session. The multi-currency platform, which can transact globally, offers automated net terms of up to $250,000.
Litmus launches new email features. Litmus, a player in email marketing, has announced new capabilities to help teams create personalized brand experiences quickly without additional resources or headcount. New capabilities include dark mode detection, tools for brand consistency, and additions to the email previews testing suite.
JetSense.ai launches tool for Shopify merchants to turn live chats into texts. JetSense.ai, a provider of live chat and artificial-intelligence-driven chatbots, has announced the launch of TextChat, a new sales tool enabling Shopify merchants to receive live chats from their stores via text message. TextChat ensures merchants never miss a sale due to an unanswered live-chat inquiry. Merchants equipped with TextChat can provide customers with real-time live chat responses from anywhere.
Amplitude introduces platform to analyze customer journeys. Amplitude, a product intelligence service, has introduced Journeys, which leverages machine learning to focus teams on the moments that matter most across the entire customer journey. By evaluating the thousands of possible events along a customer path, Journeys automatically focuses teams on the few exact moments that have the greatest business impact, such as drop-off or paths that yield the highest conversion. Product teams then leverage this real-time, predictive intelligence to identify the exact friction or conversion point by user, and then group customers into cohorts for targeted messages and offers.
CallRail introduces lead management hub. CallRail, a lead-focused marketing and analytics platform, has announced its new Lead Center, a communications and management hub that lets small-to-medium-size businesses connect with, prioritize, and manage every lead. Businesses can communicate with prospects and customers directly through Lead Center’s unified inbox. With integrated call tracking data and complete interaction history for every caller, businesses no longer need to toggle back and forth between multiple platforms such as a phone system, texting tool, or online form.
Google launches Google Analytics 4. Google has released a new, more intelligent Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property introduced in beta last year. Google Analytics 4’s machine learning will automatically surface helpful insights, providing a complete understanding of visitors across devices and platforms. The new Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data, such as products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs, and anticipate future actions your customers may take.