Here is a list of product releases and updates for late-September from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on visual search, social commerce, digital marketing, personalized shopping, logistics, and holiday shopping.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Snapchat introduces visual search. Snapchat has begun testing a new way to search for products on Amazon directly from the Snapchat camera. Simply point your Snapchat camera at a physical product or barcode, and press and hold on the camera screen. When the item or barcode is recognized, an Amazon card will appear on screen, surfacing a link for that product or similar ones available on Amazon. Tap your selection to visit the Amazon app (if you have it installed on your phone) or Amazon.com, where you can complete your purchase or keep browsing.
Instagram expands shopping in Stories and Explore. Businesses that are approved and set up to use Instagram Shopping will now be able to add one product sticker to any story with customizable text color. When shoppers tap on a product sticker, they’ll be taken to the same product details page that they see when they tap on a shopping post in a feed. There, they’ll be able to see additional product images, details, and similar items, as well as a link to the business’s mobile site to make a purchase. Also, Instagram is also testing a topic channel for shopping in Explore. The shopping channel will be based on each user’s shopping interests and will display shopping posts from a variety of businesses that the user may like.
Adobe to buy Marketo. Adobe has agreed to acquire Marketo for $4.75 billion. Marketo sells marketing software that companies use to identify and reach new customers through email, text messages, social media, and other channels. Marketo also offers analytical services. The marketing tools add to Adobe’s recent acquisitions, which includes Magento Commerce in June. The Marketo deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Amazon launches Scout, a personalized shopping site. Amazon is testing a new personalized shopping service called Scout in visual categories such as furniture and home decor. Scout asks shoppers to like or dislike a product and then shows other products based on the choices. Scout is available for home furniture, kitchen and dining products, women’s shoes, home decor, patio furniture, lighting, and bedding. More categories are coming soon.
Apple and Salesforce team up to bring Siri to more business apps. Apple and Salesforce are forming a new partnership. Apple is helping Salesforce to build the Siri voice assistant and additional iPhone features deeper into Salesforce’s mobile apps. In turn, Salesforce will make tools so that businesses that use its back-end technology to power their own apps can build products geared for iPhones and iPads.
ShipStation partners with mobile app builder SandBox Commerce. ShipStation, a web-based ecommerce shipping service, has announced a partnership with SandBox Commerce, a platform that helps ecommerce brands and retailers create and launch mobile shopping apps on iOS and Android. ShipStation customers will now have access to the fast and cost-effective app building services that SandBox Commerce offers. Apps created using SandBox Commerce update in real time and include features such as instant, two-click checkout and push notifications.
CommerceHub announces Active Delivery Management Solution for enhanced customer experiences. CommerceHub, a distributed commerce network for retailers and brands, has announced the availability of Active Delivery Management, an enterprise-level service that streamlines the last-mile delivery of large or bulk merchandise via white-glove, curbside, or in-home delivery. Active Delivery Management allows retailers to provide better customer experiences across an expanded assortment of items that are logistically and operationally complex to deliver.
Insightly releases advanced customization capabilities. Insightly, a customer relationship management platform, has announced new capabilities that allow companies of all sizes to tailor their customer-management implementations. The new version includes custom objects for modeling unique aspects of a business, as well as custom apps to tailor day-to-day experiences to personal preferences. In addition, the new version of the Insightly API allows users to build custom reports and dashboards on custom objects.
Etsy unveils search guide and tools as sellers prepare for the holidays. To help sellers prepare for the upcoming holiday season, Etsy has unveiled “The Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search” in the Etsy Seller Handbook. Etsy also announced other tools and resources that will be rolling out in coming months, including a new search analytics tool, educational resources to guide sellers on how to price their shipping competitively, and an interface that streamlines sellers’ bills and payments accounts.
Walmart revamps Jet. Walmart has redone its Jet site to cater more to the urban dwellers who make up the bulk of its shoppers. Acquired by Walmart in 2016, Jet will now offer products tailored to the location and preferences of the visitor. New York City residents can now schedule three-hour delivery windows for groceries and other merchandise. Next month, Jet will unveil a dedicated site for Nike and Converse products, which it will sell from its own inventory rather than through third parties.