Here is a list of new product releases and updates from companies offering services to ecommerce and omnichannel merchants. There are updates on fulfillment, tracking, point-of-sale platforms, social commerce, flexible payment options, and AI-powered customer service.
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Product Releases: September 25
FedEx launches Picture Proof of Delivery in Europe. FedEx is launching Picture Proof of Delivery for express residential deliveries in Europe. With PPOD, FedEx customers who choose the no-signature-required delivery option will receive a photo showing the exact location of their package once it is delivered. The picture is visible by tracking packages on the FedEx website and the FedEx mobile app. PPOD is free and does not require enrolment, an account, or login.
eBay Canada offers tracked shipping on all lightweight parcels. eBay Canada has announced the expansion of the Canada Post Expedited Lite service to all categories on eBay.ca, offering domestic tracking on items weighing up to 200 grams, with all the features of Expedited Parcel at a lower price. Previously only for items in select categories, Expedited Lite is now available for items that meet the weight and dimensional criteria.
USPS announces no surcharges this holiday season. The United States Postal Service announced it will not levy additional surcharges this holiday season. There will be no additional fees for residential area delivery, Saturday delivery, or minimum volumes. Moreover, the USPS has expanded its workforce, package processing, and delivery operations ahead of the 2023 holiday season, including hiring 10,000 seasonal employees and 348 new package sorting machines.
Payments platform Stripe adds features to optimized checkout suite. Stripe has added features to its optimized checkout suite. An A/B testing tool allows businesses to identify the best-performing payment methods in their checkout and make data-driven improvements over time. Additionally, the suite now provides access to more than 100 payment methods, including Revolut Pay, MobilePay, U.S. bank transfers, and Swish. The checkout suite presents customers with the most relevant payment methods from more than 40 options.
TikTok to subsidize holiday discounts to entice sellers. Bloomberg News reports that TikTok will offer to subsidize discounts up to 50% to entice sellers to participate in its Black Friday program from Oct. 27 through Nov. 30. The bargains are intended to attract consumers to its newly launched marketplace as it aims to compete with Amazon and Walmart, according to the report. TikTok launched its new shopping platform across the U.S. last week.
Amazon updates automated handling time. Amazon has updated the automated handling time feature for seller-fulfilled orders to improve accuracy per SKU based on a seller’s past performance. Automated handling time will apply a same-day handling time to SKUs that merchants ship on the day of an order. Automated handling time will also set a merchant’s order-handling capacity based on past performance, but merchants can manually override it if operations improve.
Salesforce acquires Airkit.ai for AI-powered customer service applications. Salesforce has agreed to acquire Airkit.ai, a creator of AI-powered customer service applications and experiences. Airkit.ai enables businesses to build flexible, omnichannel customer engagement applications and AI-based agents. Airkit.ai will become a part of Service Cloud and continue to be led by its co-founder and chief technical officer.
BNPL platform Sezzle and WooCommerce expand partnership on flexible payment options. Sezzle, a buy-now, pay-later platform, has announced an expanded partnership with WooCommerce. According to Sezzle, the partnership will make it easier for WooCommerce merchants to integrate Sezzle’s buy-now, pay-later option into their checkout process, providing customers with a variety of flexible options to pay over time and build credit.
Payment platform Bluefin integrates Mastercard Click to Pay. Bluefin, a provider of encryption and tokenization payment technologies, has announced the integration of Mastercard Click to Pay. Merchants can utilize Click to Pay within an iframe or hosted payment form, providing a seamless shopping experience and making guest checkout easier by eliminating the need for customers to enter card details every time. Additionally, merchants can safely store customer payment information using an encrypted virtual card number.
Amazon introduces Sales Trend for listings. Sales Trend is a new feature that provides a broad estimate of the number of customers who recently bought a particular product. For example, a listing might show “10K+ bought in past month.” The feature is designed to help customers find the most popular products. Sales trend information is automatically added to eligible listings in specific product categories: health and personal care, home, and sports.
Tracking platform AfterShip partners with TikTok. AfterShip, a post-purchase and tracking platform for ecommerce businesses, has launched AfterShip Feed, allowing merchants to synchronize product and order details between their ecommerce platform and TikTok Shop. With AfterShip Feed, merchants can create product listings with automatic syncing of product details, pricing, and inventory from ecommerce platforms. Changes to product details and pricing in their ecommerce stores are also immediately reflected on TikTok Shop.
Harbor Lockers introduces Harbor Connect API and SDK. Harbor Lockers released its Connect API and SDK at Techcrunch Disrupt. Harbor Connect provides locker-based tools for the commerce needs of developers and organizations. Integrating an app with Harbor Connect allows service providers to deliver, store, and pick up items without purchasing or maintaining locker hardware. According to the press release, with over 9,000 lockers in its network, Harbor Lockers plans to deploy 25,000 additional public lockers nationwide by the end of 2025.