Here is a list of product releases and updates for late August from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, brand building, shopping in augmented reality, live-streaming premium events, and ecommerce for social good.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Facebook Shop launches. Facebook has launched Facebook Shop, a place for consumers to discover businesses and shop for products in the Facebook app. Shops enable businesses to set up a single online store that consumers can access on both Facebook and Instagram. In the coming weeks, Facebook is making it available to any eligible business and adding customization features, messaging, and new insights to help sellers measure results. Facebook is also expanding checkout on Instagram to all U.S. businesses and creators.
Ware2Go announces integration with Google Shopping. Ware2Go, an on-demand warehousing and fulfillment company (owned by UPS), has announced a new ecommerce partnership and integration with Google Shopping. The integration will display free, fast delivery promises within merchants’ Google advertisements, based on real-time inventory availability across Ware2Go’s fulfillment network. These annotations will help merchants optimize ad efficiency using Google Shopping, driving revenue by advertising free and fast shipping offers much earlier in the buyer’s journey, including at the point of initial product research via Google Search.
Amazon launches AR shopping feature. Amazon is releasing a new augmented reality shopping tool, Room Decorator, that will allow shoppers to virtually add multiple products to a room at the same time to visualize how multiple products would fit together in a space. Amazon had launched a simpler version of the VR shopping tool in 2017 that lets users visualize one product at a time. With the new Room Decorator, users can save AR snapshots of a room for later access. The feature is available for thousands of furniture items on Amazon, including products offered by third-party sellers. When shoppers access one of the items, they can click a “View in Your Room” button to use the tool.
Goimagine.com marketplace launches, donating all profits to charity. Goimagine.com, an online marketplace that connects sellers and buyers of handmade goods, has launched its full version — after its beta period that started in the spring. Goimagine.com donates 100 percent of profits to charities with a mission to help children who are homeless or hungry. Its pioneer charity partner is Horizons for Homeless Children. Ultimately, the marketplace plans to give buyers and sellers the ability to guide where their money will go.
Facebook adds support for paid online events from small businesses. Facebook has launched the ability for companies, creators, educators, and publishers to earn money from online events on Facebook. Now page owners can create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment, and host the event, all in one place. Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences, and Facebook is testing paid events with Messenger Rooms for more personal and interactive gatherings. Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year.
Etsy sellers can submit sites for live critique videos. Etsy’s seller social team will host listing critiques on the @EtsySuccess Instagram page. For a chance to be selected, merchants share a link to a listing. There’s a limit of one submission per shop. The first round of critiques will go live on Instagram on Tuesday, Sept. 1, around 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The team will spotlight three listings and share tips for getting optimized ahead of the holiday shopping season. The critiques will continue on Instagram every Tuesday through the end of October.
Threekit announces 3D and AR for BigCommerce. Threekit’s three-dimensional and augmented reality platform is now live on the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace. Threekit lets merchants customize and configure products in 3D, AR, and virtual photography. Drop in the Threekit widget to any page and show off your products in 3D. Enable customization, personalization, and configuration on BigCommerce in real-time. Use the Threekit Virtual Photographer to create photorealistic images at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional photography.
Amazon launches new product types in Seller Central. Amazon has launched new product types and attributes to organize its catalog and improve product detail pages. The new types are Coat, Tunic, and Kurta — all of which include different attributes. Amazon also has new attributes for existing product types. When creating a listing, view these new or modified types in Seller Central by navigating through inventory, adding products via upload, and selecting the appropriate template to download. You can provide these additional attributes through the “Add a Product” tool and “Bulk Upload.”
Valassis introduces Connected Analytics. Valassis, a player in marketing technology and consumer engagement, is launching Connected Analytics, which combines proprietary data and sales insights to fuel omnichannel marketing strategies. Connected Analytics provides brands with an expanded understanding of the promotion landscape. Valassis partners with consumer-packaged goods brands to determine high and low-opportunity segments. This enables brands to create targeted, influential, media-agnostic campaigns based on demographics, interests, and other characteristics.
prREACH launches Brand Builder Program. prREACH, a press release distribution service and content marketing firm, has announced the launch of Brand Builder Program, a content marketing system. Consisting of video and written content, the new program is for ecommerce, local, and Amazon businesses seeking to scale their content marketing efforts.
Cleo releases CIC Cockpit. Cleo, a provider of integration tools, has unveiled the Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC) Cockpit, a new visual control panel of real-time integration dashboards. CIC brings panoramic integration visibility for every B2B transaction with the ecosystem of customers, suppliers, carriers, and partners. Using CIC, business and technical users, executives, and even external ecosystem partners can improve operations and decisionmaking.