Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-September from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, cybersecurity, international payments, product personalization, holiday shipping, artificial intelligence, and automated delivery drones.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
RichRelevance launches Deep Recommendations for advanced commerce personalization. RichRelevance, a player in experience personalization, announced the launch of Deep Recommendations, a set of advanced personalization technologies that do not need historical events and behavioral data to generate relevant product recommendations. With Deep Recommendations, retailers and brands can expose shoppers to new products instantly. Also, categories such as fashion and home furnishings — where shoppers look for “visually similar” or “visually complementary” products — can break through the clutter with highly relevant AI-based recommendations.
Verishop introduces Verified Shops, a self-service channel for brands. Social shopping platform Verishop has launched Verified Shops, a self-service channel that makes it easier for more brands to reach Verishop’s customers. Brands who apply and pass the vetting process can join the shopping platform and share their stories through shoppable content on the iOS app. Brands can control and update their product selection, featured alongside other brands across fashion, home decor, beauty, electronics, and more. Brands in the Verified Shops channel only pay when they make a sale, 10 to 15 percent, depending on the category.
PayPal and Visa expand Instant Transfer for fast payouts. Visa and PayPal have expanded their global partnership, providing real-time access to funds for consumers and small businesses that are sending or receiving money via PayPal, Venmo, or Xoom. This collaboration expands PayPal’s Instant Transfer service (which leverages Visa Direct for real-time payment capabilities) to global markets and enables fast domestic and cross-border digital payments. The global partnership will also enable PayPal to extend global white label Visa Direct payout services through PayPal and its Braintree, Hyperwallet, and iZettle services.
Amazon expands autonomous delivery development. Amazon announced a new investment in its autonomous delivery research and development with the creation of a new Amazon Scout team in the U.K. Amazon Scout is Amazon’s fully-electric autonomous delivery service. Amazon Scout devices are the size of a small cooler and roll along pavements at a walking pace. The service is in field test mode, currently delivering packages to customers in four states in the U.S. The new Amazon Scout team in Cambridge, England, will work closely with the Amazon Scout research lab in Seattle, Wash. to develop on-system software to help Scout delivery devices safely and autonomously navigate around pedestrians, pets, and obstacles found in residential neighborhoods, such as recycling bins and signposts.
FedEx creates enhancements ahead of peak holiday season. To prepare for what is expected to be an unprecedented holiday shipping season, FedEx has implemented value-proposition enhancements (which began on September 13) across the enterprise, including the expansion of FedEx Ground’s year-round Sunday residential coverage to nearly 95 percent of the U.S. population. Other enhancements include six regional sortation facilities, four new automated stations, eight new large package facilities, and shipping packages as heavy as 150 pounds through FedEx Home Delivery.
NetBlaze launches NetBlaze Pro for custom web design, ecommerce, and more. NetBlaze, a digital marketing company for small businesses, has announced the launch of NetBlaze Pro, featuring new service offerings for a targeted digital marketing strategy. With NetBlaze Pro, customers have access to targeted local and national search-engine-optimization services, custom ecommerce website development, website hosting services, and more. NetBlaze also offers a more basic package for businesses with simple needs, which includes a single-page website, an appointment booking add-on, blog setup, marketing pop-up, and email integration. NetBlaze is a Wix preferred partner.
Walmart pilots on-demand drone delivery with Flytrex. Walmart has taken the next step in the development of its online delivery by announcing a new pilot program with Flytrex, a drone delivery company. The pilot program launches in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and focuses on delivering select grocery and essential household items from Walmart stores using Flytrex’s automated drones. The drones are controlled via a cloud-based dashboard — from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery.
RTB House launches AI-based product to increase brand awareness and user engagement. RTB House, which provides state-of-the-art marketing technologies, has employed AI and first-party data to create Streaming Video Ads, a service aimed at targeting consumers in the upper stages of the sales funnel. These brand-focused video ads offer users a viewing experience based on data-driven personalization enhanced with contextual elements and personalized storytelling. To increase impact, RTB House Streaming Video Ads are updated continuously to execute unique brand strategies and tailored to user preferences. Streaming Video Ad formats offer key performance indicators that measure the branding impact. RTB House’s analytics track a user’s interaction with the brand and deliver insights that allow marketers to tailor and optimize their strategies.
Amazon updates cancellation policy for late shipments. For Amazon sellers who ship their own orders, starting September 30 Amazon will automatically cancel any order that is not shipped and confirmed within seven business days after the “ship by” date detailed in the “Sold, ship now” notification email. Previously Amazon canceled orders that weren’t shipped and confirmed within 30 days of the estimated ship date. The announcement, along with seller reactions, can be found on the Amazon Seller Forums.
CLA launches new Shopify app with instantly-redeemable loyalty rewards. Customer Loyalty Accelerator has launched a new app for Shopify merchants to increase revenue and build customer value, without the downsides of price discounting. CLA is an “instantly-redeemable rewards” loyalty app that helps merchants identify high-value customers and reward them with an immediate “customer loyalty” cash incentive. In exchange, the customer provides accurate contact information to enhance personalization and create marketing data. CLA integrates with the Shopify platform, Shopify POS, and legacy loyalty programs.