Here is a list of product releases and updates for late-August from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on peer-to-peer payments, luxury shopping, social commerce, fulfillment services, and eBay and Amazon marketplaces.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
RepricerExpress now available on the Amazon Marketplace Appstore. RepricerExpress, a repricing service for Amazon and eBay sellers, is now available on the Amazon Marketplace Appstore, directly accessible in Seller Central. RepricerExpress helps FBA and featured sellers compete for spots in the Buy Box and “More Buying Choices” box. Repricing allows sellers to aim quickly for higher positions in the offer listings pages, ensuring more buyers see target products. eBay repricing can be based on competitors’ listings or formula-based using your Amazon prices.
Lolli offers free bitcoin while you shop. Launched in late-August, Lolli is a bitcoin rewards application that lets people earn and own bitcoin when they shop online. Lolli has partnered with roughly 500 brands to help drive sales and conversions on their sites. When a customer shops on one of the partner sites, Lolli gets a percentage of each sale, which it then splits, sending bitcoin to the customer’s Lolli wallet.
eBay launches affiliates hub. eBay has launched “Partner Success Hub” to help businesses optimize their performance on the platform. The portal includes new technology innovations, a promotional calendar, new platform solutions, and additional resources, such as (a) the Experimentation Platform to facilitate A/B testing for partners, (b) APIs to power ecommerce platforms with eBay, and (c) Adobe DMP integration for exclusive customer data.
UPS launches Ware2Go for merchant fulfillment. UPS has launched Ware2Go, a platform that matches available warehouse space and fulfillment services with merchants who need to get online orders to customers fast. When a warehouse registers with Ware2Go, the platform matches unused capacity and capabilities with merchants. Ware2Go identifies merchants looking for fulfillment services and then on-boards, manages, and bills customers so warehouse operators can fill available capacity quickly and easily without sales teams or administrative oversight. Ware2Go augments UPS’s suite of ecommerce services designed to support small and medium-sized companies.
Threads raises $20 million to sell luxury goods via social messaging apps. Social commerce platform Threads has raised $20 million in a series A round of funding. Through social and chat-based media, Threads curates luxury goods for millennial, mostly female customers, and then sells to them on services such as WeChat, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and Apple’s iMessage for their primary interactions with a team of human (not artificial intelligence) shopping assistants. London-based Threads will use the funding to expand in Asia and develop A.I.-powered chatbots that will enhance the shopping experience.
Farfetch files for U.S. IPO. Luxury-clothing marketplace Farfetch has filed for a U.S. initial public offering to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: FTCH). According to the F-1 form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as of December 31, 2017, the company said it had nearly 1 million active consumers, with that figure growing 43.6 percent over the year and an operating profit of $136.9 million for the first six months of this year. The company’s post-listing valuation is projected to range from $6 to $8.4 billion. Farfetch claims to be the world’s largest marketplace for luxury goods.
Walmart and Rakuten Kobo launch an online store for ebooks and audiobooks. Walmart and Rakuten Kobo has launched Walmart eBooks, with a library of over 6 million ebook and audiobook titles. On Walmart.com, the full catalog will appear alongside an assortment of physical books. Similar to Amazon’s Audible, Walmart will also offer a monthly audiobook subscription service, though at $9.99 per month versus Audible’s $14.95 per month. In January, Walmart and Rakuten partnered on an online grocery store in Japan.
ActiveCampaign launches Abandoned Cart for WooCommerce. ActiveCampaign, a service for intelligence-driven sales and marketing automation, has announced an “ActiveCampaign for WooCommerce” plugin. WooCommerce users can automate abandoned cart emails directly in ActiveCampaign, via the plugin, encouraging shoppers to complete purchases. Merchants can trigger additional automated notices once a cart has been abandoned and more seamlessly opt shoppers into marketing at checkout.
Ink Pay launches on Coinbase Wallet, offering consumers flexibility on peer-to-peer marketplaces. Ink Protocol, a platform for peer-to-peer payments, has announced the availability of its decentralized app, Ink Pay, on Coinbase Wallet (formerly Toshi). Ink Protocol’s underlying currency, XNK, has already been deployed as the primary form of payment for all transactions on the marketplace. Key features of Ink Pay include the ability to see a seller’s reputation with the option to leave new feedback (stored on the blockchain) after each transaction and making and receiving payments for items on third-party marketplaces (e.g., Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp), with the option to add a mediator and escrow coming soon.
PayPal updates its mobile app. PayPal has released an improved PayPal mobile app focused on improving the customer experience, making the app simpler to use and easier for customers to send and request money. The app design has been streamlined to make it easier for customers to view their balance, get notifications, and move money. The send and receive buttons have been moved to the home screen. Also, it’s now simpler for users to add their photo and personalize their contact list, for added security.
ShipStation partners with Codisto, an Australia-based multichannel app provider. ShipStation, the web-based ecommerce shipping solution, has announced that it has partnered with Codisto, an Amazon and eBay integration app for merchants with online stores that are powered by Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Ecwid. Codisto gives its customers the ability to create and manage Amazon and eBay marketplace listings in bulk from the merchant’s website product catalog. They can also sync pricing, inventory, orders, and product details in real time.
Amazon launches Prime Book Box. Amazon has created Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers hand-picked children’s books every 1, 2, or 3 months. Prime Book Box is a curated subscription box of books, saving customers up to 35 percent off list price. Customers set preferences and then preview books from a list of curated options.