Here is a list of product releases and updates for late January from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on user experience tools, monetizing newsletters, promotional incentives, fulfillment, and hiring a developer.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Adobe Experience Platform delivers new tools for retailers. Adobe recently unveiled new tools in its Experience Platform to help retailers grow their digital businesses. With Customer Journey Analytics, built on Adobe Experience Platform, retailers can leverage artificial intelligence to detect broken experiences or uncover new opportunities. This update allows brands to see where issues arise as shoppers move between channels. Offer Decisioning helps retailers receive real-time signals that capture interactions happening across channels to deliver more relevant offers and drive better conversion. Also, retailers can now use Launch Server Side to streamline data collection processes.
Introducing Instagram Content Publishing API. Facebook has launched Content Publishing API, a new feature on the Instagram Graph API Platform to make it easier for businesses to publish content. With this feature, Instagram Business accounts can schedule and publish posts to their Instagram feeds from third-party platforms. With the Content Publishing API, businesses can now more easily plan campaigns and build internal processes around publishing content using the platform of their choice. Content Publishing API will support scheduling and publishing single-photo or video posts to Instagram feed for Instagram Business accounts only. Each Instagram Business account will be limited to 25 API-published posts in a 24-hour moving period.
BlackCart raises $8.8 million for its try-before-you-buy platform. BlackCart lets merchants run a try-before-you-buy program. The startup has closed a funding round of $8.8 million, led by Origin Ventures and Hyde Park Ventures Partners, with participation from Struck Capital, Citi Ventures, and 500 Startups. BlackCart allows shoppers to try products without upfront commitment and helps merchants deliver the same fitting-room experience to consumers everywhere. BlackCart works with prominent ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce.
Storetasker revamps its Shopify developer marketplace and raises funds. Storetasker, an online marketplace for connecting Shopify merchants with developers and experts, has relaunched after being acquired last year by Lorem. The platform has been rebuilt with a new customer experience. Shopify merchants can describe a project in simple terms, and then Storetasker will match them with an expert. To ensure a high skill level of the developers, Storetasker has conducted more than 5,000 interviews. In addition to the relaunch, Storetasker has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding last year from Flybridge, Founder Collective, and FJ Labs.
Acquia to launch Digital Commerce with partners. Acquia has partnered with Commercetools and Lucidworks to launch Acquia Digital Commerce, a service that enables marketers to unify data, content, commerce, and digital merchandising to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience across the customer lifecycle. Using Acquia Digital Commerce with Acquia Open Digital Experience Platform, marketers can drive real-time, personalized, shoppable experiences at every customer touchpoint. Commercetools provides an omnichannel shopping platform, and the Lucidworks AI-powered product discovery platform delivers personally relevant products and content to customers.
Amazon expands FBA New Selection program. Last April, Amazon announced the Fulfillment By Amazon New Selection program. Since then, 60,000 enrolled sellers have sent over 680,000 new-to-FBA items to fulfillment centers. Amazon is now expanding the program. Starting April 1, 2021, for up to 30 units per parent ASIN, it will provide free storage for up to 90 days and free removals for up to 180 days for eligible oversize items. For eligible sellers, Amazon will offer promotional credits for sponsored ads. Amazon will remove the 500-ASIN limit, allowing an unlimited amount of eligible, new-to-FBA ASINs to qualify for program benefits. For eligible parent ASINs, Amazon will extend free storage from 90 days to 120 days for up to 100 units per parent ASIN (up from 50 units). Also, Amazon will extend eligibility for the customer returns processing fee waiver from 120 days to 180 days.
Twitter acquires Revue for monetizing newsletters. Twitter has acquired Revue, a service that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish editorial newsletters. The acquisition will give writers a way to monetize their audience, whether it’s one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter, or elsewhere. To jumpstart the effort, Twitter has made Revue’s Pro features free for all accounts and is lowering the paid newsletter fee to 5 percent.
Sustainable shopping platform Farleigh.io to launch. Farleigh.io is a new, sustainable social shopping platform to buy, sell, and curate items through virtual shop windows. The platform is focused on sustainable products — reducing, reusing, and recycling. Farleigh.io utilizes social shopping for shopping recommendations from friends. It’s similar to the popular second-hand clothes app Depop. Farleigh.io is launching as an invitation-only beta platform.
Namogoo launches promotion machine for retailers. Namogoo, a digital journey platform, has launched Intent-Based Promotions, which arm retailers with automated, customized incentives for every site visit. The service utilizes machine learning to predict each shopper’s intent from her unique signals and digital behavior in real-time. Accompanied by an intuitive, easy-to-use design studio and analytics dashboard, retail brands can implement Intent-Based Promotions into their website or mobile app via a native mobile SDK or with ecommerce integrations.
eBay lowers fees for high-priced business and industrial goods. eBay has lowered final value fees for sellers in select high-priced goods in Business and Industrial categories, including heavy equipment, commercial printing presses, food trucks, trailers, and carts. For eBay store sellers, the new final fee is 2.5 percent on the total amount of the per-item sale up to $15,000 plus 0.30 cents per order and 0.5 percent on the portion of the sale over $15,000. For non-eBay store sellers and those with a starter store, the new final fee is 3 percent on the total amount of the per-item sale up to $15,000 plus 0.30 cents per order and 0.5 percent on the portion over $15,000.
Walmart expands local fulfillment centers. Walmart is increasing the number of stores that will serve as local fulfillment centers. A local fulfillment center is a compact, modular warehouse built within, or added to, a store. Local fulfillment centers can store thousands of the items, including fresh and frozen consumables, electronics, and more. Automated bots retrieve items within the fulfillment center. The items are then brought to a picking workstation, where the order can be assembled with speed. Once the order is collected, the system stores it for pickup. Walmart is developing the local fulfillment centers with various technology partners, including Alert Innovation, Dematic, and Fabric.