Here is a list of product releases and updates for late-November from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on artificial intelligence, membership monetization, brand protection, international payments, and online returns.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
eBay launches “Up & Running Grants” for small business sellers. eBay has announced a new grant program to help small businesses. The “Up & Running Grants” program is committing more than $500,000 in funding and education resources for existing business sellers to secure viability beyond 2020. Through the program, 50 eBay small business sellers will each receive a grant package composed of $8,000 cash and $2,000 worth of eBay credits. Recipients will also enjoy premium access to Seller School and direct training and coaching from expert sellers and eBay Growth Advisors.
Adobe adds new visual recognition capabilities for Magento merchants. Adobe is introducing a visual product recommendation, allowing Magento Commerce merchants to offer its shoppers recommendations of similar looking products to what they’re considering purchasing, taking into account attributes such as color, shape, size, material, and style. The feature is powered by Adobe Sensei, which uses visual AI to recognize and process product images and patterns.
Microsoft debuts shopping features for Edge and Bing. Microsoft has announced shopping-related updates to Edge and Bing. Edge, the cross-platform browser, has a new feature to make finding coupons faster and easier. When visiting a site, a shopper is alerted if there are any coupons available for that site, and coupon codes are surfaced upon checkout. Edge also has a new proactive price comparison tool that will check competing retailers to let the user know if a lower price is available. Bing now offers “Deals Hub” to browse the latest online offerings across retailers as well as a shopping hub, which offers curated categories such as home décor, gift ideas, clothing, and jewelry. Bing is also launching a Shop the Look feature, building off Bing’s visual search technologies, as well as a Shopping tab.
Amazon announces Sponsored Display audience in the U.S. Amazon has launched Sponsored Display audiences for vendors and sellers registered in Amazon Brand Registry in the U.S. Sponsored Display is a self-service display targeting strategy powered by first-party shopping signals that help grow your business on Amazon by reaching relevant shoppers throughout their purchase journey. Flexible controls enable you to define the audiences you want to reach, helping you introduce new products, engage new customers, or remarket with scale. With this launch, Amazon has introduced views remarketing, a subset of Sponsored Display audiences that enables sellers to reengage audiences that have viewed specific product detail pages but haven’t purchased your advertised product in the past 30 days. Sponsored Display is available in both the advertising console as well as the Amazon Advertising API.
Returnly launches in-store returns for online purchases. Returnly, a player in digital return experiences and post-purchase payments, has announced the release of In-Store Returns, enabling retailers and brands to offer safe, convenient online return drop-offs at brick-and-mortar locations. Shoppers can quickly return online purchases, without boxes or labels, for an immediate refund. As a result, merchants can significantly shorten return-to-stock times.
Amazon launches intellectual property accelerator in Europe. Amazon has launched an intellectual property accelerator in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, making it easier and more cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses to obtain trademarks, protect their brands, and tackle counterfeit goods. IP Accelerator, which is available to any brand selling in Amazon’s stores, connects entrepreneurs directly with a curated network of European law firms with expertise in IP rights. Participating law firms will charge fees to SMBs at competitive, pre-negotiated rates, giving sellers confidence and clarity about how much obtaining a trademark will cost. Also, SMBs can seek general IP advice from these law firms as their brands and businesses grow.
Squarespace releases Member Areas add-on. Squarespace has launched a new product, Members Areas, allowing creators to monetize their content by gating it behind members-only areas. Merchants will now be able to create fully customizable groups, offer membership levels, create multiple members-only areas on a website, manage members in one location, and set membership costs that are either a one-time fee, recurring membership payment, or free of charge. Member Areas is available as an add-on to any Squarespace website subscription. Plans start at $9 a month.
Dynamic Yield launches ecommerce benchmarks. Dynamic Yield, an experience optimization platform, has announced the release of eCommerce Benchmarks, a free tool enabling marketers to compare their conversion key performance indicators with aggregated industry data. The tool helps brands set targets, gain insights into industry trends, and determine how their metrics perform in comparison. The benchmarking data is available for seven key conversion metrics, including shopping cart abandonment, conversion rate, and add-to-cart rate — across location, device, and industry.
Payoneer launches global payment strategies for ecommerce merchants in North America. Payoneer, a digital payment platform, has announced that its new payment orchestration platform is available for ecommerce merchants in North America who are looking to accept international payments. Following its acquisition by Payoneer, Optile is now integrated into Payoneer’s core platform and is tackling the challenges of global payment acceptance. Payoneer’s payment orchestration platform provides merchants with access to its network of over 100 partners, consisting of global, regional, and local payment providers and methods, as well as risk providers.
Shopify launches partnership with Alipay. Shopify has announced a partnership with Alipay, Asia’s leading digital wallet platform. The new payment gateway will allow Shopify merchants to seamlessly accept payments through Alipay from more than 1 billion annual active users in China alone. Now, through the Alipay payment gateway, Shopify merchants will reduce friction for those consumers looking to make purchases with their preferred payment method.