Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-November from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, customer support, visual search, video commerce, live streaming, product tagging, last-mile delivery, and small business financing.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
BigCommerce now integrates with Snap for merchant advertising. BigCommerce merchants in the U.S. can sync product catalogs with Snapchat ad campaigns. Merchants can leverage Snapchat’s various made-for-ecommerce ad formats to showcase products and make a personalized connection with consumers to establish brand loyalty and drive traffic to their storefront.
Meta introduces new tools for creators. Meta has announced new ways creators can earn money on Facebook and Instagram. Creators can soon make their own digital collectibles on Instagram and sell them to fans via an end-to-end toolkit — from creation to showcasing and selling. Meta is expanding the types of digital collectibles to include videos and support for the Solana blockchain and Phantom wallet.
LiveChat launches OpenWidget. OpenWidget is the latest update from LiveChat Software. This free and easy-to-install tool allows ecommerce businesses to improve customer satisfaction and increase profits. The widget is compatible with popular ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more. OpenWidget offers a contact form, product cards, a frequently asked questions template, widget customization, and more.
Amazon launches merchant cash advance program. Amazon has launched a new financing program provided by Parafin, a U.S.-based provider of growth capital for sellers. The initiative allows eligible businesses to access funds from $500 to $10 million and will enable sellers to protect margins, develop new products, grow inventory, and manage cash flow. The financing ties the repayment to a portion of sellers’ future sales for a fixed capital fee.
Firework partners with Snowflake. To improve its uptime and speed, Firework, a video commerce platform, has announced a partnership with Snowflake, a data cloud company. Firework will become one of the first live-stream and short-form video providers powered by Snowflake. With Firework, brands can bring video commerce capabilities to their digital properties, including live-stream shopping and short-form shoppable videos. By building its video ecommerce platform on Snowflake, Firework can ingest and store billions of records per day from various data sources and pipelines across internal application databases.
Etsy launches search by images. Shoppers on iOS devices can now use images to discover items on Etsy. Shoppers can tap the new camera icon in the search bar and upload or take a photo, and Etsy will surface visually similar products. The feature makes it easier for sellers to discover and connect with Etsy’s built-in base of nearly 90 million buyers worldwide. The beta is currently available for iOS users only.
YouPay launches cart sharing app for U.S. Shopify stores. YouPay, a cart-sharing app for Shopify, has announced its launch into the U.S. market. Immediately available for installation on Shopify stores in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and the Asia Pacific Region, YouPay allows shoppers to complete their cart and create a private, shareable link for parents, relatives, or friends to view and pay at the checkout.
YouTube introduces Live Q&A. YouTube is introducing Live Q&A to make live streams more interactive. Live Q&A facilitates question-and-answer sessions in a live chat during streams and premieres from the Live Control Room. With Live Q&A, users can more easily build a community while replying to on-topic questions by viewers.
PayPal and Venmo to integrate with Apple’s Tap to Pay. PayPal is working with Apple to enhance offerings for merchants and consumers. Leveraging Apple’s Tap to Pay technology, U.S. merchants will soon be able to accept contactless debit or credit cards and mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, using an iPhone and the PayPal or Venmo iOS app. PayPal is adding Apple Pay as a payment option in its unbranded checkout flows on merchant platforms, including the PayPal Commerce Platform. In 2023, U.S. consumers can add PayPal and Venmo network-branded credit and debit cards to Apple Wallet and use them anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.
Amaze acquires Spring to accelerate creator commerce. Amaze Software has announced the acquisition of Spring, a merchandising platform. The combined core capabilities will provide brands and creators with an expanded toolset to help them engage more authentically with consumers and create products and merchandise. Recently launched creator tools include expansions of YouTube, TikTok, and Meta social commerce integrations, the Sam’s Club Photo and Customization platform, and SpringMark, which can protect and manage creator’s designs.
YouTube to launch Go Live Together. With YouTube’s new Go Live Together, creators can invite guests to live stream. Creators can schedule a live stream with a guest from a computer (via Live Control Room) and then go live from a mobile phone. The feature is available to a select group of creators, but it will expand soon.
Meta introduces Product Tagging API for Instagram Reels. Following the release of product tagging in feed, Meta has expanded product tagging in Instagram Reels via the Product Tagging API and third-party partner platforms. Enabling product tagging via the Instagram API reduces friction by meeting sellers in their workflows. Using product tagging in Reels allows brands to drive product discovery with short-form videos. This functionality is fully integrated with partners, including Dash Hudson, Hootsuite, Later, Sprout Social, and Sprinklr, and is now available for integration by any other content publishing API partner.
ProShip adds Better Trucks for multi-carrier shipping platforms. Better Trucks, a regional last-mile parcel platform, and ProShip, a multi-carrier shipping software, have announced an integration that enables all current and prospective ProShip customers to utilize Better Trucks’ strategic regional delivery network across the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Texas. Better Trucks focuses on next-day and two-day parcel shipping to residential customers. Leading retailers, fulfillment companies, and third-party logistics companies comprise its fast-growing customer base.