Here is a list of new product releases and updates from companies offering services to ecommerce and omnichannel merchants. There are updates on holiday promotions, shipping labels, B2B tools, ad targeting, virtual experiences, fulfillment, and generative AI.
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Product Releases: October 2
BigCommerce launches B2B Edition Invoice Portal. BigCommerce has launched “B2B Edition Invoice Portal” for suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers. The new portal allows B2B merchants to incorporate invoice payments into a centralized purchasing workflow. According to BigCommerce, merchants can pay multiple invoices for orders placed both online and offline, easily reconcile payments with ERP systems, simplify the invoice payment process, and speed up transaction time.
USPS extends grace period for moving to Ground Advantage. The USPS has extended the deadline for moving to Ground Advantage and continues to accept and deliver legacy First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground packages. The grace period for USPS Ground Advantage non-compliance was initially planned to end on September 30, 2023. To provide mailers additional time to comply with the new labeling requirements, USPS extended the period through October 31, 2023.
Mercari announces lower UPS SurePost costs. Mercari, a platform for buying and selling used items, has announced lower rates for UPS SurePost prepaid labels for .25 to 5 lbs. Existing listings with UPS SurePost buyer-paid shipping will be automatically updated with the lower shipping charges. Seller-paid UPS SurePost shipping rates on existing listings will change if updated by the sellers in the shipping option.
Etsy readies merchants for 5-week Cyber Sale. Etsy is hosting its annual Cyber Sale. Merchants can schedule a sale of 25% off or more between October 23 and November 29 for the chance to have their items featured. Etsy published an “Ultimate Guide to Pricing” post to help merchants prepare. Additionally, merchants can learn how to incorporate trends into holiday marketing plans by joining Etsy’s trend expert Dayna Isom-Johnson and design award winner Candice Luter.
Faire and Shopify partner on wholesale marketplace. Faire, a B2B marketplace, has announced a global partnership with Shopify. The partnership establishes Faire as Shopify’s recommended B2B marketplace and Shopify’s point of sale platform as the preferred provider for Faire’s independent in-person and online retail community. As part of the partnership, Faire and Shopify will introduce in the coming months new ways for businesses to grow and manage their B2B offerings across the two platforms.
Square unveils features to help businesses with holiday selling. Square has announced new features for the 2023 holiday selling period. The features include Square Online’s Themes and Square for Retail’s AI-generated product descriptions, wherein sellers can enhance customer engagement across more channels and access automated tools.
Walmart launches Discovered on Roblox. Walmart has launched Discovered, a virtual experience on Roblox, allowing users to discover games, indie experiences, and virtual items as voted on by the community. Through this new nomination system, Walmart Discovered will spotlight over the next four months 300-plus community creators, from digital fashion designers to developers. Users aged 13 and older can explore Walmart Discovered on Roblox.com and on common devices and platforms.
Shopify updates Audiences to target buyers likely to convert. Shopify Audiences is a tool for ad platforms to assist merchant advertisers. The new Audiences v2.1 helps merchants in North America find more customers across all major ad platforms, expanding from Meta, Google, and Pinterest to include TikTok, Snapchat, and Criteo. Additionally, Shopify has launched a new benchmarking feature to compare how merchants’ ads perform next to competitors.
ShipBob partners with TikTok in the U.S. ShipBob has partnered with TikTok to power “Fulfilled by TikTok,” a logistics program for brands and merchants using TikTok Shop in the U.S. Orders from participating sellers on TikTok Shop are picked, packed, and shipped by ShipBob. Sellers can leverage ShipBob’s AI-driven fulfillment engine and network of fulfillment centers for nationwide inventory storage, order fulfillment, and quick shipping.
Apron secures $15 million to simplify invoice payments. London-based startup Apron has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Index Ventures. Apron helps small companies process and pay invoices. Apron acts as the central repository for all invoices, allowing for rules and workflows so that appropriate executives approve large amounts. Payments are sent directly from the payee’s bank account.
AWS announces innovations for generative AI for businesses of all sizes. Amazon Web Services has announced the availability of Amazon Bedrock, a managed service for making foundation models from leading AI companies accessible through a single API. Available models include Amazon Titan Embeddings and Llama 2 as a new model on Amazon Bedrock. Amazon CodeWhisperer delivers customized generative AI-powered code suggestions. With Amazon QuickSight, analysts can explore data and create visuals simply by describing what they want.