Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid February from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on mobile payments, B2B commerce, omnichannel messaging, live video shopping, and augmented reality.
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Ecommerce Product Releases
Apple empowers businesses to accept contactless payments through “Tap to Pay on iPhone.” Apple has announced plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The new capability will empower millions of U.S. merchants to use iPhones to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap, with no additional hardware. Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available for payment platforms and app developers to integrate into their iOS apps. Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to its business customers, including the Shopify Point of Sale app this spring.
BigCommerce acquires B2B Ninja, an ecommerce platform. BigCommerce has announced the acquisition of Quote Ninja, Inc., an enterprise-level B2B ecommerce platform for merchants of all sizes. B2B Ninja is available to any BigCommerce merchant on any plan. It’s helpful for merchants who don’t need the full functionality of BigCommerce’s B2B Edition but require quoting functionality. BigCommerce will continue to offer B2B Edition, an advanced suite of B2B functionalities through the integration of BundleB2B and BigCommerce Enterprise.
Rocket.Chat taps Instagram Direct for omnichannel messaging. Rocket.Chat, an enterprise communication provider, has announced Instagram Direct, a new service enabling businesses to integrate their Instagram accounts with Rocket.Chat’s omnichannel customer service package. The new integration is designed to help companies build relationships with customers by facilitating a conversational commerce experience in the familiar Instagram Direst Messenger app. Businesses can run Rocket.Chat with a range of features, including individual and group communication, video conferencing, file uploading, screen sharing, live chat, and integration with various communications platforms.
Bringg acquires parcel delivery service Zenkraft to meet growing customer demand. Bringg, a data-led delivery and fulfillment cloud platform, has announced the acquisition from Salesforce of Zenkraft, a parcel and return delivery service. The acquisition aims to accelerate Bringg’s penetration in the Salesforce ecosystem by extending Zenkraft’s parcel, return, and post-purchase uses with an on-demand delivery network of hundreds of providers. Zenkraft will accelerate Bringg’s go-to-market strategy thanks to pre-existing integrations with the Salesforce ecommerce cloud and order management system.
Bambuser launches Bambuser Academy to educate brands on live video shopping. The new Bambuser Academy will address the increasing demand for brands to educate themselves on live commerce. With clientele including LVMH, Farfetch, Clarins, and Samsung, live shows spanning 45 languages in 190 countries, and 58 million minutes of live streaming in 2021, Bambuser says it is positioned to offer insights, data, and expertise. The target audience for Bambuser Academy ranges from ecommerce professionals to retail strategists and marketers. It will feature beginner, intermediate and advanced courses covering production, editorial strategies, ecommerce optimization, and content creation.
Oro Inc. unveils live B2B video podcast. Oro Inc., the company behind the B2B ecommerce platform OroCommerce, has announced the launch of B2B Commerce UnCut, a live video podcast featuring interactive, community-driven content plus insights from industry experts and Oro customers and partners. Each episode will be live-streamed on Zoom with no editing or second takes.
Pinterest introduces “Try On for Home Decor.“ Pinterest has introduced Try On for Home Decor for pinners to shop for home goods using augmented reality. Pinners can virtually place items from U.S. retailers in their home using the Pinterest Lens camera, to try before buying. Try On for Home Decor follows the launches of Pinterest’s try-on for lipstick and eyeshadow. The virtual home decor experience launches live across more than 80,000 shoppable Pins, while the makeup experience is available for 14,000.
FedEx launches Small Business Grant Contest. The 2022 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is now open. Three grand prize winners will receive $50,000, and seven first-place winners will receive $20,000. To enter, FedEx account holders must write a short profile about their company, including what makes it stand out from the competition, and provide a digital version of their logo and several photos of the business. Contestants can also include a two-minute video about their business.
Shopware, an ecommerce platform, raises $100 million. Shopware, which provides open-source tools to power online shopping experiences for roughly 100,000 mid-sized and larger brands, has announced $100 million in funding, the company’s first outside financing since its founding in 2000. PayPal and Carlyle Europe Technology Partners are the two investors, collectively at minority ownership, per Shopware.
Amazon adds themed templates to customer engagement email marketing for brand sellers. Amazon’s customer engagement tool empowers companies in the Brand Registry to engage on-site followers through email. Sellers can now create themed email campaigns within the tool, with new templates launched monthly.