Here is a list of product releases and updates as of mid-August from companies providing services to online retailers. There are updates on branded mobile apps, headless commerce, small business grants, purchase protection, acquisitions from Amazon sellers, and buy-now-pay-later purchases.
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E-commerce product releases
Wix introduces Mobile App Builder for users. Wix, the SaaS web builder platform, announced the launch of Branded App by Wix, a tool that allows users to build and customize bespoke apps without coding. Business owners can customize the icon, layout and content of the app, including product pages, booking services, forums and groups, chat functions, blogs, push notifications and more.
Hootsuite Acquires Heyday Conversational AI Platform. Hootsuite announced the acquisition of Heyday, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence platform that enables brands to have personalized one-to-one messaging conversations with buyers. Heyday offers enterprise-class customer messaging via chat and video that can be integrated with e-commerce platforms.
BigCommerce is partnering with Sezzle to offer buy-it-later service. BigCommerce, the SaaS e-commerce platform, has partnered with Sezzle to develop “buy now, pay later” payment plans. BigCommerce merchants can now offer interest-free payment options to consumers, including high-risk borrowers and younger buyers looking to build up credit. Since Sezzle is natively integrated into the BigCommerce control panel as a payment gateway, merchants can activate the BNPL option with a single click to display a Sezzle widget at checkout. Sezzle then collects 25% of the order price from the consumer at the time of purchase, followed by three additional automated installments of 25% over six weeks.
eBay will launch Up & Running Grants in 2021 to support small businesses. eBay has extended its Up & Running scholarship program for another year to help small businesses and provides more than $ 500,000 annually in funding and educational resources to support eBay’s growth and success. Now in its second year, the grant program builds on eBay’s longstanding commitment to small businesses and expands the company’s Up & Running initiative to include an additional 50 US business vendors receiving $ 10,000 grant packages. eBay is again working with business accelerator Hello Alice to launch the application of the program and provide access to mentoring and resources to all sellers who apply, regardless of whether they are selected for a scholarship. To learn more, visit ebay.helloalice.com.
The e-commerce provider Cart.com raises $ 98 million. Cart.com, a Houston-based e-commerce company, closed its third round of funding this year, generating $ 98 million and increasing its total funding to $ 143 million. The company provides software, services, and infrastructure to help small businesses scale online. Cart.com has acquired seven companies including AmeriCommerce, Spacecraft Brands, DuMont Project and Sauceda Industries. Three or four more should be acquired by the end of the year. Oak HC / FT Partners led the new funding round and was supported by PayPal Ventures, Clearco, G9 Ventures, Mercury Fund, Valedor Partners and Arsenal Growth.
Amazon is revising the A-to-Z guarantee. Amazon is extending its A-to-Z Guarantee to protect consumers from a defective product sold on Amazon that causes property damage or personal injury, regardless of who is selling it. Amazon pays customers direct, at no cost to sellers, for claims less than $ 1,000, which make up more than 80% of the cases, and may intervene to pay claims for higher amounts if the seller does not respond or if one is valid by Amazon rejected claim held. Amazon is also rolling out the Amazon Insurance Accelerator to help sellers purchase insurance at competitive prices from trusted vendors.
Suma Brands Raises $ 150 Million to Acquire Amazon Marketplace Sellers. Suma Brands, a platform for buying and scaling companies selling on the Amazon marketplace, has completed a Series A investment led by Pace Capital and Material along with a credit facility led by i80 Group. Suma Brands, which was founded last year, has now raised over $ 150 million. The company says it will use the newly raised capital to accelerate the pace of Fulfillment by Amazon company acquisitions and expand its diverse portfolio of e-commerce brands. The company will continue to invest in its operating platform for growing brands it acquires.
Edgemesh enables one-click headless performance for ecommerce businesses. Edgemesh, an AI site optimization platform, announced the launch of Edgemesh Server to enable one-click headless performance for ecommerce websites. According to Edgemesh, server provides headless-style deployments with no developer effort and makes website backends like Shopify, Magento, SAP Hybris, and WordPress faster to render and provision. Edgemesh Server offers 4 times faster site speed and 10 times faster server response time for an accelerated customer experience. The product also includes user experience enhancements such as A / B testing, personalization, and bot protection.
Square is taking over Afterpay, a provider that has to buy now and pay later. Afterpay has approved the takeover by Square. The acquisition aims to bring financial services to more consumers and generate additional revenue for merchants. Square plans to integrate Afterpay with its existing Seller and Cash App businesses so that even the smallest merchants can offer BNPL at the checkout. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
FeedbackWhiz expands services for Amazon sellers. FeedbackWhiz has expanded its service to eight global Amazon marketplaces. Merchants can use FeedbackWhiz’s advanced Amazon seller tools to improve customer feedback, monitor offers, automate email campaigns, get more product reviews, and analyze accounting data.