Reading List - Week of September 12
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This week in our roundup of the best eCommerce and technology news PayPal is still looking for ways to innovate in how we buy and sell things. Giftbit lets retailers create their own eCommerce currency. Instagram is making their ads more visible and interactive. Apple shares hit an all time high. How legacy brands can keep up in this ever changing tech-driven world. For full stories read on.
PayPal Still Looking for Ways to Innovate How We Buy and Sell Things
PayPal, as you’re probably already aware is one of the world’s leading platforms for digital commerce and after 17 years is still pushing the boundaries through new technology. They’ve never been strangers to innovation and others have benefited greatly from it. Apple Pay, which will soon be available in Canada, uses the PayPal infrastructure and backend systems. And they don’t plan on slowing down just yet. On Thursday Alexander Peh, PayPal’s Lead Strategic Partnerships Manager, was out in Vancouver and spoke to an intimate crowd of tech professionals from the area. This included some very impressive statistics. In 2015 PayPal saw 1.4 billion mobile transactions which totalled $66 Billion in dollars exchanged. PayPal’s dedication to creating simple, secure and compelling mobile buying experiences for Canadians is clear to see through the features they’re releasing. For example, Peh stated to the audience “With personalized Paypal.me urls, we’re helping eliminate the conversation about splitting bills, or owing money.” PayPal, though they’ve been around for quite some time, have plans to continue finding new ways to create better user experiences.
Giftbit lets retailers create their own eCommerce currency
Earlier this week at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, GiftBit, a company that operates a digital gift card marketplace for eCommerce merchants launched a new platform: GiftBit eCommerce Currency Platform. The SaaS platform enables custom currency for online stores, including gift cards, promo codes and refund credits, without having to build their own, internal systems. Giftbit was able to identify a gap in the market for this as they’ve run a profit-generating gift card marketplace for the last few years. They found traditional gift card markets traditionally focused on brick-and-mortar stores and hadn’t yet addressed the eCommerce space. Giftbit co-founder and CEO Leif Baradoy explains “Successful businesses need the right tools to grow. They don’t build their own CRMs anymore. They don’t build their own messaging… they use Twilio. But we’ve really seen in the market that businesses are still building their own custom currency.” The tool has integrations with Salesforce, Zapier lined up and will be available to Shopify Plus merchants through the eCommerce platforms marketplace. The software-as-a-service company is based in Victoria, B.C, Canada, has 18 team members and has raised $2.1 million in seed funding which was led by Freestyle Capital.
Instagram is making its ads more visible and interactive
Instagram, owned by Facebook, has changed the way some of its Ads will appear in users feeds. A call to action underneath the photograph will now turn blue when clicked on or the ad is looked at for more than 4 seconds, prompting the user to take action. As for video ads, as soon as the video is un-muted, they’ll be redirected to the destination URL while the video continues to play along the top, allowing a user to browse the landing page while still being able to watch the video. A user may also close the video play or be re-directed back to Instagram if desired. Facebook Ads have been a hot topic as of late and it should come as no surprise they would be trying to up the ante by having Instagram Ads jump out at users a bit more.
Now Worth $600 Billion: Apple Shares Hit New 2016 High Following iPhone 7 Launch
Earlier this week Apple shares hit an all time time after their reveal of the new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, which are both available today. The company is valued at an incredible $607 billion with stock traded at more than $113–Apple’s 52 week high is $123.82. With Samsung recently being forced to recall millions of Galaxy smartphones, Apple took advantage and hiked up supply orders for their iPhone 7. Investors are predicting a huge quarter for the company. North American wireless carriers have stated that iPhone 7 pre-orders are better than ever since the launch and are taking this as a sign that Apple technology is stronger than ever.
How legacy brands and retailers can keep up with our tech-driven world
With the U.S apparel space valued at $12 billion, legacy brands are looking to strengthen their relationships with modern day consumers by bringing forth an enhanced shopping experience. By utilizing retail tech these brands are able to meet the diverse needs of their customers by offering a personalized experience both online and in-store. Macy’s and IBM have made a serious move to elevate their customer’s in-store shopping experience when they announced their pilot program. With Watson, IBM’s AI technology, customers are able to ask it questions about inventory, store navigation, FAQ’s, and specific questions regarding store locations. With more and more department stores closing up shop, Macy’s and others such as Sephora and Michael Kors are evolving the in-store experience by leveraging new technology as much as possible to compete with the eCommerce revolution. To read the full story head to TechCrunch.