eCommerce Platform News Roundup
Magento Partners with PowerReviews to Provide Ratings & Reviews and Q&A Capabilities
PowerReviews, a provider of ratings, reviews and Q&A technology, announced a partnership with Magento Commerce, a worldwide open source e-commerce platform provider. The partnership is expected to increase review coverage through syndication for merchants on the Magento Commerce platform.
“We partnered with PowerReviews to deepen their Magento Commerce integrations, and help merchants seamlessly collect, display and syndicate product review content across the web,” said Ryan Murden, Head of Business Development at Magento Commerce.
PowerReviews’ partnership with Magento provides merchants with:
Content Collection: Display authentic user-generated content, including star ratings, questions and answers and native photos and videos directly in the review display.
Content Syndication: Access to the Open Network increases visibility by distributing reviews collected on brand sites to a vast syndication network of top retailer sites, reaching one billion shoppers across the web.
Customization and Flexibility: Ratings & Reviews and Questions & Answers are easily implemented and fully customized to fit the look, feel and branding of any Magento merchant’s site.
Analytics: Advanced reporting and metrics improve review collection and display, help Magneto merchants collect and analyze customer feedback to enhance products and the shopping experience.
There are many ways to create a sense of community for your visitors and user-generated content (UGC) is the key ingredient in that strategy. Today, consumers as modern customers tend to be self-researchers. In fact, a study by Forrester discovered that as many as 72% of customers prefer to use a self-help option rather than reach out to a company. They run their own research about a brand to put their questions to rest long before they create contact with sales or a support department.
This partnership brings a user-generated content capability which is now so critical for merchandisers. Content created by a brand is still informative, but when it’s written by peers, that content is instantly considered more trustworthy. In fact, 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.
Bigcommerce Partners With Acumatica to Combine ERP with Cloud-Based E-commerce Platform
BigCommerce, a cloud-based e-commerce platform, announced its collaboration with Acumatica, a cloud ERP company, to offer an end-to-end commerce solution. According to BigCommerce, with the partnership, now merchandisers will be able to:
Integrate their online storefronts with the back office
Increase their operational efficiency
Have a holistic view of orders, inventory, fulfillment, returns, customer support, and accounting
More importantly, merchandisers will be able to manage all these integrations from one dashboard. This collaboration between BigCommerce and Acumatica also combines the SaaS solutions for both commerce and ERP. “Acumatica and BigCommerce are the respective SaaS leaders in ERP and e-commerce. It was a natural fit that we join forces”, said Ylan Kunstler, executive director for strategic partnerships, BigCommerce. “Our integration with Acumatica delivers on the promise of a fully cloud-based solution tailored to the needs of fast-growing brands that value less complexity, lower cost and faster time to market.”
If the storefront is not integrated with their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, maintaining it may become a nightmare. When these two systems are connected, data redundancy, human involvement, and error will automatically decrease as the integration between the two eliminates the amount of re-entering the data.
Another benefit of having this kind of integration is reducing the order fulfillment cycle while increasing internal productivity. Since the online sales orders are integrated into the ERP system in real-time, a back office ERP user can track the order immediately and move on with further processing. As a result, the ease of getting up to date product information, order tracking details, and inventory availability details from ERP system positively reflects customers’ experiences with the brand.
Sobeys Ties up with Britain’s E-commerce Giant Ocado to Launch Best Home Delivery ‘On the Planet’
Canada’s second largest food retailer Sobeys Inc announced that they have entered into an agreement with the e-commerce platform provider Ocado in an effort to expand its online business. One of the premises of this partnership is to enable Sobeys customers to shop for groceries online or via an app, and their order will be gathered, checked out and delivered to their door.
On a more interesting note, in the scope of the deal, Ocado is also tasked with building a warehouse outside Toronto equipped with robotic technology. This project is estimated to be complete in two years. Once that facility is done, the two companies say they may build similar facilities in other urban markets. Sobeys operates more than 1,500 stores across Canada and recorded sales of $23.8 billion last year.
"Sobeys intends to play to win in Canadian online grocery shopping," Sobeys CEO Michael Medline said in a release. "We are very excited to bring this best-in-the-world grocery e-commerce experience to Canadian customers."
RBC Capital Markets analyst Sherri Malek said Ocado was well placed for growth in the online grocery market. “Ocado is the only global provider of an end-to-end platform solution for online grocery retailing … this will become increasingly recognized by retailers globally, leading to a number of deals being signed with Ocado over time,” Malek said.
Considering that the U.K. market is one of the most advanced e-commerce markets in the world and Ocado is one of the biggest players in that market, it is a very smart move for Sobeys to partner with them. No wonder why Michael Medline, president and CEO of Sobeys, claims it will give it the best delivery service "on the planet". The partnership is a big win for Ocado as well because the company has been looking for opportunities to expand its footprints outside of the U.K. to introduce its proprietary technology to international supermarkets.
Amazon’s $13.7-billion (U.S.) acquisition of Whole Foods Market, including its 13 Canadian locations, put the Canadian food retail industry on its heels last June. Since then, Canadian grocers have been stepping up their game with integrating more and more innovative technologies.
The Second Round in the Collaboration between commercetools and Adobe
commercetools, a cloud commerce platform provider, announced it is one of the first commerce platform vendors to integrate with Adobe’s new commerce microservices capabilities for Adobe Experience Cloud. This announcement has been considered the next step in the companies’ collaboration launched less than a year ago.
Adobe’s commerce microservices built on the Adobe Cloud Platform enables developers to quickly deploy and customize code while reducing development time from weeks to hours. Each of Adobe’s microservices are pre-integrated with commerce and order management systems including commercetools, ElasticPath, Digital River, Hybris, and Magento. Microservices had already existed in the background of Adobe’s clouds but now those microservices are Adobe’s first accessible microservices that allow client companies to create experiences.
“Working with Adobe, we are accelerating the adoption of a microservices-based approach to commerce, which is absolutely necessary to keep pace with the demands of today’s retail environment,” said Arthur Lawida, President of commercetools Inc. “We have long evangelized a clear vision for how the speed and agility benefits of a cloud-based, microservices platform could disrupt the traditional commerce approach to overcome the inherent shortcomings of legacy commerce systems. The integration with Adobe furthers this vision, giving retailers a competitive edge via a commerce solution that exceeds consumer demands for an engaging, personalized and omnichannel experience.”
Consumers do not really care whether they end up making their purchase on the company’s website or one of its social channels because they expect the user experience to be so coherent regardless of the platform or device that they are on. Therefore, retailers should focus on creating memorable customer experiences across channels and devices. Keeping up with today’s ever-changing ways of customer interaction requires the flexibility to launch cutting-edge apps that engage your customers on any device without sacrificing security and without breaking your budget. Since commercetools’ open commerce platform architecture supports the microservices approach, joint users can cut down development times and respond quickly to new market conditions.
With this in mind, Adobe’s introduction of commerce-based, accessible microservices is timely and commercetools is a great fit to Adobe’s new microservices approach due to its API-first principle and its high flexibility.
WeMakePrice: The First South Korean Shopping Website to Accept Cryptocurrencies
WeMakePrice, one of South Korea’s largest e-commerce platforms, will integrate 12 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Ripple, Qtum, and Bitcoin Cash to its existing payment application, to allow its consumers to pay for products using cryptocurrencies. The new payment method, will be available as part of the website’s ‘Wonder Pay’ system.
Moreover, it is reported that WeMakePrice will also partner with Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to integrate all 12 cryptocurrencies listed on the exchange. With that partnership, consumers who wish to make a purchase using cryptocurrencies on WeMakePrice will be charged in accordance with the market value of cryptocurrencies in real time.
WeMakePrice is also the first major e-commerce platform to adopt cryptocurrencies in South Korea. The recent integration is expected to pave the way for its competitors. Another e-commerce company, TMON, is also considering accepting cryptocurrencies in a more cautious manner.
The new payment will not only mark WeMakePrice as the first South Korean shopping website to accept cryptocurrencies but also it will increase the efficiency of users as it will act as a direct connection between Bitthumb and WeMakePrice without having to make use of computer networks between banks and credit card companies.
Although cryptocurrency has been a very hot topic in South Korea, no major shopping mall in South Korea to date has accepted cryptocurrencies while only a few small retailers have been seeing it as a legitimate payment. Therefore, WeMakePrice accepting cryptocurrency is a major step in the region. Meanwhile, South Korea introduced a new regulatory plan to "reduce room for cryptocurrency transactions to be exploited for illegal activities, such as crimes, money laundering, and tax evasion." One of the primary roadblocks to prevent the adoption of cryptocurrency is the issue with price fluctuations. The partnership with Bithumb will help consumers to deal with this problem.
Thanks for reading our brief roundup of e-commerce platforms news. If you enjoy this article, I also recommend you checking out our exclusive roundup of e-commerce 2017.