Throughout July, YouTube continued to test immersive product experiences, Instagram introduced an ecommerce hub called Instagram Shop, and WhatsApp released new QR codes for small businesses. Learn more about the latest updates in the industry roundup below!
Instagram Shop Launches with Facebook Pay at Checkout
Instagram officially introduced an ecommerce hub called Instagram Shop in the U.S., with plans for a global rollout. The shopping section of the app will let merchants sell products and accept payments via Facebook Pay. Instagram Shop will help online retailers and direct-to-consumer brands get discovered more easily with the surge in online ordering and social media usage among consumers stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Google’s Latest R&D Project is Shoploop, a Mobile Video Shopping Platform
Google rolled out a new ecommerce experience for mobile web that incorporates social feed engagement and video product demos common on YouTube. Shoploop features a feed of short videos from creators using or talking about products, providing consumers with an entertaining new way to shop online.
YouTube Continues Testing Immersive Product Experiences
Amid COVID-19, Google continues to test formats for the future of advertising in a socially distant environment. The features aim to bring external products and purchase decisions to the user versus going to a store, along with a new ad unit on YouTube to help capitalize on the boom of livestreams.
Visual Search Startup Shnap Launches on Mobile and Chrome
Shnap, a new visual search tool, allows users to photograph items they want to locate and buy or compare them to similar goods. The platform uses artificial intelligence to match the users’ images with the same or similar items based on physical characteristics such as styles, patterns, colors and more.
WhatsApp Introduces QR Codes for Small Businesses
As merchants prepare to reopen and grow their online presence, WhatsApp’s newly launched QR codes for small businesses are intended to help connect with customers. The QR codes can be displayed on product packaging, receipts or on storefronts that launch customer chats and making it easier for people to discover products.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced its decision that CES 2021 will cancel all in-person aspects of the show and instead switch to an all-digital experience. Among the planned experience, CES 2021 will continue to hold keynotes, conferences, product showcases, meetings and networking for global brands in the tech industry.
Google’s Tools Now Recognize “Web Story”
As Web Stories become increasingly popular, Google announced that it now supports labeling them as such in Google Search Console and its testing tools. A Web Story is a visual storytelling format in Google Search results that immerses the user in a tap-through full-screen experience. Google is now giving brands and site owners even more refined breakdowns of how a Web Story published on your site can send you traffic from Google Search and Google Discover.