Today in the Connected Economy: Amazon Tests Livestream Shopping

Today in the connected economy, Amazon is reportedly taking a page from TikTok as it tests a new live stream shopping feature for its app.

Also, Target doubled its investment on local sorting centers as customers flock to same-day delivery, and Sen. Pat Toomey criticized the FDIC’s actions on cryptocurrencies.

Amazon Hopes to ‘Inspire’ Consumers to Shop TikTok-Style

Amazon is testing a feature for its app that shows shoppers an image and video of products, something akin to the popular video social media platform TikTok.

A report by the Wall Street Journal said the portal — called “Inspire” — is thus far visible to just a handful of the retail giant’s employees.

Inspire offers users a feed with a stream of images and videos of products, giving them the ability to like merchandise, comment on it or buy immediately.

Target Is Doubling Sortation Centers Amid Surge in Demand for Same-Day Delivery

Citing outsized demand for same-day delivery, Target wants to double its investment in local sorting centers. 

Company CEO Brian Cornell said the increased commitment to meeting the demand for same-day and in-store order pickup stems from changing consumer habits and increased traffic to its stores and website, which have added 90 million new customers in the past three years.

“Our industry-leading, same-day services have transformed our business in a short time,” Cornell said on the retailer’s second-quarter earnings call.

Toomey: FDIC ‘Improperly’ Restricting Crypto Trading Amid Broader U.S. Crackdown

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), has written to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) demanding to know if the regulator was “improperly” pressuring banks to “deter them from doing business with lawful cryptocurrency-related companies” and to “deter banks from extending credit to crypto-related companies.”

Referring to what he called “whistleblower” reports, Toomey — the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee said he’d learned that FDIC regional offices have sent “letters to multiple banks requesting that they refrain from expanding relationships with crypto-related companies, without providing any legal basis for sending such letters.”

Toomey said that included one that “planned to give customers access to a crypto-related company’s trading platform via the bank’s mobile or internet banking app.” It planned “clear disclosures” that such investments would not be FDIC insured. Enhances Authentication Tool to Reduce Abandoned Carts

Payments company is launching enhancements to its authentication product to help online businesses reduce abandoned carts as new strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements go into effect in Europe.

“With the flurry of work to comply with SCA requirements in the rearview mirror, it’s time for businesses to focus on evolving and optimizing their authentication strategy, and in 2022, the stakes are high,” Product Director Rami Josef said in a blog post.

Josef added that European consumers had dumped their carts before finishing their purchases due to added authentication requirements.

Sezzle, Klaviyo Collaborate to Combat Cart Abandonment

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Sezzle has launched a direct integration with marketing automation platform Klaviyo, allowing Klaviyo merchants to offer customers Sezzle’s installment financing options when shoppers want to abandon their carts.

“We’re excited to launch this integration with a leading player in the alternative payments space, helping our mutual customers strategically target shoppers via email and SMS marketing,” said Rich Gardner, vice president of global strategic partnerships at Klaviyo.

“Sezzle’s purpose-driven approach to payments and mission of financial freedom directly aligns with Klaviyo’s vision to empower creators to their own destiny.