Freshly Squeezed: 08.11.19

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 08 Nov 2019

WhatsApp launches an in-app catalogue feature and the CEO of GAP steps down from his role. Get a healthy dose of news as we uncover the day’s top stories in e-commerce and retail.

GAP CEO Steps Down from Role

GAP’s CEO, Art Peck, is stepping down from his role, which he held since 2015. The move is effective immediately, with Robert Fisher taking over as CEO in the interim. Mr Peck has worked with the retailer in various roles for the past 15 years, but now will be also removing himself from the company board.  “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Art for his many contributions to Gap Inc., spanning a nearly 15-year career with the company,” explained Mr Fisher in a statement. “Under Art’s tenure as CEO, we have made progress investing in capabilities that bode well for the future, such as expanding the omnichannel customer experience and building our digital capabilities.”

In light of the announcement, GAP also shared a drop in sales from the last quarter; experiencing a drop of four per cent across all of its entire portfolio. The company did not give an explanation behind Mr Peck’s sudden departure.

Cover Genius Raises $10 Million

Cover Genius has raised $10 million in Series B funding to expand its global presence. The Australian start-up provides ‘regulated insurance policies that integrate seamlessly into online point of sale and signup paths, in more than 60 countries and 50 U.S states’, and enables ‘ millions of customers’ to purchase insurance across the globe. “The insurance industry has been held back by legacy systems and a lack of global coordination and customer-centricity for decades. We sought to change that and create simple, yet useful, policies, streamline the claims process and enable the world’s largest online companies to protect their global customers,” said Angus McDonald, SEO and Co-Founder of Cover Genius.

“Customer needs have evolved and today they want protection for a variety of items like sports equipment, pets, electronics, contracting work, jewellery, flight tickets, and cars. We are evolving the insurance experience to cover all of the things they care about and purchase online.”

WhatsApp Adds Catalogue Feature

WhatsApp has added a catalogue feature to its inventory. The Facebook-owned social media platform now allows SMEs to open a ‘mobile storefront’, where they can showcase their goods available for purchase. Small businesses are the predominant audience for WhatsApp, which has 1.5 billion users. “We’re opening commerce as a new chapter,” said Amrit Pal, Product Manager at WhatsApp. “We hear from businesses every day that WhatsApp is where they meet their customers, rather than sending them to a website.” Users cannot make purchases from the app, which is a feature available for other Facebook-owned companies like Instagram. The catalogue feature is currently rolling out in India, Brazil, Germany, Britain, Mexico and the U.S.

Catch up on yesterday’s Freshly Squeezed news here.

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