Last month the ecommerce world got a much-anticipated early Christmas present in the form of Magento 2.2. The latest update promises a wide range of benefits to both customers and merchants including some completely new features and performance updates to enhance the user experience. Whether you’re a current Magento 2 customer or are still debating on finally making the move, here’s what to expect from making the upgrade.
What to expect
The new release will see developers, merchants and customers receiving a better experience all round. Both Open Source (formerly Community Edition) and Commerce (formerly Enterprise and Cloud Editions) feature some crucial performance upgrades as well as some long-awaited bug fixes.
Developers can expect to see an updated technology stack. This means PHP 5.6 and Varnish 3 will no longer be supported. Instead, there will be support for PHP 7.1, Varnish 5 and MySQL 5.7.
With security one of the biggest concerns of today’s ecommerce merchants and consumers, it’s no surprise that there are some serious improvements to platform security. The removal of unserialize calls, along with improved protection where object serialization or unserialization was unavoidable, means more resilience against remote code execution attacks. There’s also significant protection against cross-site scripting (XSS).
There is now a new deployment process referred to as pipeline deployment. It allows developers to build and deploy in stages, with resource-intensive processes running on the build server and a separate machine for your production system to minimise downtime for site updates. There’s also easier configuration and management between environments.
Merchants can look forward to providing an improved customer experience thanks to some significant performance updates across three key areas: indexing, cart and cache. This includes new cart enhancements enabling customers to create, and merchants to process, carts with over 300-line items.
Customers will also benefit from improved performance whilst browsing thanks to indexers that can run with no visible impact to customer experience, and long-running indexers that operate in batches to better manage memory and run times.
Finally, see a reduction in load times thanks to enhanced caching operations that ensure a cached page is always presented to customers by Varnish and new blocks for frequently changing data that significantly boost cache hit ratios.
Both Open Source and Commerce updates will include the first bundled third-party extension. Magento Social will allow merchants to better utilise their social channels and convert directly from their Facebook business page. The extension will connect your store to a corporate Facebook account, creating a special page furnished with products straight from your catalogue. Customers can browse and click through to the relevant product page on your site directly from our Facebook page.
Merchants can also look forward to the highly anticipated Magento Shipping that will be available as a bundle of extensions on both Open Source and Commerce. This new offering is set to answer the challenge of order fulfilment and meet the demanding delivery expectations of customers. It promises a range of benefits, from reduced shipping costs to improved cart conversion. This is achieved with instant access to a wide selection of the best international and national carriers, and more shipping options for your customers to suit the experience you want to create.
Magento Commerce customers can also look forward to new B2B Commerce functionality that will give merchants access to a range of new features and benefits. This includes advanced account management for B2B clients, who can then set up and manage multiple buyers with various roles and corresponding levels of permission. For example, buyers with access to browse and request a quote and a manager role with access to account settings and purchase functions.
Here’s what else to expect from B2B Commerce:
- Show a curated product selection and custom pricing to specific companies.
- New quick ordering ideal for B2B clients who often already know the SKU. This includes either manual search or CSV file upload.
- Clients can keep and manage up to 99 requisition lists of frequently ordered products to save time purchasing.
- Set custom credit limits for all your clients and allow them to pay on account online.
- Customers can generate a quote from their cart instead of purchasing to start custom price negotiations. Merchants can respond with comments and adjusted pricing as needed.
- Integrate with a range of ERP solutions.
Upgrading to Magento 2.2
Haven’t made the switch yet? No problem. Magento 1 customers are ideal candidates for the update and there’s a range of benefits to be gained from taking the leap. Now two years since its release the latest platform is better than ever and continues to see improvements every day, but the upgrade isn’t a simple one. Contact one of our team today to discuss the next steps, or simply find out more about how upgrading can benefit your business.
Not a Magento customer? If you’re just getting started and thinking about launching your online business or just searching for a new platform to better meet your current needs, Magento could be a perfect choice. Find out more about our ecommerce packages here, or just pick up the phone and call 01344 266 844.