Magento has just released Magento Community Edition 1.9 and we're excited! Why, you ask?
Well, there are three major improvements in store for all Magento sites. First is the new default responsive theme, which makes it easier to adapt sites for virtually any device. Second is the improved payment options and consistent cross-border pricing. And finally an array of security enhancements.
Responsive All the Way
Magento Community Edition 1.9 is making the wise switch to responsive web design for its default theme, making the process of setting up a responsive site easier than ever. It was about time Magento websites got the responsive treatment!
- Mobile device use continues to grow, and responsive design is still our best bet in giving a consistent brand experience to our customers regardless of their preferred device.
- Setting up a fully responsive eCommerce website can now be done in half the time and with minimal costs.
- A unified responsive design is less expensive to maintain as well, and doesn't require as much effort compared to managing different versions of your website.
- Google favors and encourages responsive design. So from an SEO standpoint, going responsive is ultimately beneficial to your website—better search rankings, better user experience for visitors, less bounce rate and more user engagement.
Improved Payment Options
Just as PayPal updates its logo, it is also experiencing a much welcome improvement in its integration in Magento eCommerce sites, ensuring that the checkout process is as as smooth as possible and that customers proceed with their purchase.
- The PayPal checkout process presents alternative payment options in case a customer's credit card gets rejected.
- At the checkout, there's the Bill Me Later option which lets customers make purchases now and then pay for them later. This on-the-spot financing poses no additional cost to the merchant. Customers will surely appreciate this Bill Me Later feature, especially if they truly intend to make a purchase. According to one research firm, such feature can result in improved conversion rates by up to 18% because customers don't have to back out of a purchase anymore when an alternative option exists.
- Clear CTAs and ready-made banner ads effectively promoting the new service.
- Some unnecessary steps (Order Review page, Update Order) in the PayPal checkout process can be skipped or enabled as you please, in order to give a smoother experience for customers.
- Various web store and shopping cart fixes.
- Finally, Magento CE 1.9 uses consistent cross-border pricing to best serve customers from all parts of the world. With a clearer, more transparent pricing, customers won't feel confused when making purchases. In turn, merchants can show a single price to customers regardless of country, and regardless of the tax rates that may apply from country to country.
Better Security & Overall UX
Magento CE 1.9 comes with an array of security and quality enhancements (more than 50 updates) that are crucial for any eCommerce site. To name a few, they includes:
- closing potential cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities
- improved file system security
- addressing a potential session fixation vulnerability during checkout
- addressing a potential security issue that might display information about a different order to a customer
- removal of an unsafe .swf file from the Magento distribution
- improved security of action URLs such as billing agreements Read more on Magento Community Edition 1.9's release notes here. For now, every Magento site stands to benefit from this new improved release. Get ready to update in the coming days.