With the growing international adaptation of the widely renowned e-commerce software Magento, the company was more than pleased to announce the latest version of their platform. Indeed, 2.3 is out and ready to take the platform to a new level in 2019!
Our team at IT Consultis has been following the evolutions of the platform and can tell that, once again, Magento has made some significant changes. From smaller improvements to completely new capabilities, it can be hard to figure out what would be the most interesting for you as a company and/or a user. Therefore, we decided to showcase the most notable developments for both merchants and developers and share them with you in this article.
NB - some features are only present in the Magento Commerce 2.3 Version (previously called Magento Enterprise). When this is the case, we will point it out with the tag [Magento Commerce].
For the Merchants
Managing Inventory, for All of Your Stores with Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)
Treating your inventory from a single source makes sense for the business owner selling products from a single physical store. However, as your company grows, so does the need for expansion. Multi-Source Inventory (MSI) allows the merchants to allocate an inventory to a specific physical source (think of a store, warehouse, shipping partner, etc.), which increases the operational efficiency. The merchants will now be able to manage these separate locations as a source for their products by keeping track of on-hand inventory quantities per product for each location.
Additionally, MSI includes the functionality to update order and shipment options for each source independently, allowing the merchants to maintain full control over their stock at all times.
So what is in it for the single inventory source merchant? MSI comes with an inventory reservation system that would be able to track deductions of your saleable stock when the customers add the corresponding products to their shopping carts. This feature further increases your accuracy on available product counts, as well as improving your checkout performance as a result.
Managing your sources with Multi-Source Inventory (Source: Magento)
Making Well-Converting Pages, the Easy Way [Magento Commerce]
Magento Commerce 2.3 (previously called Enterprise Edition) now boasts a completely new and interesting feature to their platform. The Page Builder feature adds the capability to allow the non-technical users to create pages on their own. By using a straightforward and intuitive drag-and-drop user interface, the users will be able to manage different page elements such as media, banners, slider, text-blocks and more.
A set of content elements (Source: Magento)
Drag-and-drop user interface (Source: Magento)
Based on a grid system, no longer will the users be reliant on a front-end developer to make quick changes to their content. Built exclusively for Magento, this Page Builder is created to work with the existing functionalities that users are already familiar with in the system.
The flexible and responsive grid system (Source: Magento)
The next new feature brings content scheduling, which is the possibility to schedule specific sets of content to go live at certain times and dates while allowing the users of the system to preview the content in the back-end before it goes live.
Besides the Page Builder, Magento claims to have improved some of their existing CMS features. The most notable one is the possibility of adding banner content (newly called the “dynamic block”) directly into the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors.
Storefront content preview (Source: Magento)
For the Developers
Progressive Web Apps [Mobile Commerce]
With the obvious increase of smartphone penetration (as stated by Magento to reach 90% in 2019), the mobile shopping market takes on nearly three quarters of consumers in e-commerce. With the arrival of Magento’s Progressive Web Apps Studio (PWA), developers are provided with a means to make fast and high-performing (Magento-powered) app experiences. At ITC, we have already been working with the same headless approach in mind, and now Magento is providing an official way to approach this solution - we could not be happier to see that their direction is now aligned with the global trends.
The PWA studio allows the merchants to provide their customers with an app-like experience. Having the capability of living outside one’s mobile browser space, the PWA has proven to greatly benefit merchants - recently, Lancome registered 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS after deploying a PWA.
Furthermore, the PWA studio is an open-source project and will be updated regularly independently from Magento releases. Showing the potential of rapidly growing in features and quality-of-life improvements, the future of front-end development in Magento is looking very bright.
For most of the front-end (ReactJS) developers at IT Consultis, this is one of the most awaited features. The API provides an alternative to REST and SOAP web APIs, allowing for custom front-end development. This includes headless storefront - a topic we talked about in a recent article by both our COO and CTO.
GraphQL is a Magento Community Engineering project, one in which they are happily welcoming contributors. For more on this, the Magento team would like to invite you to have a look at their GraphQL GitHub to get started.
Asynchronous Web APIs
Asynchronous WebAPI will allow executing WebAPI calls asynchronously. Integrations don't have to wait for requests to get fully processed by Magento when making asynchronous calls.
In the product update context, this means that product APIs can be invoked and get an immediate response that the request has been accepted. Separate status reporting API is offered to check on the progress of requests by ID. This functionality will be available in both Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source.
This feature can help with reliability issues that the former Magento version was having in handling external API calls during peak time, and will be very helpful during shopping festivals for any merchant website that handles orders for external systems as well.
Long awaited by many, the new release of Magento 2.3.0 comes with a powerful set of features that the platform can be rightfully proud of. This ever-continuing development is made possible by a growing user base that Magento has been experiencing over the years, showing no sign of stopping.
At IT Consultis, we are often asked if we can see the potential for this platform in China (considered the world of Taobao, Tmall, and JD) and we can confidently confirm that with the power of customization and overall robustness of the system, the interest is definitely showing. With more and more companies looking for a system being able to interact with many different levels of service providers and allowing for a global support while maintaining the high levels of performance, Magento is more often than not the most obvious choice.
Would you like to know more about the new release and want to get your hands on all the new features? Then we would advise you to dive into the release notes made available from Magento’s own site.
Should you have any questions on what Magento 2.3.0 could do for your company or look for some advice in general about your foothold in the Asian digital landscape, do not hesitate to contact us and we will happily invite you for a conversation.
About the authors