Due to the current global situation, the world has changed at an unprecedented pace since the middle of March and given the topic of digitization another massive boost. Anyone who hadn’t had the whole thing on their agenda up until then was confronted with it almost overnight, and suddenly digitization initiatives were launched within a very short time, which until then seemed unthinkable.
Shopping behavior, both in the B2C and, in particular, the B2B environment, has changed massively in some areas, as recent studies by McKinsey confirm:
- 96% of the B2B companies surveyed have changed their sales model in favor of online and e-commerce-based sales.
- Nominally, this change has turned out to be constructive. 64% of the users think that the new sales model is more effective than the one they were using before Covid-19.
- 80% of respondents believe that these shifts will be very likely or reasonably likely to be permanent.
- The importance of digital sales activities compared to traditional sales has doubled in recent months.
- Digital channels are now seen as the most beneficial for finding suppliers.
- E-commerce sales at companies that are already doing e-commerce have risen by an average of around 24% since the beginning of March.
This shows quite impressively that e-commerce will assume an even more important position in the future, regardless of industry, company size, and target group, and that efficient e-commerce solutions will therefore be of central importance.
With the current release 2.4 of Magento Commerce, the leading open-source shop software, published at the end of July 2020, Adobe, as the company behind Magento, is once again able to meet this development and the continuously increasing requirements.
In addition to countless smaller improvements and optimizations, the new Magento version has some extremely exciting and helpful features that offer companies some massive advantages, both in the B2C and especially in the B2B environment.
Extended B2B Functionalities
In order to increase sales in B2B retail quickly, companies must support the various purchasing policies and requirements of their customers. Approval workflows are very often standard in purchasing, especially in medium-sized and larger companies. Magento Commerce 2.4 contains a powerful engine with which such workflows can be mapped easily and securely.
You can also define approval rules on the basis of order value, shipping cost, and number of SKUs. These approval rules can also be assigned to a specific role, and may also be assigned to multiple approvers. The approval process is also designed to be highly efficient, where approvers get automatic notifications for any reviews, comment, acceptance/rejection is required to make on any order through the admin interface. The buyers also receive notification and get s complete transparency at every stage of the purchasing process.
Seller Assisted Shopping
The new feature for seller-assisted shopping enables retailers to improve customer loyalty and offer exceptional service by enabling sales or customer service representatives to join their customers’ customer journey from the respective shop owner’s side Supporting customers live with their online shopping – Magento calls this Seller Assisted Shopping.
This offers the shop operator the following significant advantages over his customers:
- Troubleshooting in all areas of the purchase process – e.g. B. Help with finding a product, help with creating a wish list or requirement list, or with solving problems that are not working as expected.
- Shop operators can use it to virtually “take” their customers by the hand and implement them with user-defined functions or special offers and services.
- By taking on administrative tasks like adding buyers or setting up approval rules, you can offer your customers additional services that save them valuable time.
In summary, this function serves only to enable the best possible shopping experience for your customers and, in the best case, of course (additional) sales.
New Media Gallery
People are generally very visual, so graphics and images are particularly important in digital offerings. However, using such assets is often a real challenge. This starts with the selection of suitable assets and ends with management.
The latest version of Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source optimizes your creative workflow with a completely redesigned media gallery that is significantly more powerful and is further improved by integrating with Adobe Stock as one of the world’s largest image databases. This completely revised media gallery reinvents the asset management in Magento and saves the creative participants a lot of time and resources.
- With the new Media Gallery, images used on your website can be easily updated with new image details, e.g. B. how often and where an image is used across pages, categories or products can be managed.
- A significantly improved performance allows faster searching and filtering of images with new image attributes, including tags uploaded from Adobe Stock, including the associated license status.
- An updated integration of Adobe Stock, which completely relocates the workflow for licensing and management of images to the media gallery, saves shop owners time and nerves.
The Media Asset Management integrated into Magento Commerce 2.4 makes it much easier for shop operators to provide and manage visually appealing content, and this feature also pays off, in the end, to enable a unique shopping experience through appropriate graphics and images.
In-Store Pickup or Collection at The Store
According to research by Business Insider, 85% of shoppers say they made an additional in-store purchase while picking up an online order.
With In-Store Pick Up in the inventory management of Magento (formerly Multi-Source Inventory, or MSI), retailers can select with just a few clicks of the mouse in which physical inventory locations are suitable for customer pickups. During the checkout, customers can use it to quickly find a location near them and other important information, such as B. View shop opening times.
Once orders have been placed, store staff can notify customers when they are ready to be picked up with a single click.
With this feature, you can offer your customers real omnichannel features out-of-the-box, which in addition to the extended service also offers the potential for additional sales in the area.
Product recommendations with artificial intelligence by Adobe Sensei
Since the previous version of Magento 2.3, Magento includes the integration of Adobe Sensei as standard and at no additional cost. This is an extremely powerful engine for artificial intelligence that is provided by Adobe and that is now being used in a wide variety of Adobe products and for a wide variety of application scenarios.
At Magento Commerce, Adobe Sensei can be used for automated product recommendations. With the current Magento version 2.4, Adobe Sensei has now been fully integrated into the so-called Page Builder, with which any landing pages and product worlds can be created simply by dragging and dropping without programming knowledge.
This means that product recommendations that are automatically generated using AI via Adobe Sensei can now be integrated and adapted in a wide variety of page types with just a few clicks of the mouse. For example:
- Display of product recommendations depending on different customer segments.
- Display of product recommendations on individual product detail pages.
Headless Commerce and Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
In May of this year, Forrester analysts named Magento a leader in the “Forrester Wave B2B & B2C Commerce Suites 2020” reports. Magento’s PWA approach was particularly highlighted: “PWA Studio is able to reduce the costs and complexity of introducing Progressive Web App (PWA) experiences.” This was a great endorsement of our approach and the direction we are taking in PWA development.
With Magento 2.4, the latest version of PWA Studio 7.0.0 for Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source with the Venia theme was published, with PWA Studio now supporting all content types of the Magento Page Builder. This allows seamless shopping experiences to be created very easily and quickly in the Page Builder using drag & drop, which can then be combined with the associated options such as corresponding performance and an approximate native app feeling via a corresponding PWA.
In addition, the new PWA Studio from Magento offers various extensions and optimizations in the area of shopping cart and checkout. Last but not least, a new framework allows simpler and more comprehensive adaptation and expansion of the possibilities of PWA Studio.
While more and more manufacturers, dealers, partners, and developers recognize the advantages of progressive web apps and these are used more and more frequently, Adobe takes this development into account by paying more attention to this technology and the corresponding further development of the technology in the past and especially in the future PWA Studios is laid.
Thanks to expanded coverage of the GraphQL APIs, Magento can now be operated with any front-end technology and thus implement headless commerce architectures.
TechDivision developer Lars Röttig has been working intensively with PWA Studio for a long time, is now the official maintainer, and has written an initial tutorial for those interested in getting started with the technology.
Safety, Quality & Performance of The Platform
In addition to the innovations and improvements already mentioned, various optimizations in the area of security and performance were also carried out in order to meet the growing demands of customers with Magento. Here are some of the most important new features in this area:
- Starting with version 2.4, the Magento admin area is now secured by default with two-factor authentication (2FA) for all users. Further information can be found on the Magento website.
- Scalability improvements include Redis optimizations, which enable merchants to handle higher traffic and order volumes without sacrificing performance, as well as pages that load up to 43% faster under heavy loads.
- Various performance improvements in the area of the shopping cart and checkout, e.g. B. 50% faster reordering and 30% faster add-to-cart performance for quick orders.
- New Composer update plugin that automates several update steps previously performed manually, making the process easier and safer.
- Extension of the GraphQL API.
- Updated tech stack components ensure long-term conformity and security and open up additional performance improvements, including updates for MySQL and MariaDB as well as various other components.
With the current Magento version 2.4, what we consider to be the best and most comprehensive Magento of all time is available, which is optimally equipped for use in both B2C and especially B2B environments and in most cases already out-of-the-box provides at least a large part of the required functionalities. With the world’s largest developer community in the field of e-commerce, customers benefit on the one hand from ongoing improvements and further developments that are in a global context, and on the other hand from a globally distributed base of enormously experienced developers and service providers who will continue to provide secure support for the Software available.
Another advantage of Magento development is that customers have long had the choice between the classic on-premise version, which is hosted by the customer, and a cloud version. Here the customer has the option of choosing between a cloud setup based on AWS or Microsoft Axure, depending on their preference. Adobe is one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based software and has gained enormous experience in this area over the past few years. Magento Cloud customers can therefore benefit massively from this experience and the Adobe Cloud infrastructure.
I can only recommend companies – regardless of whether they are medium-sized or large companies and regardless of B2C or B2B – to look for a new commerce platform Magento Commerce 2.4 or the resulting solution for corporate customers Adobe Commerce Cloud, a combination of the Adobe Experience Manager (CMS) and Magento or the Adobe Experience Cloud, which also take a closer look at other tools in the areas of analytics (Adobe Analytics), personalization and testing (Adobe Target) and campaign control (Adobe Campaign) or the solution and the associated options from Adobe or to have it presented to an appropriate partner.
Couple Making Online Purchase -DepositPhotos