Magento 2.4: New Release

The new Magento 2.4 release has now launched and is the third quarterly upgrade of 2020. This upgrade covers many of the usual features including improvements to security and code quality, but alongside some new functionality and enhancements to extensions. 

Whilst the release includes a large number of improvements and upgrades, here is an overview of the key updates and what to look out for, with a focus on Magento Commerce 2.4. 

Order Approval Workflow feature for B2B retailers

Order Approvals allows senior roles within B2B retailers to configure approval rules for their buyers. The expansion of this feature includes self-service configuration of unique approval rules for each account, rule criteria that can be based on order amount, number of line items, or shipment cost with configurable thresholds, and customizable permissions for all aspects of the feature.

Expansions also include a quick storefront view of Purchase Orders that require approval, a full history log of actions that have been performed on each Purchase Order and email notifications for relevant parties during all steps in the approval process.

Magento is a strong player in the B2B ecommerce space and the focus and investment in these B2B set of tools reinforce this positioning.

Seller-Assisted Shopping features

This new feature allows retailers to view the storefront on behalf of their customers, which is a useful feature for both B2B and B2C retailers. Customers will opt to allow storefront access to their accounts to aid in the buying process.

This feature can be set up to only be permitted for certain staff members and all sessions are destroyed when the administrator logs out. 

Dotdigital enhancements

The Magento release also includes a number of dotdigital enhancements. Customer attribute values that are captured by any input type are now correctly synced as data fields. Retailers can now also sync website name, store name, and store view name by individual data fields.

Cart insight data is now sent for all active quotes, even if they contain no items, which allows retailers to exit contacts from a program if they empty their cart. Wishlist, Review, and Order syncs now look up the transactional data sync limit once only.

Configurable products now have a stock figure that is the sum of their child products.

Amazon Pay enhancements

Amazon Pay is a fast growing alternative payment method in ecommerce and the new Magento release has a number of improvements to how the platform handles this payment.

These include updates to CSP allowlists, the ability to do multiple authorizations for a multi-item order, and support for Japanese addresses.

Klarna enhancements

Similarly, as more Magento retailers look to payment methods like Klarna, there is more energy and focus spent on updating how the Magento platform effectively handles these payments.

Firstly, this release includes new on-site messaging options to help shoppers understand the available credit and financing options. Klarna retailers do a fantastic job at promoting Klarna on-site and this upgrade helps retailers do this faster and easier.

Other upgrades include updates to refunds, discounts, API efficiency, cookies and unit tests.

Integration with Yotpo and PageBuilder

Magento’s PageBuilder feature, a rival to Shopify Sections, has been a useful feature for many since its release in Magento 2. Sites such as Augustinus Bader and Chlobo take full advantage to improve internal efficiency and improve the on-site UX.

The new release includes an update to integrate Yotpo’s rating and reviews in PageBuilder blocks, giving retailers more opportunity to customise their on-site experience.

Even more security enhancements

The release contains over 30 security enhancements for the platform – which is significant especially now that Magento 1’s end of life has begun and retailers are looking for secure, new platform options.

Two-factor authentication is now enabled by default for the Magento Admin and cannot be disabled. Similarly, strict mode for template filters is now enabled by default. 

There are also more technical updates including data rendering for UI data providers being now disabled by default, a new \Magento\Framework\Escaper class and more support for security.txt file. 

Upgrades to code quality and the platform

Further updates to code quality and the platform have been in put in place for this release to improve website security and performance. 

These updates include support for PHP 7.4, PHPUnit 9.x, Elasticsearch 7.6.x, MySQL 8.0, and MariaDB 10.4. 

This also includes a removal of the MySQL catalog search engine, migration of dependencies on Zend Framework to the Laminas project, removal of the core integration of the Signifyd fraud protection code, and removal from the code base of the core Braintree module (the Braintree Payments module now provides the same features). 

Magento 2.4 release

Magento’s quarterly releases are always interesting, with ongoing updates and improvements to the platform. 

You can read the full release notes for Magento 2.4 here, but if you are a retailer and have any questions about anything included in the update then get in touch

The Magento 1 end of life deadline has now passed and if you haven’t migrated to Magento 2, then your store is at significant risk of being hacked or becoming a victim of a cybersecurity attack.

As Magento no longer supports the outdated Magento 1 platform, there are no more security patches or updates that protect you. However, this is not only true for Magento 1 but also the modules that you may be using, which are managed by third parties and technology partners. 

What steps should you take if your Magento 1 site is hacked? 

Some of these pointers are good to action before an attack, but on the most part if you experience a hack or downtime, the major step you need to take is to migrate to Magento 2 or another platform such as Shopify Plus.

#1 – Work with a cybersecurity partner to protect your site and offer advice

Our first point is to work with the cybersecurity experts. A cybersecurity technology partner like Foregenix can be helpful in working with you to create a plan specifically for keeping your site secure. 

They can work in partnership with you and your ecommerce agency to make sure the plan fits with your goals and targets and can be an immediate point of call when your site is hacked.

#2 – Install core Magento 1 security patches developed by third parties in the short-term

Whilst Magento 1 are no longer supporting the old platform with patches, there are third parties who are helping out so that retailers can do their best to minimise risk whilst they are migrating to Magento 2. This is a short term strategy but is worth mentioning.

Mageone is developing patches in the same way as Magento has done in the past. The cost is based on revenue with varying prices, but it’s important to know that this only patches the core Magento 1 code and not your modules. 

#3 – Upgrade modules to their latest update

As mentioned, not only is Magento 1 unsupported but your supporting modules will now be unsupported too. You should deal with these separately as you will need to take different action.

The majority of Magento 1 module providers will also stop support for their M1 modules at the same time so it is recommended that you make sure all of your modules are up to date with the latest version.

#4 – Take action to update your admin security

Once you experience an attack, your admin area will be vulnerable. There are a few actions you can take to update your admin security – but these can also be done before you even see an attack on your site.

  • Adding a random string URL to your admin panel link, i.e domian.co.uk/backoffice_hy4jgc
  • Locking your admin panel down by IP address
  • Adding two-factor authentication to the admin for added security

This will make sure that the admin area of your site is protected as much as possible.

#5 – Ensure server software have the latest patches

Ensure server software such as Nginx and Mysql all have the latest patches and php is running the latest compatible version.

#6 – Contact your payment provider to clarify PCI compliance

PCI compliance is a major issue and one of the most important areas of security to look at if you experience an attack. 

The major card schemes have publicly said that any clients on Magento 1 after 30th June 2020 will fall out of PCI Compliance due to their rules around ‘vendor supplied patches’ and the argument that Mageone is not the vendor. 

There’s a lot of discussion around this at the moment but, as it stands, the schemes have not agreed that these patches will cover PCI. 

The impact of this is there is a risk of large fines for not being PCI compliant (€10k – €25k per month). 

#7 – Monitor your security and downtime

On an ongoing basis, you can invest in tools that monitor your security and downtime. Tools like Pingdom or StatusCake can monitor your website availability and performance and notify you if there are any issues.

If you experience a future attack or see downtime, you want to know as soon as possible so you can minimise the damage. This will help you best create a plan for resolving any issues.

#8 – Work closely with your Magento support agency

Your Magento support agency is a valuable resource for Magento 1 when it comes to ensuring your site is secure. They will have the knowledge of the platform but also the connections to partners and technologies that will help keep your site as secure as possible.

However, we know that finding the right Magento support agency for you can be difficult. Here are some questions you should ask when looking for a Magento agency.

#9 – Migrate to Magento 2 as soon as possible

Finally, you should be making sure you are migrated to Magento 2 as soon as possible – hacks and attacks will continue to happen whilst you are on Magento 1 and it is vital that you are no longer on the outdated platform for this reason.

Any retailers on Magento 1 after the sunset deadline will be targets for cyber attacks and your customers’ data will not be safe.

You can read more about the risks of remaining on Magento 1 here, or you can reach out to us directly to find out more.

Magento 1 end of life deadline has passed

Whilst many ecommerce experts and retailers have been debating the Magento 1 end of life deadline for many years now, we know it can be hard to schedule and find a budget for a major replatform.

However, all retailers on Magento 1 are now at risk and need the support of the Magento ecosystem to help them transition to Magento 2.

If you need help with your decisions around Magento 1 and need some expert advice, then get in touch.

The new Magento 2.3.5 release was launched in April 2020 and is the second quarterly upgrade of 2020. This upgrade covers security, platform quality and new functionality to maximise performance. 

Here is an overview of the key updates and what to look out for, with a focus on Magento Commerce 2.3.5. 

AI-Powered Product Recommendations

The first major feature available with Magento 2.3.5 is AI-powered product recommendations functionality, powered by Adobe Sensei.

Product recommendations can be powerful for any ecommerce store looking to offer a personalised and seamless online experience for their customers. With these product recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei, your online store will automatically analyse shopper behavior and produce high quality, meaningful product recommendations that increases conversion rates and drives additional sales. 

This will be available exclusively for retailers using Magento Commerce for no additional cost. 

Page Builder Templates

With the latest upgrade to Magento, retailers will be able to maximise the use of Page Builder through the use of templates.

Retailers will be able to create content and page layouts using Page Builder and save them as templates for use across their site. You can now also use video as backgrounds in Page Builder elements, along with full height rows, banners and sliders and an integration with Yotpo. 

Page Builder has proven to be a useful tool for Ecommerce Managers, with many retailers taking advantage of the feature such as Augustinus Bader and ChloBo. This improvement to the tool will speed up the process of creating new pages and allow retailers to focus their time and energy on growth.

Other Updates

  • Over 25 security enhancements
  • Support for Elasticsearch 7.5
  • Deprecation of core integration of third-party payment methods (Authorize.Net, eWay, CyberSource, and Worldpay)
  • Deprecation of the core integration of the Signifyd fraud protection code.
  • Upgrade of Symfony Components
  • Improvements to customer data section invalidation logic
  • Multiple optimizations to Redis performance
  • The PayPal Pro payment method now works as expected in the Chrome 80 browser
  • Enhancements to inventory management
  • Integration of dotdiigtal Engagement Cloud and Magento B2B, along with improved importer performance

Magento 2.3.5 Release

Pre-release for Magento 2.3.5 was launched on the 14th April 2020 for all customers and partners of Magento, with the full launch launched on 30th April.


If you’re in need of an experienced Magento agency to support your patches and upgrades on the platform, get in touch.

Security is crucial in making sure your Magento site can continue to grow and thrive. If you experience downtime or a cyber attack, the consequences can be damaging to your brand and to your success.

Magento invests in ongoing security patches and upgrades, but there are steps that every retailer should be taking, either on their own or with a trusted ecommerce agency, in order to make sure their Magento site is as secure as possible.

Whilst typical security guidelines need to be followed, such as having strong passwords and two-factor authentication, we will focus on what steps you can take that are specific to Magento.

What steps can you take to ensure your Magento site is secure?

#1 – Migrate to Magento 2 before the Magento 1 end-of-life deadline

The first step you should be taking is making sure you are migrated to Magento 2 before the Magento 1 end-of-life deadline. Magento 1 will no longer be secure after June 2020 and it is vital that you are no longer on the outdated platform after this date.

Any retailers on Magento 1 after the sunset deadline will be targets for cyber attacks and your customers’ data will not be safe.

You can read more about the risks of remaining on Magento 1 here, or you can reach out to us directly to find out more.

#2 – Make sure you’re upgraded to the latest Magento version

You also need to make sure that, even if you’re on Magento 2, your site is upgraded to the latest version. The vast majority of Magento upgrades will come with a security update and so minimises the risk of hacks, cyber attacks or simply an unstable ecommerce store.

If your site does not have these security patches, your site is at risk. You can read more about why it is important to upgrade to the latest Magento version here.

#3 – Make sure your plugins and modules are all upgraded

Similarly, whilst you may take time to upgrade to the latest Magento version, are you making sure all of your plugins, modules and ecommerce technologies are upgraded with their latest security patches?

Sometimes these security patches may be different to the core Magento patch and so you need to be vigilant in looking out for when these are available and working with your ecommerce agency to schedule in these upgrades.

#4 – Monitor your security and downtime

On an ongoing basis, you can invest in tools that monitor your security and downtime. Tools like Pingdom or StatusCake can monitor your website availability and performance and notify you if there are any issues.

If you have experienced an attack or downtime, you want to know as soon as possible so you can minimise the damage. This will help you best create a plan for resolving any issues.

#5 – Create custom permission roles for your team

With Magento, you can create custom permission roles for your team to only allow access for what they need. You can even create custom roles at the lowest level of permission to reduce your security risk.

You should only give your team the minimum access they need for their role, and only for the duration that they need it. Magento supports this principle with their custom roles.

#6 – Maintain regular backups in case of an attack

Whilst maintaining regular backups will not prevent an attack and will not make your site secure, it is still an important step in your strategic security plan. Your ecommerce agency or cybersecurity partner will be able to help you maintain regular backups and help you explore how frequent these need to be.

If you do experience an attack, you want to revert back to normal as soon as possible so you can continue trading.

#7 – Work closely with your Magento support agency

Your Magento support agency is a valuable resource when it comes to ensuring your site is secure. They will have the knowledge of the platform but also the connections to partners and technologies that will help keep your site as secure as possible.

However, we know that finding the right Magento support agency for you can be difficult. Here are some questions you should ask when looking for a Magento agency.

#8 – Work with a cybersecurity partner

Our final point is to work with the cybersecurity experts. A cybersecurity technology partner like Foregenix can be helpful in working with you to create a plan specifically for keeping your site secure. They can work in partnership with you and your ecommerce agency to make sure the plan fits with your goals and targets.

Keep your Magento site secure

Security is an often overlooked aspect of ecommerce but is one of the most important. It can be easy to sit back and expect the Magento platform to handle your site’s security, but there are certainly actions you can take to make sure your site is as secure as possible.

Find out more about how we manage our Magento support clients here, and if you want to explore how we can work with you to keep your site secure, get in touch.

In the current climate, many retailers are either experiencing incredible ecommerce growth or are finding online retail challenging. Many retailers are seeing decreases in traffic and revenue, and are looking for ways to both weather the storm and position themselves so that they’re in a place to bounce back quickly once trading is ‘back to normal’.

Many technology partners, agencies and ecommerce professionals are doing their bit to help support the retail industry, whether this is sharing advice and insights or offering complimentary audits and services.

Earlier this week, Adobe (and Magento) announced a number of initiatives that support small to medium sized ecommerce businesses to help them “survive and thrive”. How is Magento helping ecommerce retailers during the coronavirus outbreak?

Three Months Free Magento Commerce

Retailers can now receive their first three months of Magento Commerce free, which will help many retailers get up and running quickly and start to drive revenue with no initial payments for the Magento platform.

This is also true for a Marketo Engage or Bizible contract.

Free Access to Magento University

Magento is also giving all retailers free access to Magento University for three months. Magento University (and Marketo University) is full of support and advice for retailers who are looking to take their digital operations to the next level, including resources across ecommerce, design, marketing and more.

Magento Commerce Launch Package

Whilst Magento recommends working with an agency or solution partner, they are also offering a fast track launch package with their Adobe Customer Solutions team.

The team will get you up and running within two weeks, with their cloud infrastructure, and you will have access to all of the out-of-the-box functionality that comes with Magento Commerce.

This is great for retailers with limited budgets who need to get up and running quickly. For those who are looking for a more bespoke setup, get in touch and we can explore your custom options with you.

Adobe Services

Adobe are also offering access to a number of Adobe services, including:

  • Acrobat PDF Services
  • Adobe Connect
  • Adobe Talent
  • Adobe Portfolio

Survive and Thrive with Expert Support

You can find out more about these initiatives on the Adobe announcement, but we have also interviewed Mo Nofal and Alex Goff as part of our Self-Isolation Insights series, where you can find out more.

Support for retailers is out there. Whether you need advice on Magento 1 end-of-life, or you need help with PPC strategy, we are happy to offer our expert insights. Get in touch and we can explore how we can help.

When exploring your ecommerce platform options, Magento is likely to be one of the key platforms you consider. It can be difficult to truly evaluate which platform will suit your needs, but there are certainly key differences for ecommerce brands who sell internationally.

International ecommerce brands face unique challenges that an ecommerce platform will need to help solve, and Magento has a strong armoury of functionality to support any retailer when taking their brand international.

Why is Magento perfect for international ecommerce brands?

 

#1 – Multi-site and multi-store management

One of Magento’s core strengths as a platform is in its multi-store management. As Paul Rogers says in his evaluation of Magento compared to Shopify Plus, “the platform is built around managing data at different levels that allows for efficient management of multiple stores.”

Magento 2 has the ability for a retailer to manage multiple stores from one admin area, with comprehensive flexibility for each storefront across pricing, language, content and more.

For example, we worked with Augustinus Bader to migrate their seven individual Shopify Plus stores over to three sites (UK, US and EU) and across six store views (English, French, German and Spanish). This flexibility and granular management from one admin has allowed the high-growth health and beauty brand to thrive internationally.

Other platforms offer some form of multi-store management, but with limited infrastructure and flexibility. Magento really excels at managing multiple storefronts for international brands.

 

#2 – Multi-language functionality

Similarly, you can create multiple stores with various languages. This is obviously key for an international brand trading in regions across the world with different languages.

Magento 2 store views (with the same domain) allow you to customise language content based on where the shopper is located.

This is crucial when aiming to provide a seamless customer experience for your shoppers across the world. You need to be able to deliver the right content to the right customer in the right language, and Magento 2 store views are transformative here for this.

 

#3 – Multi-currency and payments

Magento 2 also offers flexibility when it comes to both displaying and accepting multiple currencies.

At a store view level, you can customise the currency to that region (EUR to a French store, GBP to a British store, USD to a US store etc.). This also creates a seamless customer experience for your shoppers who will be able to make payment in their desired currency.

However, you can also configure the currency you receive at a site level under your ‘base currency’. If you set up your base currency for your European site as GBP, you will always take payment in GBP, regardless of if your store view is accepting EUR, GBP or another European currency.

 

#4 – Multiple pricing options

Magento 2 also allows for retailers to offer different prices for the same product across sites. Across your key regions, you may want to price products differently depending on currency conversion or additional costs to cover when trading internationally.

This is also useful for retailers with a direct-to-consumer site and a wholesale site.

 

#5 – Multiple payment methods

Magento is a flexible platform for accepting various payment methods.

If you’re a retailer based in the UK, you will be familiar with accepting Visa and Mastercard, PayPal etc. However, in other territories you may need to explore new payment methods, such as Alipay. You may also see customers opt for other payment methods such as bank transfer or cheque, which may be rarer to see in the UK.

Whilst Magento can help you with this natively, by working with a payment partner such as Adyen, with a ‘baked in’ integration with Magento 2, you will be able to easily explore and fully take advantage of payment options for each region you want to expand into.

 

#6 – Easy tax calculations

Magento simplifies some of the complex tax calculations needed when trading internationally.

With Magento 2, you can set up tax rates for all regions and localities with their tax zone and tax rates functionality. This is a simple enough feature for most retailers who are in the early stages of international selling, although once you begin to grow and expand into more regions and increase your volume, you will need to use a tool like Avalara.

 

Selling internationally

International expansion can be challenging but can also unlock plenty of growth potential. International growth is a strategic objective for many retailers and so selecting the right ecommerce platform to help you achieve this is crucial. For most retailers, this is likely to be Magento.

If you’re interested in exploring how Magento 2 Commerce or Magento 2 Commerce Cloud can help you grow internationally, then get in touch.

After the launch of your new Magento site, you need to be able to work with your ecommerce agency on an ongoing basis to make the most of your new site.

Once your new Magento 2 migration or build project has been completed, you need to work with your agency to scale and grow your ecommerce brand further. You will need iterative changes, new technologies and integrations, and bug fixes.

This support is usually through a Magento support retainer, but it’s important to make sure you plan these in advance as much as possible.

How can you best plan your Magento support retainer in advance?

 

Set ecommerce targets and clear KPIs

The first thing you should do with your ecommerce agency is set your ecommerce targets and determine KPIs. What do you want to achieve with your ecommerce site? What are the key challenges you are currently trying to solve with your site?

You should cover order and revenue targets but you also need to be specific. Do you want to focus on improving add-to-cart rate or basket abandonment rate? Do you have conversion rate targets?

You also should set timescales for achieving these targets (and be realistic with these timescales too).

By setting these targets as early as possible, you can then begin to prioritise your Magento support retainer. It can be easier to plan in advance when you can identify which changes are more likely to help you achieve your goals.

 

Work with a proactive ecommerce agency

Finding the right Magento support agency can be challenging. A strong relationship with your agency is important, whether you’ve just launched your site and need a support agency to manage your online store’s growth, or if you have an established site and need to take it to the next level.

An agency should be reactive to issues and new work from the client, but they should also be advisory on proactive recommendations in order to grow your ecommerce business.

If your agency is proactive, they will work with you to plan your Magento support retainers in advance.

A successful Magento agency will be an additional member of your ecommerce in-house team, to advise and support. Take a look at these questions you should ask when looking for a Magento support agency.

 

Plan for peak trading and busy periods

Most ecommerce retailers will begin planning for the peak trading period six months in advance (if not earlier), and will begin to have an idea of what technologies, features and campaigns they will be launching.

If you can plan these in advance with your support agency, they will be able to make sure that time is reserved in your monthly retainer for this work.

 

Plan for Magento version upgrades

You can also plan ahead for scheduled Magento version upgrades. Most updates are scheduled every quarter and your support agency will have a calendar of these updates.

Make sure that your support agency is transparent with the timings of these updates and communicate how much work will be needed for each upgrade. You will then be able to work together to schedule in the time needed well in advance.

 

Reserve a % of your retainer for reactive work

There will always be an element of reactive work needed in your retainer. You should work with your agency to reserve a percentage of your retainer for reactive work so that you can plan your proactive work around this time.

You want to work with your ecommerce agency to set this percentage as it will vary from retailer to retailer. An average amount is 30%.

This percentage may change regularly, but it’s important to set an ideal percentage so that it isn’t seen as unlimited time. Bug fixes and reactive work can quickly eat up your retainer, so make sure there are set targets for this time.

 

Create a schedule of new site features

Every Ecommerce Director has a wishlist of new site features they want to implement. If you don’t work with your agency to plan these in advance, they can quickly be put on the back burner to make room for bug fixes, version upgrades and technology integrations.

If you have a list of new site features that you want to add to your site, make sure that you share this with your agency so that they can create a calendar of new site features across the year.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to work on them all at once (nor would it be useful to do so!). However, if you schedule these in, you can make sure that reactive work is done around your wishlist, and not the other way around.

 

Keep your agency up to date with new technologies

You may be speaking with a number of ecommerce technologies that you plan to work with. This may be a new payment provider, personalisation tools or a new email platform.

Some retailers get their ecommerce agency involved as early as possible, whilst others prefer to wait until contracts are signed before looping them in. Whatever your preference, if you keep your agency updated with your plans, they can make sure that any integration work needed is scheduled in and doesn’t conflict with any existing planned work.

Your ecommerce agency will likely have an established partnership with them and will be able to make the integration seamless if they know in advance, or they may be able to offer alternative recommendations if they know a tool is complicated to set up and has the potential to take up your whole retainer.

 

Share company news with your ecommerce agency

Whilst it’s important to keep your ecommerce agency updated with plans for the site, it’s just as important to make sure they are updated with your wider company news.

If you are launching new products, expanding your team, opening new stores or if internal roles are changing, you should let your agency know as soon as possible.

You may be unaware of certain ecommerce challenges that these company updates will face, but your ecommerce agency will be able to share these with you.

 

Plan, plan, plan!

Your ecommerce agency is often an extension of your team and should be seen as an ecommerce growth partner. Be as transparent as possible with what you want to achieve and what you have planned, and your support retainer will be able to be used strategically and proactively.

Our Magento 2 support packages are flexible and tailored so you can choose the most appropriate level of support for your ecommerce needs, with monthly retailers and booster packages. If you want to find out more, get in touch.

Magento has been an established ecommerce platform for many years and has many strengths, including their B2B functionality. For retailers who are exploring Magento over other platforms, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, it can be challenging to understand which platform would fit their requirements best.

There are specific challenges for retailers who need to meet the growing demand of managing B2B transactions. When it comes to B2B ecommerce, Magento has many benefits that retailers can take advantage of to achieve ecommerce success.

But why is Magento so strong for B2B ecommerce? What key functionality does the platform have for B2B retailers?

 

#1 – Custom Catalogues & Pricing

With Magento, you can personalise your online experience for each customer by assigning custom catalogue and price lists to your buyers.

You can also customise your platform by offering various payment options for each buyer to maximise sales across invoices, credit cards and alternative payment methods.

 

#2 – Convenient B2B Reordering

Magento is also strong at offering fast reordering for B2B. You can boost sales with fast and convenient browsing and purchasing options, by allowing B2B buyers to place orders by entering SKUs, uploading CSV files or even choosing items from requisition lists that have been pre-set.

 

#3 – Quote Management Tools

With the Magento platform, you can take advantage of customer quoting and pricing negotiations that can be entirely managed with both Magento and any external systems you have, using API integrations.

These can be handled with streamlined advanced workflows to help quote responsiveness, customer experience and ultimately, higher conversion rates.

 

#4 – Account Management

With Magento’s B2B suite of tools, your customers can manage their own company accounts to track quotes, view detailed order history, manage account credit and more. This ultimately reduces the need for a reliance on customer support, with your B2B buyers able to manage their accounts themselves.

 

#5 – Buyer Roles & Permissions

Along with Magento’s account management, buyers can also assign buyer roles and permissions. Customers can set multiple tiers of buyers, with varying responsibilities including buying power and account management. For B2B buyers, this can improve customer experience by reducing the need for your customers to call you or email you for additional support.

 

#6 – Advanced Segmentation & Targeting

Magento has advanced segmentation and targeting for retailers, allowing personalised and dynamic ecommerce experiences. This is especially important for B2B brands, where you may have multiple buyer types across roles, verticals and industries, affinity and more.

The ability to create segmented and targeted content for these customers will improve your online experience and improve conversion rates.

 

#7 – Business Intelligence & Analytics

Magento comments that it is “the only commerce solution that also provides data pipeline, warehouse and visualization capabilities” as part of its unique Business Intelligence tool.

Their out of the box analytics can give Ecommerce Directors unique and valuable insight into their ecommerce performance, which can be especially useful for B2B brands.

Dashboards can be visual and customised, gathering simpler data across average order values, customer lifetime value, retention rate etc., but can also be used for more complex data needs too.

 

#8 – B2B Infrastructure

Magento is a leader in cloud commerce, with their Magento 2 Commerce Cloud platform, and can deliver secure, stable and reliable experiences that can integrate with B2B legacy systems and your existing infrastructure.

For B2B brands, integration is key as there are many more technologies and tools needed to maintain your business operations. Your ecommerce platform needs to integrate with these.

 

Magento for B2B

Magento is one of the strongest ecommerce platforms for B2B ecommerce. We have experience building B2B ecommerce solutions on the platform for our clients, including Whispering Smith and Cablecraft, who take advantage of most of these features here.

If you need support exploring the right ecommerce platform for you, and are considering Magento for your B2B brand, then get in touch.

The upcoming Magento 2.3.4 release will be available late January and will be the first quarterly upgrade of 2020. This upgrade covers hundreds of bug fixes, enhancements to security and performance, feature updates to core functionality and more.

Here is an overview of the key updates and what to look out for, with a focus on Magento Commerce 2.3.4.

 

Security Enhancements

Magento 2.3.4 comes with over 30 security enhancements for retailer’s online stores to prevent exploitation of customer information or takeover of admin sessions.

These security enhancements include:

  • Removal of custom layout updates and the deprecation of layout updates to remove the opportunity for Remote Code Execution (RCE).
  • Redesigned content template features so that only whitelisted variables can be added to the templates.

Along with this update, Magento always recommends that online retailers are diligent and take action to minimise risk further, such as “IP whitelisting, two-factor authentication, use of a VPN, the use of a unique location rather than /admin, and good password hygiene”.

 

Performance Boosts

Magento 2.3.4 also has several boosts to performance which can improve speed, efficiency and structure.

These performance boosts include:

  • 250 enhancements to core quality, which improve the quality of the Framework and these modules: catalog, sales, PayPal, Elasticsearch, import, CMS, and B2B.
  • Elimination of redundant non-cached requests to the server on catalog pages.
  • Refactoring of PHTML files to better support parsing by the bundling mechanism.
  • Addition of the ability to disable statistic collecting for Reports module by default.

 

Updates to Page Builder

Magento’s Page Builder also benefits from key enhancements in Magento 2.3.4, with a number of upgrades to improve usability and functionality.

These updates include:

  • Improved product sorting.
  • Improved product carousel.
  • Optimised content for rendering on the storefront using the Venia Theme (PWA Studio).

 

New B2B Features

Magento has strong functionality for B2B retailers, and Magento 2.3.4 comes with added features that allow online retailers to fully maximise their B2B offering.

These new features include:

  • Ability to export requisition lists into CSV format.
  • Granular ACLs for B2B modules.
  • Over 20 further enhancements and platform fixes.

You can read the full list of B2B enhancements in Magento’s release notes.

 

Inventory Management Enhancements

Magento 2.3.4 enhances inventory management functionality, including fixes to well known performance issues and GraphQL bug fixes.

These inventory management enhancements include:

  • Addressed issue with higher than expected loads on the database server in scenarios involving the shopping cart.
  • Update to the Inventory Reversations CLI command to reduce memory usage.
  • Update to multiple quality issues, relating to credit memos, grouped products, source and stock mass actions.

Read Magento’s detailed release notes for inventory management for more information.

 

Live Chat Powered by dotdigital

dotdigital also sees an update in Magento 2.3.4 with their live chat tool. All Magento 2.3.x merchants will receive a free live chat agent, powered by dotdigital – even if the merchant is not a dotdigital Engagement Cloud customer.

 

Improved GraphQL

GraphQL is improved with Magento 2.3.4 tool, with improved coverage on search, layered navigation and cart functionality.

These bug fixes include:

  • Linking of carts to customers for multiple devices.
  • Improved return of pricing data for rendering on storefronts.
  • Fixes to product tax and product level discount information.
  • Promotion data in cart.
  • Line item and cart level discounts.
  • Category filtering by ID, name or SLUG.
  • Filtering by customer attributes in layered navigation.

Magento has released detailed release notes on GraphQL bug fixes.

 

Hundreds of Bug Fixes

This release also fixes hundreds of known issues within Magento that merchants and agencies have reported.

This includes fixes for:

  • Infrastructure and code cleanup.
  • Installation, upgrade and deployment.
  • User interface.
  • Analytics and reporting.
  • Cart and checkout.
  • Catalogues and orders.
  • Product bundling.
  • B2B features and functionality.
  • Customer management and reviews.
  • Payments.
  • Search.
  • Shipping and tax.

 

Magento 2.3.4 Release

Magento 2.3.4 will be available on January 28, with pre-release available on January 14.

If you’re in need of an experienced Magento agency to support your patches and upgrades on the platform, get in touch.

How do you find the best Magento support agency for you? A strong relationship with your agency is crucial, whether you’ve just launched your site and need a support agency to manage your online store’s growth, or if you have an established site and need to take it to the next level.

What questions should you be asking when looking for the right Magento support agency?

 

#1 – Are they a Magento solution partner?

There are many agencies out there who have Magento experience and knowledge, but it is important to identify whether they are an official solution partner.

This means the agency has had to meet very high quality standards, demonstrated through exams and training in order to become certified. All developers, project managers, and account managers will have extensive Magento knowledge from having such a close relationship with Magento.

All Magento partners must have shown demonstrable success in using Magento applications and resources. When you work with an official Magento partner, you can be certain that you are working with a fully-committed, Magento-vetted and approved partner who has been trained in all aspects of Magento design and development.

 

#2 – How does the agency respond to bug fixes?

It is important that the agency is able to jump onto urgent issues and fix bugs in a sufficient amount of time. In order to meet expectations, there should be an understanding, from the beginning, of what an agency classes as ‘urgent’ and what the expected time frames are for different types of bug fixes so that both parties are happy.

 

#3 – What is the process for new work?

When you approach the agency with new work, changes and feature requests for your website, it is important to know what the process will be.

Do they have a brief template? Will they provide a quotation? What happens if they go over the estimated hours in a quotation? Are jobs charged ad hoc?

These are all questions that need to be asked to check to see if how the agency works fits in with your company processes and expectations.

 

#4 – How do they communicate to clients?

A good client to agency relationship is key to success, so it is imperative to establish what communication an agency can offer. Regular contact between agency and client is important, whether it be emails, calls or face to face meetings.

Ensure that the agency is willing to give you the time you need to build your relationship with them in order to grow your business successfully.

 

#5 – How proactive is the agency?

An agency should be reactive to issues and new work from the client, but they should also be advisory on proactive recommendations in order to grow your ecommerce business. A successful Magento agency will be an additional member of your ecommerce in-house team, to advise and support.

 

#6 – Can they advise me on recommended technology partners?

Magento is a great ecommerce platform, but can become much more powerful with the appropriate technology partners. A Magento agency should have good relationships with technology partners and be able to advise on the most appropriate technical tools to fuel your ecommerce growth.

Examples of services that technical partners offer would be email marketing, personalisation, payment solutions, search, reviews, order management, and shipping. Different solutions are suitable for different companies and platforms, so it is important your agency has a good understanding of technical partners to advise on the most appropriate services for your product, brand and platform.

 

#7 – What other services does the agency offer?

Every agency specialises in a variety of areas, so it is good to know what is on offer and whether it would compliment your ecommerce needs. Services such as PPC, SEO, and UX/UI design are all very important to ecommerce success. You may have resource in-house to cover these or you may find it useful to check out what the Magento agency is offering alongside design and development.

 

#8 – Are they specialists in your retail vertical?

Take a look at the previous work of the agency and their currently managed clients, to see whether they have experience in your industry. It is good to know if they are familiar with your sector and whether you like the work they have done previously within your vertical.

 

Hit your ambitious growth targets

We understand retailers don’t just need an ecommerce agency when there are problems. Retailers need an ecommerce partner who can provide recommendations for how to make the most of their online store and hit those ambitious growth targets.

If you’re interested in finding out how we could best support your ecommerce store, take a look at our Magento support services.

Contact us

Kickstart your project with us today. Let’s have a chat about how we can help you with your Magento or Shopify project, PPC campaigns or Amazon strategy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.