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.
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.
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.