15/05/2012

RESOURCES

We're excited by the latest Magento Community Edition release: Magento 1.7. It represents a good feature upgrade and wins our vote for businesses happy with Community Edition, wishing to obtain new capabilities, coupled with the round of updates & huge amount of reliability/performance improvements from Magento 1.6.

We summarise the new features in Magento 1.7 here, for reference.

Mobile HTML5

Quickly and easily create a storefront optimized for mobile devices so customers can shop even when they're on the go. This mobile interface uses HTML5 technology and supports iPhone, Android and Mobile Opera browsers. It includes out-the-box features such as:

• Device-specific media capabilities for audio and video
• User-friendly search and results display
• Clean display of product detail pages
• Pinch, multi-touch and scaling images
• Easy swipe between product images
• Zoom capabilities
• Cross-sell and up-sell capabilities
• Drag-and-drop of products to the shopping cart

As mobile accounts for 20%+ of all traffic (and on some clients, we are seeing 40%+ click-throughs on emails from mobile devices), mobile optimisation becomes a compelling option.

EU Cookie Restriction
Magento's response to the recent EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive. A new cookie notification feature that simplifies the compliance process. Once enabled, a message at the top of the storefront informs site visitors about the cookie policy and prompts them to accept or decline.

This should be particularly welcome as most of our clients have asked about the options for the EU Cookie directive.

Auto-generation of Coupon Codes

Generate a set of unique coupon codes for each promotion you run and export the list of codes for offline distribution, email, newsletters and more. Easily manage and monitor coupon usage and generate detailed reports.

Filtered Navigation Pricing Enhancement
There's a new set of algorithms for price-filtering that provides much greater flexibility. Now you can display a range of prices that is based on having a similar number of products within each range, giving you better control of your customers' search results, and helping your customers find what they're looking for faster. We assume this will deal with the "silly" filtering brackets that occurs when you have a small number of products in an extreme price range.

Customer Group Pricing
This tool allows you to create different price points for different customer groups, such as a trade, wholesalers and staff. You can determine both base price and tiered price levels. This will reduce the set-up and management time of creating different price lists.

European Union VAT-ID Validation
This feature facilitates the tax collection process for online businesses in the EU and greatly simplifies international B2B transactions by automatically applying the correct tax rules. Taxes can be calculated and charged according to VAT customer groups, based on customer shipping or billing addresses and VAT IDs.

CAPTCHA
Now you can enable CAPTCHA functionality on your site to help prevent automated software from attempting fake logins. This auto-generated test ensures that the login is being attempted by a person and can be enabled in both the admin and customer login areas.

Payment methods
Two new payment methods have been added: Cash On Delivery and Bank Transfer - ideal for some European countries.

For screen shots & pictures, please see Tom Robertshaw's post.

We are whole-heartedly recommending an upgrade.

More ...

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