Magento 2.0 Launches

Popular e-commerce platform Magento has unveiled version 2.0 of its server software. Users migrating websites to the new version brings a whole host of new features and platform stability, delivering a new focus on omnichannel shopping experiences.


Magento 2.0 System Functionality and Customer Benefits

The new version of Magento uses a modular code base making it easier to deploy upgrades, or for your own developers to integrate your own code with the platform. The core of the platform has been re-built around responsive designs with integrated video.

The system now claims to have a 50% faster loading time on catalogue and checkout pages. This page speed is likely to become an issue for people with older sites, as the quicker code of Magento 2.0 should theoretically appeal to Google’s search robots, leading to sites based on slower platforms suffering a decline in their position within the search engine results page. Obviously, this can be offset to some degree through website optimisation and SEO techniques.

The new platform also integrates Apache Varnish allowing for even faster performance on cached pages.

The checkout systems have been made easier to customise so that you can experiment with improving your conversion rates. One useful feature that has been added into Magento 2.0 is the ability to add one-click account creation to the website. This new feature lets your customers save the profiles for future purchases.


Magento 2.0 Back-End Features

Creating a bright, colourful site is only part of the challenge for an e-commerce platform. What goes on behind the scenes is equally important, even if the customer doesn’t recognise it.

As well as the existing web API integrations with ERP, PIM, OMS, CRM and CMS systems, the platform also offer theming control and improved upgrade and maintenance options.

One new feature, has been an improvement to the stability of the performance of the admin area. One major fix that has been applied is an increase in concurrent updates to the core database. This is likely to be of benefit for content and merchandising teams, as they should see performance improve when making tweaks to a site. Good news, as it is something that is sure to reduce the number of support calls to system admins.

The system also introduces database splits into master and slave units for key subsystems. Magento claims that this should make the platform more scalable than in previous iterations. The revamp also sees closer integration with Google Analytics and Tag Manager.


Magento 2.0 Merchandising and Sales Support

One feature that is sure to please is the new Magento 2.0 Visual Merchandiser tool. This built-in functionality makes it easy to override the database settings and automated sorting rules. This allows you to simply drag and drop products into position on the page.

Depending on the set up you put in place to talk with your existing stock and postage systems, the site is also configurable to process returns and issue returns authorisations. Likewise, it can also carry out sales tax and currency conversions.


Magento 2.0 Payment Systems

The core functionality of any E-commerce function is the ability to take payments securely. Magento brings the PayPal, Braintree and payment as standard, whilst the enterprise edition additionally offers the WorldPay and Cybersource systems. The new security modules should provide an easy path to PCI compliance.,/p>

It also allows a number of features straight out of the box, including in-store credit, reward point system, recurring orders and even the ability to reward loyal customers with private sales.


Custom Module Issues

It remains to be seen what impact migrating websites to Magento 2.0 will have. It is not quite a one-click upgrade for most customers. Custom modules, for instance, will need to be rebuilt, and some plugins have not yet been migrated over to the new code base. There is also a need for developers to brush up on their familiarity with the new code that is in use.

However, we can see that the direction of travel. In everything from browsers (Microsoft Edge) to E-Commerce platforms, the trend is towards lighter, faster platforms with tighter integration, so it makes sense that this development ties in with these general trends.