Magento CE 1.7 Has Been Released. Should You Upgrade?

Magento CE 1.7

As we predicted in the beginning of this year new versions of Magento have been released at the end of April. Probably most of you were waiting for 1.7 version of Community edition.

The recent enhancements to Magento enable a more personalized shopping experience for customers. Other benefits are easier order placement and mobile optimization. These enhancements give merchants greater potential to boost consumer engagement, increase conversions and transaction size, and foster brand loyalty.

All merchants, including those running B2B businesses, can take advantage of improved customer segmentation and ordering capabilities. While those operating in Europe can use the new features to stay compliant with EU regulations.

So, what is new in this new version?

1. Mobile HTML5

Now you can create a storefront optimized for mobile devices quickly and easily 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-of-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.

2. Visitor Segmentation

Tap into a whole new customer segment – unknown site visitors. Whether they’re new visitors or returning customers who have not logged in, you’ll now be able to identify and target them with special promotions to convert browsers into buyers.

Great feature, but only in Enterprise edition.

3. Expanded Rule-based Product Relations

Mangento’s rule-based product-relations functionality allows merchants to target specific customer segments with product recommendations. Pinpoint specific customers with up-sells, cross-sells and related products to create a more relevant shopping experience.

Another great feature, but only in Enterprise edition.

4. 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.

5. Multiple Wish Lists

Customers can save products to multiple wish lists and copy or move items from list to list. They can make their wish lists public so they’re searchable by anyone. And merchants can review them to learn about their customers’ wants and needs.

6. Layered Navigation Pricing Enhancement

There is a new set of algorithms for price-layered navigation 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.

7. Customer Group Pricing

This tool allows you to create different price points for different customer groups, such as wholesalers and retailers. You can determine both base price and tiered price levels.

8. Add to Cart by SKU

Streamline the ordering process, especially for B2B customers, by enabling them to enter a list of SKUs without having to go into product pages. This simplifies large orders, recurring orders and ordering based on offline catalogs.

9. REST APIs Support

The new Magento REST API uses three-legged OAuth 1.0a protocol to allow applications to safely access Magento services. What this means for you? You can manage customers, customer addresses, sales orders, inventories and products using HTTP verbs (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). Data requests and responses can be in XML or JSON format.

This initial version of the REST API supports the following functions:

  • Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete a simple product
  • Retrieve a list of orders and specific order information
  • Update/Retrieve catalog inventory
  • Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete complete customer information

10. 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.

11. EU Cookie Restriction

These changes are 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.

12. CMS Page Hierarchy Enhancements

Managing your CMS hierarchy tree just got easier. Now you can add CMS pages to the navigation menu without custom development. You can also create, copy or delete different CMS hierarchy trees for each website and store view individually or en masse.

13. Backup and Rollback

Manage and schedule a variety of backup operations with the option to rollback the changes to reverse any modifications. This feature is particularly useful when testing new modules or customizations, or when upgrading to a new version of Magento. You can review specific customizations and their impact on the new code. (We do not recommend using this feature in your production environment.)

Three types of backup are supported:

  • System Backup
  • Database Backup
  • Database and Media Backup.

14. Payment Bridge 1.1 Updates

Magento Secure Payment Bridge, our PA-DSS certified payment application, adds multiple new payment methods. In addition to our existing supported gateways – PayPal, Authorize.net and Payflow Pro now there is support for the following new gateways: Psi Gate, RBS Worldpay, Database and Media Backup, Braintree, First Data, Card Gate Plus, DIBS, eWay Direct, Ogone Directlink, Paybox, Payone, Sage Pay, CCAvenue.

Supported by services provided by Braintree or Authorize.net, customers can also securely save their credit card information for future transactions in a “My Credit Cards” section in “My Account.” And with support from Kount, you can integrate fraud-screening services with your payment methods (requires separate agreement with Kount).

15. 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.

After all should you go to the next level and upgrade? 15 times YES! Both versions get some very useful features. Don’t forget about your mobile online store too :)

Check for some extensions ready for 1.7 version.

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1 comment

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