Key Features: Responsiveness Built-in, Improved Payment and Financing Options, Improved Search, Improved Cross Border Price Consistency
Magento just announced the arrival of both Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 and Magento Community Edition 1.9 at the Imagine convention in Las Vegas. These updates include many new features to help businesses grow. Most notable are a new responsive design reference theme that makes it possible to quickly get a tablet and smartphone-friendly site, a new payment option and streamlined checkout to help increase sales, and cross-border price consistency.
Less time and less cost to get a responsive site
Magento is changing the mobile commerce landscape by significantly reducing the time and cost typically required to get a responsive site, and by making it easier than ever for merchants to take advantage of the rapid growth in mobile commerce.
Responsive is the best mobile solution for many merchants because they can invest in one site that serves customers and ensures a consistent and reliable experience no matter what device they are using. It is both cheaper and quicker to have a single responsive site that works on all devices than to have many different themed sites for many different devices.
Responsive is also good for boosting conversion, with shopping carts and checkout designed to work in any environment and on any screen size. Plus having a responsive site makes it easy for mobile device-using customers to move from an email offer, for instance, to check out!
This is exciting news for any merchant aiming to take advantage of the rampant growth in mobile commerce. eMarketer predicts even more growth ahead, with mobile commerce growing from 19 percent of retail ecommerce sales in 2014 to 26 percent in 2017 in the US, and from 24 percent of retail ecommerce sales to 35 percent in the same time frame in the UK.
There are SEO advantages too, because responsive is Google’s recommended approach to mobile optimization and because it allows merchants to focus all of their content energy on a single site. Great content that supports SEO also engages customers, provides a richer site experience and can reduce bounce rates.
Improved payment and financing options
With the release of these new Magento products comes better payment and financing options that can help merchants improve conversion and sales. The Bill Me Later service offers qualified customers access to immediate financing, so they can buy now and pay later with no additional cost to the merchant. Ready-made banner ads and a prominent Bill Me Later button at checkout are included to help promote this new service. Forrester Consulting estimates that merchants offering Bill Me Later see an 18% boost in sales. Merchants are now also able to offer a more streamlined PayPal Express Checkout experience which automatically checks for an alternative payment option when a customer’s credit card is rejected to help promote even more sales!
Fresher search results for customers and faster indexing for merchants
Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 now has native support for Solr 3.6.2 and indexing that is performed as the product catalog changes without manual intervention. These improvements provide merchants with more efficient operations and better admin performance during search indexing and more up-to-date search results for the customers.
Cross border price consistency
Price consistency is a new option available to merchants serving customers across international borders. When taking advantage of this new system, merchants can present a single price to customers in any part of the world, regardless of the tax rates that may apply in other countries, giving them even greater control of both their website and how their pricing is displayed.
Improved quality and more features
Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 and Magento Community Edition 1.9 feature more than 50 enhancements that improve quality and security throughout the product.
So to wrap up, these new updates from Magento include cheaper and more responsive sites that take advantage of the rapidly growing mobile commerce, improved payment and financing options, more recent search results for customers, faster indexing for merchants, cross border price consistency and much, much more!
For more technical information about these two releases, please visit the release notes.