We are always excited about updates to our eCommerce platforms. Yes, you can call us nerds with this making us excited but eCommerce solutions are great for businesses. Most businesses see websites as cost centers even if they generated leads, inform their customers, or educate and show them as experts. eCommerce solutions are unique in that they bring in and show physical money which makes business owners eyes glisten. Today we’re going to look at the latest update for nopCommerce which is our preferred eCommerce system as it gives you complete control, is open source, and best of all highly customizable and built for eCommerce from the ground up.
Microsoft .NET Core 2.1
This is the latest version of Microsoft’s Open Source framework for building enterprise-class software. This change is making it so that nopCommerce will one day not only run on Microsoft servers but Linux servers as well. It’s just not fully migrated over (yet) but is making strides for that.
Whether you do business directly with the European Union (EU) or not you need to account for this face fines. Today the EU is going after big companies like Facebook and Google. Once they get through all the big fish they will be going after the smaller “fish” on the internet. On May 25, 2018 GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation went into effect. This new regulation requires businesses to protect the personal data of its customers. We are confident the United States will eventually catch up to these data protection laws in protecting the consumer. The ability to follow this law is now fully implemented in the core of the system.
News, Topics, and Blog Enhancements
Previewing your information is now part of the solution out of the box. This gives you the ability to format, preview, polish, and validate pages prior to being made live and making your overall online experience a lot more professional and polished.
Polls per store
Most businesses only have one eCommerce store for their domain. That’s not always the case though. Often places like flea markets or resale shops will “rent digital space” on their site. Previously store owners didn’t have the ability to do polls on their customers. They could only have polls for the entire site. Now each individual store owner can have their own polls.
Product review notification
What we always thought was a missing feature is now built into the system. When a review is left for you to review you now will receive an email notification.
Simplified billing and shipping information display
Previously the billing and shipping information were on two tabs making you do extra mouse clicks. We hate mouse clicks and nopCommerce is simplifying and streamlining their interface as well. You can now see billing and shipping information next to each other. This not only saves a click but fills white space that was just a waste. Thank you for this!
Product attribute price adjustments
You could always have an attribute (size, etc.) change the price of a product. The problem with this is it was a hard cost you had to enter. Now you can actually adjust by percentage. We have one customer where every year they update all of their attributes by 5%. Now they can just put in 5% and save countless days (yes days!) of time.
Smarter shopping cart
The smart cart is a truly awesome value add to the nopCommerce eCommerce site. If you are selling a suit which has a jacket, pants, shirt, shoes, socks, and a belt as a complete set when you remove the suit all of the other items (shirt, shoes, socks, and the belt) can now automatically be removed as they are no longer part of the bundle you choose. Of course, like everything in nopCommerce, this is a setting that can be turned on or off.
Gift card balances can now be shown within the shopping cart. When you are checking out it’s great to know how much if any, the money you have left after the transaction you are about to do.
Another feature we love is the ability to have an eCommerce site with no checkout option. You might wonder why you would want an eCommerce site and not allow someone to buy something and checkout. Let me give you a few samples:
- You are a liquor store or winery and want to give people the ability to have compared, wish-listing, and viewing of products but they can’t buy online.
- You are a car dealer and want to showcase your inventory but want people to come in as not many people are going to buy an $80,000 Tesla from an eCommerce site (at least not often).
Discounts can now be added “automatically” via a URL. This is a great way of including a discount code in your newsletters, paid ads, or direct emails that someone can click on and get the discount without having to type in the code. This may seem small but the easier you make your user experience the quicker they can check out and you get their money!
Who doesn’t like free stuff? The reward points system has been enhanced to further entice your customers into spending more money in your eCommerce store.
One reason we love nopCommerce is its strong customer service features. They have now made it so that if you are talking to a person on the phone (or email) you can remove items from the shopping cart or the customers wish list based on what the customer is asking for.
Product image importing
When importing items on the website you had to manually upload the images which were just a pain in the butt. Now you can include a URL in the import file and the system will automatically download and attach the image to your product catalog.
Not necessarily a core feature but the one that made us the angriest. The speed in nopCommerce prior to v4.0 was just plain slow. With the advent of v4.0, the speed is as fast as eCommerce services like Amazon.com which is the gauge we use for page load times for eCommerce sits.
A ton of great features to an already great system. Add in that it's open source, built from the ground up as an eCommerce site and not a bolted on eCommerce site you have a system that truly competes and gives the starting or established eCommerce site the features and capabilities often only found inexpensive systems.