Released on November 13th, Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 provides merchants with new and updated features that can help create a more appealing online shopping experience.
I will introduce the various features that the new Magento Enterprise version has to offer below, along with the benefit of each feature for businesses in hopes of increasing their overall performance.
A new “swatch” feature is present in Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 that helps merchants make their products appear more appealing. It allows quick access to product information – such as colour, size, fabric, and much more. The swatch feature has the capability of updating the product image instantly once clicked, providing the shopper with the opportunity to view what the colour or fabric looks like on the product before proceeding with the purchase.
Through the swatch feature, merchants are able to better display their products by showcasing different attributes to the shoppers. As shoppers are able to visually see what the product would look like with a certain colour or fabric, they are likely going to be more confident in making a purchase, hence increasing conversion rates.
Magento’s updated responsive design theme includes mobile-friendly features that are accessible through any device. Core Magento features included are gift registries, downloadable products, multiple wish lists, add-to-cart by SKU, and private sales. As well, the design caters default email templates, allowing customers to read email order confirmations and newsletters on various devices.
The previous version of Magento Enterprise already featured a mobile-friendly responsive design theme that functioned flawlessly. While there were not any drastic changes to the responsive design theme in 1.14.1, some of the added features, such as gift registries and wish lists, will allow merchants to further leverage special events to increase sales. Consistent with the previous version, merchants can get a responsive site in about half the time, allowing them to market products quickly and freeing up resources that can be used for other projects.
Visual Merchandising Tool
The new visual merchandising tool – available only in the Magento Enterprise Edition – lets merchants see exactly what the category page will look like to consumers through the drag-and-drop attribute the tool offers. It allows merchants to adjust their product positioning to their satisfaction and feature popular products at the top of a category. Additionally, the tool provides the freedom of setting up rules to automatically assign products to distinct categories and allowing sellers to create their own categories based on product characteristics – such as “on sale items,” “new products,” and so forth.
The visual merchandising tool provides a quicker and easier way to organize products on a webstore, reducing the amount of time merchants spend on categorizing their products. As well, as the products are more organized into their respected categories, it makes it easier for shoppers to navigate around the store interface and find products that they were wishing to purchase easily, ultimately increasing sales.
Improved Performance and Security
The new Magento Enterprise Edition version enhances performance and security by supporting MySQL 5.6 and PHP 5.5. Through MySQL 5.6, sellers experience improved site speed and scalability, reduced memory usage on the database server, and better debugging tools. Similarly, PHP 5.5 provides merchants with security improvements and continued access to code updates.
These upgrades will enhance the overall store building experience for merchants and site performance for visitors. The previous Magento Enterprise version supported PHP 5.4, which had already provided better performance and efficient memory usage. However, by supporting PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6, shoppers will benefit from heightened security and will be able to browse webstores at quicker speeds.
Quick resolution to Technical Issues
Merchants are able to produce comprehensive reports about their installation that help support teams to quickly analyze and repair any technical issues that arise. The reports consist of detailed system information – such as the Apache version, MySQL settings, extensions, database corruption status, etc. – providing support teams with the necessary information required to diagnose the problem, without the nuisance of multiple back-and-forth communication.
With quick resolving of technical issues, merchants don’t have to worry about their site being under maintenance for a long period of time, reducing the negative shopping experience for consumers, losing out on potential customers, all together.
Improvements in Quality and SEO Support
This feature is perhaps the most important that applies to many eCommerce stores out there. To improve product quality, the Enterprise update includes many improvements to promotions, product import/export capabilities, security, etc. In addition, this Magento update now allows merchants to use full-page caching when running on HTTPS, which Google has stated it will consider as a ranking signal.
The improvements in SEO support will help merchants further optimize their sites for search engine rankings. Additionally, as the update allows the usage of full-page caching when running HTTPS, this allows merchants to follow Google’s guidelines while maintaining peak performance of their site.
The new merchandising features found in this version of Enterprise Edition are indeed valuable in creating in overall optimized performance for merchants and shoppers alike! If you are interested in reading more about the updated release, please visit Magento’s Blog.