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Announcement: Vinson Release

We are pleased to announce the release of Vinson, the latest update to SuiteCommerce Advanced. You can read the official release notes for more detail.

This release focuses on providing an incredible user experience to your shoppers. It includes a number of new features as well as the hotly anticipated redesign of the categories functionality.

Release Highlights

  • Create and manage groupings of your products with the redesigned categories functionality
  • Encourage your shoppers to come visit you in store with a store locator
  • Engage in critical lead generation by enabling signups for a brand newsletter
  • Accelerate order placement with a number of checkout improvements, such as pre-populated forms
  • Enhance payment security with device fingerprinting, helping to cut down the risk of fraudulent transactions
  • B2B: Enable shoppers to add items to an RFQ from the product detail page
  • B2B: Integrate with SuitePayments to offer additional payment options
  • Configure your site through NetSuite, instead of individual configuration files

For more information on upcoming and planned features, see the roadmap page.

Get the Updates

Bundles associated with SCA are not managed, which means that you have to perform a code migration yourself. Before migrating, we recommend reading:

  1. The release notes for Vinson, and all the release notes for earlier releases
  2. The documentation on how to migrate your code to new releases
  3. The article announcing Denali 2 (a previous release) as it includes some notes on migration

New Features

As mentioned, the majority of the changes are aimed at improving the experience of your shoppers as they peruse your site and place orders.

Note that a number of these require you to be running 16.2.

Categories

"The Big One" — the one everyone's been waiting for, and with good reason.

We offered this functionality with older versions of SuiteCommerce, but it didn't make it when we moved to SCA. Well, now we're pleased to announce that it's ready.

With categories, you can create and manage collections of items through the site management tools and NetSuite backend.

Examples of categories are things like men's clothing or seasonal sale items, but it can also be used to group together things like 'looks' (for lookbooks) or to otherwise collect items that otherwise don't share specific item data.

Each category has its own attributes, and you can create them to be landing pages with your own changes to titles, headings, SEO tags, etc.

The category data is also exposed to the search API. This means that this data is exposed on search results pages and can be used to refine searches.

Finally, don't worry about assigning products to just one category — items can live in more than one. You can also assign some categories to be sub-categories of another (but note that a category can only have one parent category).

Store Locator

If you have an offline presence in the world, then why not encourage your online customers to come visit you in person?

Once you plug your data in, it connects to the Google Maps API and your stores are plotted on a map. With the geocoding Google Maps provides, shoppers are then able to find the nearest stores based on an address or any other searchable location data.

We also support geolocating, which means that if a user is happy to share their location then the nearest store can be found even quicker than entering their address.

As a note, store locator currently operates using the secure checkout domain in order to send and receive data. Thus, in order ot use the functionality they must first log in.

Newsletter Subscription Management

This new functionality makes it easier for you and your shoppers to manage subscriptions to your brand's newsletters.

The way it works is that we put a signup box in the footer, the user enters their email address, and we check it. If the email is of someone who's already a customer or lead, we update their record; if not a new lead is created.

The subscription process supports the soft/confirmed opt-in/out statuses available in NetSuite.

Note that this isn't us adding in a marketing campaign tool — this is just a neat way for your users to opt in to receive them.

Device Fingerprinting

As part of our effort to combat fraud, we are introducing device fingerprinting as part of the CyberSource Decision Manager. When the shopper places an order, details about the device used are gathered and then analyzed in realtime. Based on the rules you define in Decision Manager, the order can be rejected, accepted or placed on hold pending review.

RFQs on Product Detail Pages

  • Requires 16.2

Good news for B2Bers: if you offer quoting functionality on your site, then you'll be aware that it's currently only possible for customers to create quotes through the interface in their account. Now, your customers can add directly to their quote while browsing your site.

You'll be pleased to know it's fully compatible with matrix items, and it respects rules like enforced minimum quantity.

SuitePayments Integration

There are now additional payment methods available for you to offer, which come as part of the integration with the SuitePayments program.

The SuitePayments program enables a multitude of alternative payment methods beyond traditional debit and credit cards. E-wallets, mobile wallets, direct debits, vouchers and real-time bank transfers are just some of the methods that are popular in various parts of the globe, and can now be set up in your NetSuite system as an available payment option for your shoppers at checkout.

Improvements

Checkout User Experience

The first change relates to the credit card info. It's common in ecommerce, not just SCA, for users to have their credit card information saved in the system when they checkout. This accelerates their next checkout experience by automatically using the stored credit details, so they don't need to re-enter them. Some shoppers, however, do not want to store their details. Now the user can choose not to have their card details saved.

The next relates to automatic form completion. When registering for an account on your site, the user must provide their name and email address. With Vinson, this information is preserved during the checkout process and can be used to automatically complete forms, such as their address and payment information.

Finally, for all you B2B types, we've added the ability to capture the purchase order number during checkout.

Site Configuration Interface

You know those frontend configuration files that we have, the ones with the settings stored as JavaScript objects? Gone. Kinda. We've combined the application configuration files together and put them into the NetSuite backend. This benefits site administrators as it means they no longer have to engage with developers to make configuration changes to their site.

Need to change the checkout process? Do it in NetSuite. Need to change the banners used in the homepage carousel? Do it in NetSuite.

This change, however, is purely optional. To enable this, you need to get a separate bundle. Thus, if you wish to continue using configuration files, you can.

Training

As always, in-depth training courses for all of our products are available. There's self-paced learning, but if you prefer a more 'classroom' like setting then we have some courses with one of our trainers coming up soon. Note that this course includes the latest changes in the Vinson release. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to optimize your site before the holiday shopping season starts.

SuiteCommerce Advanced: Fundamentals Training

If you want to learn how to manage your web store and perform basic B2B and B2C ecommerce tasks, our fundamentals course teaches you how to:

  • Configure shipping, inventory, out-of-stock, and billing behaviors
  • Create inventory, drop-ship, and gift certificate items
  • Create web store promotions and define related items
  • Manage web store content and set up merchandising rules

This is a three-day course and costs $2,400 USD, with volume discounts available.

Virtual training runs October 5-7, 9am-5pm CDT, with self-study available anytime. Register Now.

SuiteCommerce Advanced for Developers (Denali to Vinson) Training

For the more technical people, this course teaches you how to customize your web store by creating new modules and extending the shopping, checkout and account applications. For example:

  • Create new modules containing backend components utilizing SSP files, SuiteScript services, SSP libraries, commerce API, and the SuiteScript API
  • Create new modules containing frontend components utilizing Handlebars templates and Backbone collections, models, routers, and views
  • Interact with the search API, including setting up faceted navigation, searching, and sorting

This course runs for five days, costing $5,000 USD with volume discounts available.

Virtual training runs September 12-16, 9am-5pm CDT, also with self-study available anytime. Register Now.

Discounts must be on the same order, they cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions, and cannot be applied to previously purchased classes.

Both courses are also included in the Self-Study Annual Pass.

Space is limited, so register now. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get training before the holiday season.

Further Information

Any thoughts on the new release? Let me know below.