Beside bugfixes many new features have been added. Features such as the "Wallet" (credit account), the new template engine based on Liquid, the responsive backend, the revised Amazon Pay and also the implementation of RTL (right-to-left languages) will inspire shop operators and developers.
The most important innovations in detail:
Wallet (credit accounts)
The new Wallet system enables shop customers to make purchases using credit. The customer can top up his credit account at any time with any amount and redeem it when shopping. If the credit is not sufficient for the purchase, the remaining amount can be paid with another payment method. As a shop owner, you can also top up customer wallets, e.g. to simplify the processing of returns; or you could simply transfer a small birthday present to your customer.
The Wallet system is thus a perfect customer loyalty instrument that offers a wide range of possible use cases and provides plenty of advantages:
– The value for returned goods does not have to be paid out, so the turnover remains in your company.
– You grant your employees tax benefits in kind of monthly wallet top-ups, which in turn are spent in the company’s internal shop.
– Thanks to a comprehensive REST-Api, integrators can implement POS systems to accelerate stationary and cashless sales during events.
-and much more
"Liquid" Template Engine
A brand-new template engine based on Liquid now takes care of preparing e-mail templates and newsletters. You will be able to design your e-mails in the backend using our special Liquid Editor (with auto-completion and syntax highlighting). Also, thanks to CSS Inlining and with the help of “PreMailer.NET”, your e-mails will always look good, no matter what e-mail client your customer is using.
Define rounding rules for each currency and determine the payment methods with which they are to be applied. For example, you can specify that Swiss francs should always be rounded to 0.05 “Rappen” (the denominator). You are free to set your own denominators and rules (threshold values for rounding up or down) and can also specify whether to round item amounts or only final amounts.
More modern, responsive Backend
Since version 3.0 the new frontend theme Flex is based on Bootstrap 4. In version 3.1 we have also migrated the backend to Bootstrap 4, overhauled and improved the user interface and simplified it considerably in many areas.
Commercial Plugin exclusively bundled with „Professional Edition“
Specify the maximum number of items the MegaMenu should display at the top level. All surplus elements are combined in a new, virtual dropdown. This avoids the annoying horizontal scrolling on desktop PCs if you have too many categories in the first hierarchy. You can also combine all or selected brands in your shop in a virtual dropdown.
SmartStore.NET now offers comprehensive support for RTL languages such as Arabic or Hebrew. Not only the text direction is changed, but the whole layout is mirrored perfectly; in the frontend as well as in the backend! And thanks to sophisticated bidi(rectional) support, your shop can display multiple languages in the same document and realign the text direction inline (e.g. for individual LTR text passages in an otherwise RTL document).
By the end of the second quarter of 2018, we plan to offer a total of 13 language packs – created by native-speaking technical translators – free of charge. You can already use these from the Community Edition onwards. In the backend, the new language pack importer lists all packages compatible with your program version and allows easy OneClick installation.
The following language packs are in progress or already completed (those in bold): German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch/Belgian, Russian, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese.
With Amazon Pay, millions of customers can pay using their Amazon account’s address and payment information in your online shop. We have completely reworked the plugin based on Amazon’s best practices and latest requirements, including the new Login feature.
(Performance) Faster image processing
New processing and caching strategy… Thumbnails are not created synchronously during the main request anymore, instead a new middleware route defers processing until an image is requested by any client. This leads to a considerable increase in perceived page rendering speed, which is particularly honored by search engines.
Commercial Plugin exclusively bundled with „Premium Edition“
TinyImage applies smart compression techniques to uploaded images and generated thumbnails to reduce their file size by up to 80 %! It also provides WebP support. Search engines will surely like this and mobile shop visitors even more! In our experience, media files take up by far the most space in a shop. TinyImage will make sure that your hosting quota is not exceeded so quickly and can even save you money, because significantly less data has to be transferred.
With UrlRewriter you can easily define URL redirection rules for your shop in the backend using mod_rewrite notation. Thus, you no longer have to enter your rewrite rules in the web.config file, which makes the installation of program updates much easier in the future. In addition, you no longer need to restart the program once you have edited the rules list.
Address format rules by country
Many countries define their own rules for formatting postal addresses. Thanks to the new Liquid template engine, country-specific address formats can now be defined very easily.