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Magento 2.2 Update – What You Need To Know

Magento eCommerce has been a key part of the billion pounds online shopping industry over the last decade and this sector is growing more rapidly than ever before. Although traditionally B2C focused, Magento has recently released a new update that brings more B2B features to the fore and increases functionality for a developing market.

B2B eCommerce is set to reach the huge milestone of £5 trillion in the next three years, so this update has come at the perfect time. Industry experts have also highlighted the fact that the global B2B marketplace is double that of B2C at the moment – a trend that is set to increase. 

Magento eCommerce has been a key part of the billion pounds online shopping industry over the last decade and this sector is growing more rapidly than ever before.

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So what new features are available through Magento 2.2 and how can they help your business? Here’s our list of highlights at a glance:

Magento 2.2 EE Features:

  • New B2B Functionality
  • Enhanced Reporting
  • Better Fraud Protection
  • Improved Security
  • Enhanced Developer Experience
  • Mass Technology Stack Update
  • New Deployment Process (Pipeline)
  • Better Performance: Improved Indexing, Cache and Cart.

Magento 2.2 CE Features:

  • Improved Security
  • Enhanced Developer Experience
  • Mass Technology Stack Update
  • New Deployment Process (Pipeline)
  • Better Performance: Improved Indexing, Cache and Cart.

With a host of changes on both editions, you can read about each update through Magento’s developer notes available here: Magento 2.2 Enterprise Edition and Magento 2.2 Community Edition.

You’ll also see that the new B2B functionality is only available through the Enterprise Edition. Let’s explore some of the new features in more detail.

Quote Management

One of the biggest updates come as part of a revolution in managing quotes. Previously, you could only receive quote requests after installing an extension, but now this will come as part of Magento 2.2 by default.

A history log keeps specific quote details for you and Magento 2.2 allows you to view all updates and communication related to individual quotes. You can also save a quote draft multiple times before you decide to send it to your B2B client.

From a client perspective, this is another step forward as they can now request quotes directly from the shopping cart. Comments and documents can now be attached to quotes so everyone involved can work towards an agreeable discount. Furthermore, quotes will now have expiration dates as part of Magento 2.2 which has been a much-requested feature for some time.

Quicker Purchases

In our opinion, one of the best changes with the new B2B Magento 2.2 update is the ability to place orders faster using SKUs or uploading a CSV file with the appropriate data. Although you can only specify a single SKU and set the quantity one at a time, Magento 2 allows you to enter multiple SKUs simultaneously.

Adding a CSV is straightforward too – all you need is two columns: SKU and QTY. Upload this directly and your order is completed in a fraction of the time.

Despite these positive moves forward, subscriptions and recurring payments have been left out of the latest Magento 2.2 update which will frustrate some. However, the new B2B features allow accelerated ordering with requisition lists – as a store owner, you can now create lists of frequently purchased items and assign them to specific buyers.

Account Roles

Magento 2.2 finally brings about multiple buyers for one account. The default feature allows you to create and assign a variety of roles along with purchase permissions for each buyer. This change also provides you with the ability to control and audit what can be viewed and amended by each individual user.

New B2B functionality means a client can easily add or remove company users, define roles and permissions, view orders and quotes as well as amend company information.

Credit Payment Method

In previous versions of Magento, credit card payments and Paypal were available as the standard payment methods. Magento 2.2 introduces a new option listed as Payment on Accounts – a fully configurable credit that can be provided to B2B clients of your choice. This system allows you to set maximum and minimum order amounts as well as restricting credits for specific countries.

A company credit summary page will allow you to view the current credit balance (Outstanding Balance), available credit and approved credit limit. From a customer perspective, Magento 2.2 now provides the ability to view your existing credit before placing a new order as well as tracking order history through a purchase order number.

Additional Features

  • Developer Features – Improved toolkit, better cron and JS exceptions logging in, enhanced plugin debugging and revamped deployment flow with much higher efficiency.
  • Improved ERP Integration – APIs for all new features meaning little effort is required to connect the new version with existing ERP services.
  • Security Improvements – Magento 2.2 security reaches a new level with core improvements including the removal of unserialized calls and a revamped hashing algorithm, plus 100% chargeback protection with Signifyd.
  • Advanced Reports – Magento now includes much better reporting processes with this latest update, but third-party modules are still necessary for our opinion.

Not everyone will jump to update to Magento 2.2 right away, but there are plenty of reasons to change your system and open up a new window of B2B functionality. All major updates are followed by smaller patches that fix bugs and offer additional improvements. If you need more information, check out the Magento 2.2 webinar available from the Magento team themselves.

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