The Oracle 19A release is significant for the commerce enthusiasts following Oracle Cloud Commerce. Some sought after features and admin related changes are included. In this blog, we will cover the several highlight features as well as list a few development-focused upgrades. Our goal is to provide you a quick snapshot of this release.
BUY ONLINE, PICK-UP IN STORE (BOPIS)
BOPIS is a sought-after feature for retailers that want to enable their customers to experience the convenience of in store pick up. When we consider this use case there are additional aspects of the feature to pay attention to:
- Ability to enable a customer to choose the pickup location
- Clear identification of online-only flag that clearly calls out the availability for customers
- Provide the convenience of in-store payment or online payment on a pickup order
- The ability for the API to map locations with inventory or locations specified for pickup only
- The feature set also provides a way to capture pickup location, inventory, contact person who will be picking up the order, pickup availability and times, preferred or scheduled pickup and times too.
Implementing a feature as robust as BOPIS means that there will be systems to integrate into OCC, which also means webhooks. With this release, all webhooks have been updated to handle BOPIS related data.
All of the aspects mentioned above help craft a much fuller experience on the BOPIS use cases. NO feature set is complete without an upgrade to the widgets, so here is a list of updates and new additions:
- Product Details widget
- Shopping Cart widget
- Check Out Order Summary widget
- Payments widget, Order Confirmation and Order Details widgets
- Brand New Shipping Options widget
An additional aspect related to this use case include BOPIS-related emails and staged checkout layout specially designed for this feature. This means your checkout has a clear distinction and stage for pickup experience.
Search experience has been upgraded quite a bit with this release. There are updates to the admin and features. Let’s start by looking at the important feature updates.
Type-ahead is a widely loved feature in search boxes across commerce websites. The 19A release contains an API-based release that lets you build and customize the front-end based on your site style. The important thing is, you no longer get a result but rather, you get a list of keywords that you can match and create popular searches and other such experiences available from this feature. There is a possibility of extending this to recommended products too, all in all, this is a popular feature that we’re excited about.
Search admin has been greatly upgraded creating significant strides in the overall experience of search.
BOOST AND BURY
A popular merchandiser ask is now available in OCC. The boost and bury let merchandisers choose what products to boost and what to bury given specific search terms or a search-driven collection page (typically category pages, product listing pages). This is an excellent development as merchandisers can now preview how their search results look by previewing them in search admin and fully customize the end user experience.
The guided navigation experience has become sacred over the years on e-commerce websites. However, guided navigation is controlled by menus and facets usually displayed in the sidebar. With the current update, merchandisers can now order the facets as they desire and as-is logical to the product context being searched. Facets can now be ordered based on a specific search context, terms or even differently for search-driven collection page (typically category pages, product listing pages).
Merchandisers can now fully customize the search experience.
FRICTIONLESS CHECKOUT thru STORED CARDS
Every eCommerce operation is looking to reduce the customer friction -- check out and payment aspects are key areas. The 19A release now provides the ability to:
- Store credit card during checkout
- Set a saved method as the default card
- Use saved cart info to make payments
- Recognize the saved payment via nicknames
- Delete saved payment methods
- Use saved payment methods for scheduled (future or subscription) orders
While these features all work via a reusable card token and the information is stored in the Oracle Commerce Cloud.
A clear call out here includes the aspect that all of this is available via API through generic payment framework and not on the out-of-the-box payment gateways that are available.
MARKETING, AUDIENCES & PERSONALIZATION
The holy grail of efficient marketing is the ultimate personalization to the right audience. This release of 19A pushes a few steps forward on all of these perspectives.
UTM QUERY PARAMETERS
UTM based rules and customizations are now possible. UTM which are typically used in campaigns for search, social and email-based channels are a window into the audience type. Ability to create rules that customize the products, content, and experience based on these UTM parameters is a huge step in personalization. This is another significant addition to conversion related features. Any marketer would love to have this feature, so in short, Marketers Rejoice!
Recommendations are another personalization tool that act as ammunition for a retailer. Ability to provide a specific set or collection of products through COLLECTION OVERRIDE to a certain audience is another sought after feature.
The features mentioned here are honorable mentions as they matter more to the retailer experience than the end customer experience. They include:
AGENT CONSOLE CUSTOMIZATION
Ability to customize agent console using existing design studio framework is a great help to your agent workforce.
B2C TO B2B PROFILE CONVERSION
There are situations when some organizations wish to provide B2B privileges to their existing customers. This B2C to B2B profile conversion feature is of huge help in this case. This feature is enabled via API.
DEVELOPMENT & DEVELOPER FOCUS FEATURES
Oracle 19A is a significant release that impacts the development aspect in a very positive fashion. This release includes many features that impact development lifecycle and provides developers a lot of value. A few highlights include:
- DCU - STACK AND ELEMENT SUPPORT
- DCU: CCPROXY SUBSTITUTION
- Speed up storefront loading and ability to choose what files can be intercepted by ccproxy service
- HTML SNAPSHOTS: MOBILE SUPPORT
- Helps adaptive design approach quite a bit
- PUBLISHING OF INDIVIDUAL DESIGN ASSETS
- Select the design assets that need to be published, which helps other in-design development assets to remain as-is without impacting or breaking the development environment.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this highlight reel of the OCC 19A release. You can review the full release notes here. If you’d like to discuss how this release can impact your business, don;t hesitate to contact us.
About the Author
Rohit (Roy) Nallapeta heads pre-sales consulting for Object Edge. Previously he has held various positions as a product manager, delivery lead and business analyst at Object Edge. His experience spans retail, banking, healthcare, and eCommerce areas. He contributes to this blog on subjects of eCommerce, retail and technology trends.