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July 18, 2019

Unpacking Oracle Commerce Cloud 19B: What's new?

Oracle Commerce Cloud 19B is here, so let’s unpack this release and see what’s new. The key takeaway: it’s all about personalization. Oracle has brought the personalization aspects that were missing in the cloud platform to the forefront.

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Oracle Commerce Cloud 19B is here, so let’s unpack this release and see what’s new. The key takeaway: it’s all about personalization. Oracle has decided to bring to the forefront the personalization aspects that were missing in the cloud platform.

Custom Query Parameters

With custom query settings, you have the ability to craft a customized experience for anonymous shopping online, as well as signed-in online customers. This allows you to create a custom look and feel throughout the website, while still maintaining a consistent campaign experience. This best practice technique will yield better conversions.

All of this is done through URL parameters that you can set via the admin console entry page setting. You can create custom parameters that are in sync with your campaigns. For example, discount codes such as SHOP20, SUMMER SALE, etc.

This allows users driven through that URL to be a part of that audience group for the duration that they are shopping or browsing for ideas. You can also automatically apply discounts for these audiences without them having to remember a promo code or coupon code. It’s a seamless user experience.

Audience Building Through Referring Site

Additionally, this parameter also has some referring URL site references. If you were to partner with an affiliate site, you can now customize the web experience for this promotion. The customization is again is limited to just a session, but it provides a huge advantage on dynamic audience building.

This technique is typically used for email campaigns, PPC campaigns, affiliate partnership, or affiliate marketing promotions. Essentially, anywhere you can acquire traffic and new users.

AddThis Personalization

Addthis integration is a social bookmarking experience and is dominant in capturing user interests across 15 million web properties. AddThis continues to index user interests across many sites and is able to create audience interest profiles. These profiles can be used to target personalized items, promotional products, sale items, clearance sales, and other specific items or campaigns to customers who are shopping for items or just browsing. 

When enabled on Oracle Commerce, this integration automatically shows in the admin console. The single most important highlight of this integration is that it prevents the cold-start problem. When a new prospective customer visits your site, you’re still able to personalize their experience because of the data from interests profiles.

However, this feature is only available in the United States and not available in Europe due to GDPR restrictions.

Shipping Discounts Via PMDL (API Only)

Shipping discounts are often the deal-sweeteners offered to a customer that close the deal. Free shipping or discounted shipping can sometimes come at a cost when you have customer ordering multiple things across different addresses. 

Thankfully, with the new features, you can now offer deals and discounts by shipping group total. For example, if several items are all being shipped to the same address, then you can offer a discount. This way, businesses can still offer seal the deal without taking a loss. 

This opens up the common “Ship Together” discount format, and also allows businesses to create “buy X conditions on certain items, or buy Y$ worth of goods belonging to a certain category,” etc.

This feature is now available via PMDL protocol and through API only.

Default Parent Collection: API support

This is a long-overdue feature for which many of us have been waiting. It’s very self-explanatory:

“Oracle Commerce Cloud now includes API only support for setting up a default parent collection both per catalog and per product. Specifically, it supports setting up:

  • A default parent collection per catalog for linked collections which are visible in more than one catalog or collection.
  • A default parent collection per product for linked products which are visible in more than one catalog or collection.”

The real use for this feature is to be able to use the breadcrumb functionality. It’s hard for businesses with multiple catalogs, sites, etc., where the challenge is associating collections with default parent collection per catalog, without which it became non-navigable via the breadcrumb. 

According to the feature elaboration published from Oracle: “Default parent collections are also used to properly attribute product and category views to parents for reporting and personalization purposes,” and we strongly agree.

When you do enable the feature, it’s important to remember and set server-side 301 redirects to the old URLs under different collections in order to tell Google to index the new URL formed by this association.

Publishing

Publishing has some new updates which include the ability to publish a selected set of events, filtered events from a change list, and all change items. These controls previously were not intuitive and have been remedied. 

Cross-Site Hreflang Support

The single most important advantage of arranging the hreflang tags are to organize site-by-site language and region support groups. But this feature is also a way to communicate to Google the number of language options that the site has.

In short, this release is important because it’s all about the audience-building based on URL, referrer site, custom experience due to campaigns and advanced shipping discount options. Look to the 19B June release as a big step towards personalization and marketing focus.

In Conclusion

Oracle Commerce Cloud 19B is all about personalization, and eCommerce companies should take advantage of its numerous new and improved features. 

For detailed release notes, please check out Oracle’s release notes in the customer connect section. If you’d like to implement any of these features or talk to us about how to leverage this then feel free to schedule time with us.

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