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What's New & Important In 2021

In this newsletter we are going to cover a number of important subjects including legislative changes affecting VAT, Google's latest algorithm change, an upcoming upgrade to your website server infrastructure plus the newest ecommerce features in REC+.


VAT Legislative & Customs Changes 

1. EORI Numbers & Country of Origin

Brexit has meant that you are required to provide your EORI Number and Country of Origin information on product lines, which we have described in previous bulletins. You can now also store individual customers' EORI and VAT numbers on their user record should you need to refer to them. Go to freshdesk article

2. EU VAT Changes 1st July 2021

New rules come into effect for the calculation and collection of VAT when selling to the EU as outlined on the EU website and also described on the Sage website. We will be issuing a software update for this before the changes come into effect.

3. UK VAT on Product Bundles

A consultation is underway until end March 2021 to clarify the law on how VAT is calculated for product bundles where there are products with differing VAT rates. We will be pre-emptively issuing a software update to handle this in the coming weeks.

Note: Product Bundles was offered free of charge to use until 31st January 2021 and that offer has now expired. Please contact us for pricing.


Google Page Experience

Google is changing its algorithm to include a new signal for page experience. Here's what it means to you...

1. Mobile Friendly

Most sites are now mobile friendly. If yours isn't then this is a great time to get in touch to discuss moving to a refreshed site design that looks great on mobile devices too.

2. HTTPS

Your site should be running under HTTPS. If yours isn't then we can help you to migrate and provide you with a free SSL certificate.

3. ALT Text

We already automatically produce ALT text on your product images, however make sure you have ALT text set on any images you add to pages and blog content.

4. Pop-ups

Also known as interstitials, when these are intrusive then that's a no-no. Having to close 3 pop-ups when you load up a website is not what a good user experience is about.

5. Page Load

Pages should load quickly without content jumping around as it does so, like you might've seen on some large news websites where you click on the wrong thing as the content is still rendering. It's important to note that having a lot of plugins on pages can also slow down load times.

We can perform a technical analysis on the home, product and category pages to identify issues or improvements you may wish to proceed with. The cost is £595+VAT. 

6. Safe Browsing

Since 2007, Google has steered visitors away from search results where the website looks like it has been compromised. This has never concerned us as we deploy multiple layers of overlapping security and application scanning to keep your site protected.

CLOUDFLARE
Faster Page Load + Extra Security + Reduced Bandwidth

Cloudflare is a free service that serves page content faster and increases security further. In January alone, Cloudflare stopped over 280,000 potentially malicious events on the sites we have it deployed across. In addition it reduces bandwidth usage which enables us to keep your service charges lower, especially as sites grow in size which then increases your charges.

Contact us to schedule moving to Cloudflare.


Website Infrastructure Upgrade

As part of our continuous investment in the technology that powers your website, provides security and data backups, we are planning to upgrade our infrastructure in the coming months. We are currently planning this with our data centre specialists and will advise of more details in due course including secheduled downtime slots for data migrations. 


Newest Ecommerce Features

These are some of the latest / most useful recent ecommerce features.

1. Report Builder

Build custom ecommerce performance reports to analyse your success across a range of metrics including revenues, delivery, payment, returns, ease-of-use ratuings and more. 

Available in beta preview till 30th April 2021. Access via Reports > Report Builder.

2. Sage Integration

Integrate your web orders and stock levels with Sage via Tradebox, which also integrates with Amazon and ebay. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

3. Unleashed & Xero Integration

Integrate your website with Unleashed's best practice inventory management software and Xero for accounts. Used by manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

Contact Unleashed directly to discuss your requirements first.

4. Google Customer Reviews

Collect reviews via Google and have your star-ratings appear in Google Ads. Combine this with REC+ Expert Answers to provide buying assistance at the point of interest.

5. SMS & Direct Mail Opt-in

Collect consent for SMS marketing and direct mail campaigns via the checkout process, in compliance with GDPR. use this data with your preferred 3rd party services to send SMS and direct mail.

6. Offer Paypal Credit On High Value Products

Make it easier to pay on high value products by offering Paypal Credit on select product pages. Another popular alternative is Klarna. 


New in REC+: Global Search, Report Builder, Top level GTINs and more

Feature Spotlight

  • Global Search
    This fantastic new feature is available to the top right of the admin screen you'll now find a search icon that lets you quickly search key areas of your site admin. 



    Key areas this covers: Orders & Invoices (by ID), Customers (by ID, Name or Business Name), Products (by ID, Code or Name), Product Variations (by Code), Categories (by ID or Name), Manufacturers (by ID or Name), Pages (by ID, Name or Slug). 
    The autocomplete will start to show after 3 characters entered, but you can also press enter to force showing the autocomplete, e.g. if you're looking for product 42. 
     
  • Report Builder BETA PREVIEW
    This is a powerful new reporting tool to help you better understand your ecommerce business. Based on the order info reports, Report Builder allows you to build a print/pdf-able report with selected combinations of data including ecommerce, google analytics & adwords data and form scores.
    There is support for date ranges as well as comparison dates, and you can also build re-usable report templates to generate them more quickly next time. 
    Available in: Admin > Reports > Report Builder


     
  • Email Task Criteria
    Filter your email tasks to send when customers buy from specific categories, manufacturers & product tags.
    When add/editing an email task you'll now find a new criteria area where you can add these rules. 
     
  • Top level GTIN fields on products & variations
    We now have fields directly on products & their variations for GTINs to use instead of having to add these via product attributes. 
    Available in: Add Product > Barcode / GTIN, as well as on Edit Product > Main details > Barcode / GTIN and Edit Product > Options > Variations > GTIN against each variation.

Ecommerce

  • CurrencyLayer enhanced / international currencies support.
    We offer a default currency integration with the ECB (European Central Bank) but CurrencyLayer is a paid service where you can gain additional currency rates such as TWD (Taiwanese Dollar)
    Available to set up in Admin > Connect > CurrencyLayer > Currency Adapter,
    once set up, you can enable in Admin > Settings > Prices & VAT > Currency Adapter
    Contact us about setting up a currency converter onto your site such as in your header for easy customer access. A small charge applies.
     
  • Make/Model/Year filtering in Admin of your auto parts site 
    In product manager & the auto parts export you can now filter based on your make, model & year options just like customers can on the front end of your site. 
    The MMY export has also been optimised and enhanced to make sure exporting multiple chunks of data keeps the variable option & attribute columns the same. 
     
  • Order Info Report Speed Improvements.
    We've improved speed so you can view reports and  analyse your performance.
     
  • Added postcode helper icons next to all postcode input fields around the site.
    These link over to worldpostalcode.com to help international customers find out about their postcode or if they are in a country that doesn't have postcodes then they recommend entering 00000 where needed. 
     
  • Google product feed can now auto send category name as a custom label.
    Speeding up Google Ads campaign management.
    Enable in: Site Settings > Ecommerce > Show Categories as Custom Labels in the Google Product Feed
     
  • Google product feed now auto removes any enquiry-only products from the feed
    Products without the price showing and ability to buy online are not allowed in the Google Products as per Google's terms of use.
    To make complying with this easier we now auto remove those enquiry only products from the feed for you the same as draft or discontinued products. 
     
  • Edit Product "return to products manager" link has been replaced by a breadcrumb instead. 
    This helps you navigate back and forward in Product Manager faster from the edit product screen. 
     
  • Delivery Band Export
    Make changes to your delivery rates faster with this new export.
    Available in Export Manager > Delivery Bands, and import back in through Import System > Step 2 > Delivery Bands
     
  • Multiple coupon use improvements. 
    When a customer applies multiple lump sum coupons, e.g. a £10 off deal and a gift voucher, these now both take each other into consideration when applying the min spend limits and when reaching zero to avoid any calculation issues. 
     
  • Coupon invalid message improvements
    Applying an expired coupon or a coupon that is not available to a customer will now give the customer more details as to why the coupon cannot be applied to their order such as not meeting the criteria of items in cart etc. 
     
  • Gift Voucher emails are now fully templatable
    Previously editable as a page they now have full template functionality available, find them in /html/email/templates/voucher/
     
  • Manual orders > customer selector improvements
    You can now more easily search for users to attach to an order and this supports finding users by business name and membership code.
     
  • Tradebox support for our new Bundles system
    The new product bundles feature was released recently and now integrates with Tradebox / Sage integration sending each component product on its own order line.

Enhancements

  • Gallery albums tidy up
    We've simplified the process of entering album names on the built in gallery app.  
     
  • New "country_to_alpha_2" twig function that will convert a country name to the ISO Alpha 2 format for country names. 
    In addition the invoice template has a specific variable for using this as well {{ line.country_of_origin_alpha_2 }}
     
  • Deleting a template now auto clears your session preview. 

 


REC+ 2020 Feature Recap

2020 was a little bit of an unusual year, but at least here on REC+ we worked on a range of new features to help your site sell.

Here's our highlights, in no particular order, top features you may have missed in 2020 that we think are worth checking out:

  • Site Update Banners
    The site updates offer a simple way to show a top banner to your visitors. 
    We've been using this to show customers info on latest deals or let them know about new COVID guidance being followed. 
    Here's an example of this live in use:

    Read more in our December post
     
  • Multi Store
    The new Multi Store feature creates new opportunities to sell your products and save you time by replicating products from your master store to other REC+ stores you operate
    Read more in our May post
     
  • Product Variations
    Variations is our solution to handling stock between Products and multiple Options. 
    Each variation can have a unique code, stock level and cost that can relate to the different size, colour and other variations of your products. 
    We aim to move more option details to variations in the future such as pricing to allow even more fine grained control. 
    Read more in our July post
     
  • Bundles and BOMs
    Sell bundle deals of products together with a special bundle price, or make a product up from multiple other component/material products and keep track of stock. 
    This new feature allows you to create a wide range of offers, including gift sets, multiples, by the case.  
    Read more in our freshdesk article
     
  • Tradebox Sage Integration

    Tradebox allows us to integrate with Sage50 and SageOne, this year we added worked on improvements to this as well as a new stock sync to keep your stock on the website up to date with stock changes back in Sage. Tradebox also allows integration with Xero so contact us if you wish to discuss integration. 
    Read more about Tradebox Sage integration in our freshdesk article
     
  • Facebook & Instagram Products
    Advertise your products to new audiences on Facebook & Instagram easily.
    This utilises our existing Google Shopping feed to easily integrate with Facebook & Instagram shop tabs and their advertising platform.
    See this live here: https://www.facebook.com/ForgeMotorsport/shop
    Read more in our August post
  • Klarna

    Klarna is a fast growing and popular way to spread payments into regular installments.

    Read more in our August post
  • Stripe Checkout
    Stripe offers a modern & simple checkout experience offering the latest payment methods such as most cards, Google Pay & Apple Pay.

    Read more in our February post
     
  • ShippyPro

    ShippyPro offer a wide range of delivery services for live rates at checkout. 
    Read more in our October post
     
  • Product commodity codes & country of origin
    Working with new international shipping rules, we now offer commodity codes & country of origin settings per product with ways to pull this data onto invoices and product pages. You can set these against each product or against multiple products at the same time via the batch product processor or our product exports. 
    Read more in our December post
     
  • Delivery VAT numbers
    Further helping comply with international shipping rules, some regions may require you collect a VAT number or similar for delivery such as a "CPF Number" in Brazil.
    Read more in our November post
     
  • 3D Models & Augmented Reality
    Render fantastic 3D models of your items directly on product pages and pages throughout your site with AR support.
    Read more in our October post
     
  • Order Info Reports
    A fantastic new set of reporting to analyse a range of order metrics including Return Reasons, Order Statuses, Payment & Delivery methods, UK vs International, Retail vs Trade and more.
    Read more in our August post
     
  • Timelines
    It's important to keep track of major site changes and changes you've made to your marketing plan to see how these impact your visitors and sales. 
    To do this we have a new Timelines area in admin that let's you easily keep track of your important dates.  
    Read more in our August post
     
  • Content Personalisation Rules
    Personalisation rules let you determine how content is displayed on your site for different user groups. For example, setting parts of your homepage content to display different messaging for different types of customers. This is achieved by detecting the user, identifying which group they are in and switching content blocks to show one created for their user group.
    Read more in our May post
     
  • Quickshop
    Especially on B2B sites, your customers may want to quickly lookup product codes or even a CSV of codes and how many of each they want to add to cart without hunting round the site to find each. 
    This works with our previously mentioned Product Variations codes to allow you to quickly adding a specific option combination of a product to cart too.
    Read more in our February post
     
  • Expert Answers
    Allow users to submit questions on any page or product and easily reply & publish the question and answer on your site.
    Helps you to seal more conversions and to improve your content and gain additional natural keyword phrases for extra indexing by search engines.
    Read more in our January post.

Please note: Charges can apply to some features and their implementation.

Our full 2020 REC+ update posts:

 


Merry Christmas! New in REC+: Product commodity codes, Bundles & BOMs and more.

Feature Spotlight

  • Site Update Banners
    You can now easily display a banner at the top of your site such as for temporary holiday closures, upcoming deals or new COVID guidance. 
    Set it up in Admin > Site Updates > enter your message and preferred colours.
    (If you want it customised even more please contact us. A small design charge will apply)
     
  • Product commodity codes and country of origin
    To help you comply with international delivery services, you can now set the country of origin & commodity codes of your products to display on invoices. 
    Invoice Template Tags (Table Row Template) - line.commodity_code & line.country_of_origin
    Enable in Admin > Site Settings > Ecommerce > Show Commodity Code and Country of Origin fields on product record.
    This data is also available in product exports as well as through Batch product processor. 
    Read more about using this in our Brexit article
     
  • Bundles & BOMs - Available to preview
    Available via a new BOM (Bill of materials) tab on the edit product screen. 
    These BOM's allow you to make up a product from other products. 
    With this you can offer bundles of products on your site, or use it to manage stock of products made up of multiple sub component products. 
    New template tags are also available for use to display components of a product, or bundles a product is in. 

    Picking lists
    In addition to the new Bundles & BOMs feature, you can now print pricking lists directly from the order manager and order info screens. 
    This will list each item in the order along with it's warehouse bin (if set via Edit Product) as well as any assembly instructions and components for a product that need to be picked. 
    New html/invoice/picking_list.html.twig template
    New button to print picking list on an order info screen
    New button to export csv order lines (for delivery/export purposes) on an order info screen
    New button to batch print picking lists on order manager
     
  • Cloudflare cache refresh when adding new images and content.
    If your site sits behind Cloudflare, we now show an indicator to the bottom left of the admin screen. 
    Clicking this will reveal a Cloudflare area which allows you to refresh your cache with them such as after updating a number of images with the same filename and you want to see results sooner than their cache would normally allow. 

Ecommerce

  • New Product Price export available with columns for each group price. 
    This new export makes it much easier to set up / manage products with groups prices. The data is exported in an easier way to calculate in Excel or Open/Libre Office Calc and re-import it.
    Admin > Exports > Product Prices (New / columns mode)
    Admin > Imports > Step 2. > Product Prices (New / columns)
    Note: whenever using an export for the first time, always try just a few lines of data first and check that it is working correctly when re-imported. 
     
  • Product variations export now allows inclusion of group prices. 
    This allows you to take this export and use it with 3rd party stock/warehouse management systems (such as our upcoming Unleashed Software integration).
    Admin > Exports > Product Variations > Optionally add group price columns
     
  • Product Manager search by category & brand
    You can now filter products in Product Manager's search by category & brand making it easier to track down products that need updating. 
     
  • Make/Model/Year setting
    To help remove confusion between product and auto part exports, only sites using the auto parts export should now be shown the export.
    This new setting is available in Settings > Ecommerce > Products > Use Make/Model/Year System
     
  • Manual Orders / custom items 
    By allowing draft and enquire-only products to be added to manual orders, you can now add custom items that you wouldn't otherwise offer directly on the website (i.e. you would copy a standard product to a new draft product which you then amend with the custom requirements and a custom product code).
     
  • Weekly price list differences email
    The price differences email can now be scheduled to run weekly instead of daily, which may be more suitable for your customers / dealers. 
    The day this runs can now be set in Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Price List App
     
  • Copy filter tags to a new product
    If you're setting up new products and want them to have a set of tags copied in from another product, you can now do so with this new feature.
    Available in Admin > Edit Product > Filter Tags > New "Copy tags from existing product" input & new buttons to copy in tags from entered product as well as clear all selected tags
     
  • Order Manager screen layout improvement
    We've improved the display of the order payment & delivery info to make this clearer and display additional info such as payment IDs from 3rd part payment providers which can be used in reference to the payment. 

Enhancements

  • User deletion auditing
    For improved auditing we now record the user name in the audit data so you can see who was deleted and when. 
    If you're using Quote Manager, you'll also see a new Unassigned tab appear which contains any quotes for users that have been deleted. 
     
  • API Accounts & Webhooks now show status on table view.
    For developers this makes it easier to see which integrations are actively running on the site.  
     
  • Packaging Types now sent through the API
    Making them available for 3rd party integrations as well as sync'd for Multi Store integrations. 
     
  • Multi Store / API setting to treat status updates as more of a boolean indicator. 
    This sounds complex but actually is just a way to have any product status such as live, featured or special offer coming in from the API or multi store to then mark a product as live on the replica site instead of the original status. 
    For example, this can avoid setting a product to special offer on the replica site when no special pricing has yet been set, instead leaving it as a live status.
    Available in API Account > Edit > Extras > Boolean statuses 
     
  • Major speed improvements to the Auto Parts export
    We've made several key optimisations to make this faster, with a new limit of 2500 products at a time. 
     

Brexit Readiness - Read What You Need To Do

At the end of the year our trading arrangements will be different with the EU. 

Read what you need to do in full on our freshdesk article: Brexit Affect On Your REC+ Site & What To Do

We have added new features recently which will be useful:

  1. Site Update Banner
    Display a banner message on every page with important news and, optionally, a link to a Brexit readiness page you can set up. Access in Admin > Site Update Banner
     
  2. Commercial Invoices
    Help your orders clear customs without delay by adding 'country of origin' and 'commodity codes' to your order shipment document. Read more in the Brexit article under "Commercial Invoices For International Sales".
     
  3. Product Price Updates
    There is a new improved product price export / import program that shows products and their options underneath each other plus group prices in columns to make it quicker to change prices or add new group prices. Go to Export > Product Prices (New / column mode) and to Import > Product Prices (New / Column) in step 2.

    Note: Not for autoparts sites. Does not support quantity break price changes.
     
  4. Delivery Tax Zones
    You will need to remove EU countries from your 'tax zone'. To save time you can export the data in advance and make changes, then import it on 1st January 2021. Read about this in the Brexit article under 'VAT Regions'. 

    This is an existing feature.
    ​​​​​​​

New in REC+: Tradebox, Delivery VAT Number, Variations Export and more

Feature Spotlight

  • Tradebox integration - stock updates
    We can now accept stock updates directly from Tradebox / Sage to keep stock on the site in sync with the accounts system.
    Available in Admin > Connect > Utilities > Tradebox
    Additional improvements made to the existing Tradebox integration including a new Tradebox Log area in admin and a way to run the updates faster. 
     
  • Collecting Delivery VAT Numbers / Identification Numbers
    Some regions may require collection of a VAT number or ID number for delivery (e.g. a "CPF Number" in Brazil). 
    Using this new setting you can collect this info against each order from the buyer during checkout. 
    New Definitions for default text: VAT_NUMBER & VAT_NUMBER_INFO_LINE
    Available in Admin > Add/Edit Region -> "Require Customer VAT Number at Checkout?" & "Display VAT Number as:"
     
  • Variations Export
    You can now quickly manage your product & variation codes, stock and costs via this new export.
    Admin > Exports > Product Variations as well as in Imports > Product Variations (step 2).

Ecommerce

  • Report on out of stock products
    You can now easily track down stock to replenish with our new report, available in:
    Admin > Reports > Product Stock Report > new "Only show out of stock items" tickbox.
     
  • Order Info Reports improved charts for comparison data
    We have improved graphs available here (a pie chart and bar chart) to show reported data and comparisons on the same graph. 
     
  • Batch set discontinued & enquiry only
    You can now easily discontinue or mark products as enquiry only via batch product processor.
    Admin > Batch Products Processor > "Mark as Discontinued?" & "Mark as Enquiry Only?"
     
  • Email users who haven't bought before
    Email Manager's filters for sending now let you select to send only when a user has signed up but not purchased, allowing you to send them introductory offers. Also useful if you import a new set of cleansed email data from a prospect list or other trusted source.
    Available in Email Manager > Write Email > 5. Who do you want to send to > User filters > New "Only send to users who haven't purchased before?" tickbox available, supports the preview csv download too
     
  • Invoice Definition
    We now allow more control over the term "Invoice" on your site, you may choose to rename this to "Paid Order" or "Payment" or "Receipt" to avoid confusion or legal issues with the term "Invoice" (especially if you issue an invoice from your accounting system)
    Definitions -> ORDER_INVOICE (Defaults to Invoice)
     
  • New email templates available for order_confirmation.html.twig & order_update.html.twig
    Available in Templates > html/email/templates/order
     
  • Coupon Manager now shows the remaining value on each Gift Voucher (GV)
    In Coupon Manager > Gift Vouchers tab, you can now see a total value of all unredeemed GVs plus against each purchased GV line under the Value column the amount that is left to spend.  
    Reminder: you can see all purchases of a specific GV in Product Manager > select GV product > Orders 
     
  • Deleting a category now auto deletes all sub categories and sub products of those sub categories 
    This makes the flow for deleting large nested categories of products easier to manage without risk of products still being live but not in visible categories. 
     
  • Barclaycard IPN improvements
    We now auto mark orders as payment received if they come from Barclaycard before the IPN response comes in, this allows for faster order processing. 
    The order status will still change to order received once the IPN comes through, and if it doesn't you can check the order inside Barclaycard EPDQ to make sure everything has been paid correctly.  

Enhancements

  • We've increased our image upload limit around the system from 256kb to 512kb, allowing you to upload higher quality images. 
    On the front end of your site the thumbnailer should take care of optimising the image size for performance. 
     
  • Email Manager improved stats
    The Sent Emails tab in Email Manager now shows additional stats to help you quickly see which emails are performing best.  
    Admin > Email Manager > View Sent Emails > New stats inc % added.
     
  • Prospect Manager batch update customer & next actions.
    You can now batch update Next Action Date and Reminder messages in Prospect Manager allowing for sales team to more quickly organise work for the next work session.
    Available in Quote/Prospect Manager > scroll to the foot of the table.
     
  • Register page now only shows it's introduction text on the first step. 
    This cleans up the register process for users, making sure that intro text isn't shown again to them on each step of the registration process. 

Security & Maintenance

  • Blocking Bad Actors
    Improvements have been made to our blocking of known bad bots crawling the sites and slowing down the site.
     
  • New rate limits are now in force on the sites in key areas hit by bots
    This mostly affects product filter, no real customers should be affected by this and those that are will be shown a message explaining they made an unusually large number of requests in a short time. 
    This is another security measure we've added to help protect the speed and stability of the sites by limiting the impact bots can have on these key areas. 
     
  • More sites migrating to Cloudflare. 
    Cloudflare offers improvements to the speed, performance and security of your site. It also helps us in the ongoing battle against new bots hitting the server and slowing down your site. 

    > Contact us to find out if your site could benefit from Cloudflare - it's free!
    There are no charges for us moving your site to Cloudflare, the improved speed and security are free and the site will continue to work exactly as it does currently.  
     
  • Mini Sites are being retired. 
    Mini sites were a feature we offered as a solution to advertising your products on multiple domains and have them feed back to the central site. Google no longer gives much value to this type of advertising and we now offer a smarter alternative with Multi Store where you can have unique sites in different locations such as UK to US sites with your products kept in sync.

 


Integrate Your Orders & Stock With Sage 50 Accounts

Send and receive website orders and stock updates for Sage 50 Accounts using our latest Tradebox integration.

We are now able to offer enhanced Tradebox integration so that you can send website sales orders into Sage 50 Accounts and receive stock updates back from Sage which keep your website product stock levels in sync.

This requires separate monthly subscriptions for Tradebox and integration support from us, plus an implementation charge to assist you in product preparation, setup and testing. 

Please contact us for pricing information on 0330 311 2810 and ask for Neil.

 


New in REC+: 3D & AR model support, ShippyPro, Order Info Report improvements & more!

Feature Spotlight

  • 3D Models & Augmented Reality.
    Render fantastic 3D models of your items directly on product pages and pages throughout your site.
    These models are also available on AR supported phones so users can view the item in front of them through their camera!  
    Available on products: Admin > Product Manager > Edit Product > Images & Video > 3D / AR Model Upload (may require template change).
    As well as in template files via content blocks: {{ rec_block('3d model 1', type="model") }}
    Charge applies to implement this change.
     
  • ShippyPro
    ShippyPro offer a wide range of delivery services for live rates at checkout.
    New Delivery Adapter in Site Settings for ShippyPro.
    New ShippyPro area in Connect > Delivery for setting ShippyPro API Key & tickbox to send items as insured or not.
    Setup charge applies.
     
  • Order Info Report improvements
    We've expanded our range of new reports available in Order Info Reports (currently in beta while we work on speed improvements).
    We have new ways to switch visualizations per row on the report from graph to table views plus iie chart improvements, year on year comparisons and better visulaisation.

Ecommerce

  • Price list email task
    Let your customers (or a specific dealer group) know when your price list is updated.
    Email Tasks -> Add/Edit -> Event -> Update Price List
    Templates -> html/email/templates/price_list_changes.html.twig
    Set up charge applies.
     
  • Per group hide delivery
    New define: CHECKOUT_REMOVED_DELIVERY_METHODS_TEXT
    If set, this shows in place of the delivery methods when they are turned off by the site setting or per group.
    Admin > Groups > Edit Group > new checkbox for "Remove delivery methods?"
     
  • Alphabetical sort for product filter tags (inc. tag groups)
    Improvement for sorting alphabetically for product filter tags.
    Admin > Product Filter Tags > Reset Sort
     
  • Discontinued products are now auto removed from the Google & Facebook product feeds.
    You no longer need to manually exclude these, this is now taken care of for you.
     
  • Header search autocomplete improvements for searching on product codes.
    Faster requests for users searching as well as improvements in how we find products to pull through.
    We can also now offer custom designed autocompleted, complete with product images 
     
  • We now check from any subdomain of facebook.com (e.g. shop.facebook.com) as a Facebook referral for orders.
    This improves our reporting for social visits.
     
  • Currency Converter & Delivery Estimator Auto Height.
    The modal windows now dynamically adapt swithiching from the cart for a smoother experience. 
     
  • Email task unsubscribing
    Automated emails sent through Email Tasks now have a facility to manually unsubscribe users who request not to receive automated emails plus a link can be added into the emails to allow the user to unsubscribe themselves.
    Admin Area: Email Tasks > Edit > Unsubscribe Users
    Template Tag: {{ task.unsubscribe_link }}
     
  • Copying a product now results in a unique code
    When using batch product processor for copying products, since product codes should be unique, we now auto generate a new code based on the one it's copied from to avoid the possibility of duplicate codes.
     
  • Shop page layout files
    New ability to create shop layout files such as html/layouts/shop/search_results.html.twig, html/layouts/shop/product_filter.html.twig, html/layouts/shop/product.html.twig etc.
     
  • You can now multi select categories for delivery uplift.
    Add/edit delivery methods > Adding an uplift to a category now supports multiple categories
     
  • Product filter improvements
    Manufacturers now supported in sidebar product filter app for pages set to already show them.
    Fixed settings placement for "Remove Blocks where No Items are Found" & "Use Infinite Scroll"
     
  • You can now get a report of items in need of stock.
    Reports > Product Stock Report > new "Only show out of stock items" tickbox.


CMS & Design

  • On user registration > you can now disable auto generating membership codes
    This is especially useful for Sage & other accounting integration, including where you may wish to add the ID from the accounting system into this field. 
    Site Settings > Ecommerce > Checkout > Auto-generate Membership Codes (defaults to enabled)
     
  • Content block admin style improvements
    New improved design for repeatable content blocks to make it easier to work with lists of services
     
  • You can now set custom subjects on form builder emails
    You can use template tags to pull form field data into the subject line
    Admin > Form builder > edit form > Email subject
    e.g. "{{ input_field_102 }} selected".
     
  • SCSS Support Upgraded
    Latest SCSS support now available including modern CSS Grid grid-row syntax e.g. 1 / 2;

 


New in REC+: Facebook Products, Klarna, Timelines, Reporting, Multi Store & more

Ecommerce

  • Facebook Products
    Facebook recently launched it's new shop feature for promoting products on pages & in Instagram. 
    Our existing Google Shopping feed integrates directly with this.
    Note: A subscription is required to use the feed and set up charges apply. Contact us for details.
  • Klarna Checkout
    Klarna is a fast growing and popular way to spread payments and is now available to use.
    To set this up:

    Register with Klarna for Klarna Checkout. 
    Admin > Payment Processors, enable the new Klarna Checkout.
    Settings available in: Admin > Connect > Payment Processors > Klarna.

    Klarna also offers banners via their "On-site messaging" section, you'll find inside Klarna on the sidebar.
    Add the main script into REC > Admin > Connect > Custom Scripts.
    Then add the banner custom html element / placement code where you want it to display.
    Note: Contact us to set this up for a small charge.

  • Return Slips
    Buyers can now print return slips when logged into their account and include this when making a return. 
    These list the items being returned and the reason.
    New html/invoice/return_slip.html.twig template file available.
    Read setup instructions on freshdesk
  • Making Returns via Order Manager
    Admins can now follow the same returns process as buyers e.g. selecting a return reason. 
    Available against all orders in Order Manager > Order Info, new Return Requests sidebar block.
  • Batch add download files to products
    Batch product processor now enables you to bulk add download files (e.g. tech spec) to entire categories of products at once. 
    Available in Batch Products Processor > Add Downloads (bottom of the edit panel)
  • Batch add YouTube videos to products
    Also available in Batch Products Processor > YouTube Video URL 
  • Enquiry Only and Upcoming products tabs added in Product Manager
    New tabs added to Product Manager to allow you to easily find Enquiry Only and Upcoming products.
  • Price lists colour coded for new and discontinued products 
    Price lists are now available in Excel spreadsheet format to allow colour coding for new vs discontinued products.
    This is especially useful when selling via dealers and distributors who can quickly see these changes in your product catalogue.
    Available via the Price List main body app on pages.
  • Email tasks can now be paused
    Allowing better control over the email tasks running on your site, such as abandoned cart emails or price list updates.
    Available in Email Tasks > Enable/Disable
  • Coupon assignments can now be sorted via drag and drop.
    This helps you more easily organise the sequence of coupon for deals being offered on your sites, especially when using In-cart deals.
  • Improved handling of order states for hiding items on invoices
    Previously items marked as on_hold would be hidden on invoices however we've changed this so that a new more specific "invoice_ignore" order state is needed to hide items from the invoice. 
  • Purchase Orders can now show the status against each order line
    In the purchase order template, the {{ order.items }} items now contain a status property.
  • Product variations now supported in all the major search areas
    This includes site search, product download search, product manager in admin and more.
  • The product issues report can now show you duplicate product codes.
    This is especially useful for the new Multi Store system, see the Product Issues Report > Duplicate Product Codes.
  • Enforce unique product codes on product entry.
    This is a new setting useful for ensuring each product has a unique code, especially useful for Multi Store where product code is used as a unique identifier.
    Admin > Site Settings > Ecommerce > Sage > Enforce unique product codes. 

Multi Store

Recap: Learn all about Multi Store on freshdesk

  • Compare Screens
    You can now compare products, categories, manufacturers and user groups between your multi store master and replica sites to identify any data inaccuracies.
    Available in Admin > Multi Store > Compare
  • Product codes can now be updated through Multi Store.
    Previously, as product codes are used as the unique key between the sites, you couldn't update the code without spawning a new product on the replica site. This has been resolved so you can update every field on products including the code. 
  • Products now sync as excluding VAT
    This enables Multi Store sites to work better for world wide stores such as versions of sites outside of your tax jurisdiction.
  • Multi Store now sync's deleted products
    This ensures everything is 100% in sync between master and replica stores.

Reports & Timeline

  • Order Information Report
    A fantastic new set of reporting to analyse a range of order metrics including Return Reasons, Order Statuses, Payment & Delivery methods, UK vs International, Retail vs Trade and more. 
    Now available in Admin > Reports > Order Information Report [beta] (also available via link in Marketing Console)
  • Timeline & Projects
    Track key website, marketing & business changes using the new Timeline program. 
    This is an invaulable reminder of actions that have been taken for when you are analysing cause-and-effect. 
    Available in Admin > Timeline
  • Form Scores report now shows totals/summaries
    You can modify the maximum for each score in: Site Settings > Leads & Alerts > Form Scores
    Average scores are also now shown in the Form Scores Report.

GDPR

  • Find all cases of user details used around your site.
    Useful to speed up any subject access requests you might receive. 
    Admin > GDPR User Search
  • User Manager filter for "Active Users"
    Active users have login access to customer areas of the site i.e. an approved status, current passwords (not expired due to being too old), approved and not suspended. 
    Available in Admin > User Manager > Filter users > new "Only Active Accounts" checkbox

API

  • API Webhooks can now be sent with Auth Bearer tokens
    This serves as an alternative authentication method to the existing HTTP Basic Auth provided, with the new bearer tokens working better in JWT based authentication flows. 
    Api Webhooks > Add/Edit > "HTTP Bearer Authorization (e.g. for JWT)"
  • Orders API resource now exposes VAT Percentage per line.
    This aids our new integration with Sage, contact us to find out more about this. 
  • API responses now contain additional debug information
    Especially useful for Multi Store where we can now see full logs of every product as it's sent between sites.
  • New API endpoint for stock updates
    /stock, available to send both product & variation codes to with the new stock qty in large numbers.  
  • Webhooks can now choose between receiving products directly, or variations of products if the store has these set up.
    API Webhooks > Add/Edit > Products & Variations > "Prefer Variations?"
  • Batch lookup requests limited to 1,000 at a time.
    This impacts products & order lookups e.g. requesting more than 1,000 results will be capped at 1,000

Designer

  • We now expose alternative & associated products into the product template in an array form
    This allows new features such as dropdown selection of alternative products, similar to how variations work on sites such as Amazon.
    Available in the product_info.html.twig template, new array variables available for product.more.alternatives_array and product.more.associations_array
  • Search auto complete improvements
    We now allow custom auto complete extensions for the header, here's a live example of this: https://www.trigienedental.co.uk/
  • Price break details can now be pulled into the per product views e.g. on category or search pages
    Enable in Admin > Template Data Preloads > Price breaks, new tags available to access these: {{ product.prices_table }} and {{ product.prices_array }}

Behind the scenes

  • PHP 7.4 Upgrade
    As ever we're always working to upgrade our technology stack for performance and staying with supported versions. 
  • Better issue flagging for orders
    If we detect anything unusual about the order, we're now flagging it better in Order Manager.
  • Further improvements to blocking of Bad Bots crawling the sites and slowing things down.
    We're also reaching out to sites to offer Cloudflare's free plan to speed up sites & further help block bad bots hitting the server. 
    Being on Cloudflare will become a requirement for large sites in 2021.

New in REC+: Product Variations, Manual Orders new quick add items, a new Product Downloads search app, Multi Store improvements & more

Continuing our work on the recently added "Multi Store" system, we now support more workflows, including new 'product variations', which can be used in conjunction with Sage & other accounting integrations.

Here's a rundown of the prominent features rolled out over the last few weeks:

CMS

  • File Manager Upgrade
    This brings a few minor fixes as well as to a more recent issue where non "optimised for web" images would not upload correctly. 
  • Support articles dotted around admin.
    Following the recent addition of the help icon to the top right of the navbar in admin, we've added links to Freshdesk help articles in key programs to make them easier to access. 
    For additional support, click the help icon and you can both search existing solution articles as well as contact us for assistance. 

Ecommerce

  • Product Variations
    You can now set up combinations of options with their own product codes stock & costs.
    For example, if you already have product options for colours and sizes you could set up variations for each individual combination to record code/stock/cost e.g. red size 10, red size 12 etc
    This is also useful for integrations with accounting systems when each product combination has its own unique code. In addition, a previous code can be held in the Past Codes field for mapping against previous codes in an accounting system for continuity of reporting.
    Enable this in Site Settings > Ecommerce > Variations & Sage > Enable Product Variations
    Then set variations up in Edit Product > Options > Product Variations: 
    (Note price & weight are calculated from each product option that forms the combination)
  • Manual Order > Quick add products
    It's now faster to add manual / phone orders in Admin using our recently added quickshop functionality which is now built directly into the manual orders screen. 
    Available in: Manually Add Order > Products section
    Also available on each order's information screen under the existing items > Quick Add Products
  • Product download search
    Products often have instructions, sepcifications, warranties etc available as downloads and on large orders it can take time for a buyer to find them all  on each product page. To help speed this up, our new Product Download Search is a page app you can add to a central download page, allowing visitors to go to one place to enter a product code and find the downloads for the product.
    You can also copy a link to a result pages to forward to a customer. 
    Page Manager > Add a new doownload search page > Main Body Apps > Product Download Search
    Also consider using the Email Tasks new.order event to email the instructions directly after a product has been purchased.
  • Sage field requirements
    If your site is integrating with the Sage 3rd party accounts package, you can set limits to match what Sage allows, such as  the product code limit being 30 characters. Contact us to find out more about accounts integration
    Site Settings > Ecommerce > Variations & Sage > Enable "Sage field requirements"
  • Enforcing Unique Product Code Entry On Product Records
    When entering products you can now force unique product codes to be entered that are not in use on other product records.
    This must be set when using Multi Store and Sage integration which both require unique product codes on all product records.
    Admin > Site Settings > Ecommerce > Sage > Enforce unique product codes

  • Delayed product events
    The Delayed Product Events system delays triggering the new.product event until you click that it's ready to send over. 
    This is useful when integrating with integrated systems like Sage or Multi Store, so you can work on setting up your product, options and variations and then send it when the product is fully set up.
    Site Settings > Ecommerce > Variations & Sage > Delay sending product events in the system until a "Save & Send Events" button is clicked, allowing you to finish products before sending them to 3rd party systems and Multi Store.
  • PayPal Express Card Icons Switch
    Further customise the PayPal express button by turning on/off the card icons they show.
    Connect > Payment Processors > Show Payment Icons on In-Context Checkout button
  • Additional audit tracking
    This increases the visibility for events such as when a user goes to payment processor & when they view the thanks page
  • Gmail new order email schema
    When you buy through Amazon or similar large sites, Gmail adds additional email context to the email to help customers. We now provide the information needed for this to work for the emails we send.
    Gmail email markup
    You will first need to register with Google to use this, read more here: https://moz.com/blog/markup-for-emails

Multi Store & Product Issues Report

  • Exclusions - These allow restricting access to different fields for API Accounts / Multi store sites.
    Admin > API Accounts > Edit Account > Extras (Exclude fields, etc.) > fields to setup excluded fields on create/update of the products resource.
  • Replica Diffs - Keep track of differences made on the replica sites as well as options to undo these changes or prevent undoing these changes with changes form the master site.
    Connect > Utils > Track Replica product changes
    Edit product (on replica) > New "Differences" table
  • Force Push - Easily resync your different stores with a single forced push. This is especially useful when initially setting up the sites, or after imports. 
    Multi Store > "Force Push" against each replica site. Note that images and other files will need to be FTP'd across manually due to volume/speed.
  • Product Issues Report - Unique product codes are required for Multi Store to replicate data correctly.  This could also be run for other stores where codes need to have been entered and should be unique.
    Go to  Reports > Product Issues report > tick 'duplicate codes'  and then edit the products that need attention. 

    Read full Multi Store setup notes on Freshdesk

Designer

  • New "time_diff" twig filter - for better future and past date support in your templates
    e.g. Product launches in {{ "2020-04-19" | time_diff }}!!
    Will return:  Product launches in 5 days!!

API

  • Order timestamp since filter - allows filtering of orders that have come in since a tracked timestamp.
    e.g. ?since_timestamp=1591970309 or ?since_timestamp=2020-06-11T07:45:02 (both accepted)
  • The "update.order" event now triggers for line changes
    Allowing integrations to check for delivery cost updates and more.

If you have any questions about the new features or want to reach out about using one such as Multi Store or an accounting integration please contact us through the support desk, thanks.


New in REC+: Personalisation rules, Multi Store, Release Dates & Notifications For Upcoming Products and more

We've been focusing on building the groundwork for some major new features around personalisation, which will continue to grow, and multi store management, as well as a range of other useful enhancements. 

CMS

  • Personalisation rules
    Personalisation rules let you determine how content is displayed on your site for different user groups. For example, setting parts of your homepage content to display different messaging for different types of customers. This is achieved by detecting the user, identifying which group they are in and switching content blocks to show one created for their user group.
    Setup the rules in Admin > Personalisation Rules
    In Page manager or directly on a content block you will have a new dropdown to select the rule and set the content to display for each rule. 
    This can also be used inside templates for example: { % if rec_rule('VIP group only') % } Welcome VIP! { % else % } You're not VIP { % endif % }
    Contact us to subscribe for personalisation.
  • New Ckeditor templates for columns.
    This improves on the default column template by introducing gaps between columns for easier styling.
  • Form scores report
    Visually see how form scores change over time. 
    For example monitoring a 1-7 CES rating on your thanks page form to measure the ease-of-use of your website. 
    You can then check how this is affected when making any major site changes ( respondants can leave other useful feedback in the comments section as well). 
    Available in Admin & Reports > Reports > Form Scores

Ecommerce

  • Multi Store - Create multiple REC+ stores to sell your products (beta release)
    The new Multi Store feature creates new opportunities to sell your products and save you time by replicating products from your master store to other REC+ stores you operate. For example:
    - Create a US or Australian version of your store with localised branding and pricing;
    - Manufacturer? Sell direct to consumers on a separate store with different branding;
    - Target specific audience segments with particular categories (which can be renamed) and different branding.
    Check out our short video demo
    Contact us to discuss your requirements and for pricing.
  • Upcoming products now have release dates and email alerts
    Schedule your product launches by setting the product status to upcoming and entering the launch date and time.
    You can also set the product status at launch to be live, featured or special offer. 
    Customers visiting the product page can subscribe to be emailed on the date it is launched. 
  • High value abandoned cart notifications for admins
    Receive an email alert when there is a high value cart that has been abandoned so you can contact the buyer to try to close the sale. 
    To enable this go to: Site Settings > Ecommerce > Abandoned Carts > "Alert Admins when Abandoned Cart Value is over" [enter value]
  • Display store prices inc/ex vat with the new price switcher
    Users can select if they want to see prices inclusive or exclusive of tax on your site.
    Contact us to amend your templates to add this feature for a small charge.
  • Discontinued products
    Mark products as discontinued via Edit Product > Main Details > Discontinued.
    This can be displayed to customers viewing the product via a template tag change. 
  • Price lists can now export with product tag hierarchy
    Display product tag hierarchies in your price list export for greater clarity e.g. Tag1 > Tag2 > Tag3 > Category > Product Name > Price. 
    An example would be using product tagging for automotive parts and then displaying your price list as Make > Model > Submodel > Category > Product Name > Price.
    Enable this in Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Show Product Filter Tags on Price List CSV
  • Price Lists now export as CSV for ease of use by customers rather than the previous TSV/TXT format.
  • Quickshop now allows product CSV uploads
    Customers can now upload a CSV of the product codes and quantities they want to make the buying process even quicker, especially for B2B customers.
    There's more information on how users can do this via the info buble on the quick shop app.
    Quickshop is part of the Premium Ecommerce subscription.
  • "Verified Purchase" marker on reviews.
    Your product reviews will now show a marker verifying that a purchase was made before leaving the review. This helps increase confidence for future customers reading reviews left on REC+.
  • Order line comments now available
    Admins can now also leave comments against each order line, whereas previously comments were only held at order levels. There is a new notes icon to the right of each order line allowing you to see a count of current notes as well as a quick way to read and add to these notes. For example, this could be used to record custom changes against a product. The comment field is also available when manually adding an order line to an order.
  • Store locator now shows up to 25 stores at a time
    Up to 25 stores can now be displayed on the map which is an increase from 10 previously. Additionally,  the pop-up for each store can show their own individual website address if they have been entered at the store level.
  • Price manager confirmation before running price changes
    Price manager will now confirm the changes you have entered before it runs for you to double check your price changes are correct before proceeding. There is also better logging of price changes so we can debug potential issues more precisely.
  • Delivery method preview
    Delivery Manager has had a design refresh including a new way to preview your delivery methods before making them live.
    In Admin > Delivery Manager > Add or Edit a delivery method > Mode selection. 
    Defaults to 'live' but can now be set to 'test' for admin users only allowing you to view / test it.

Email

  • Improved support for older email clients such as Outlook
    A common issue when creating emails occurs when adding images that are larger in size than the area they occupy in your email design. When these are sent, most modern email clients such as Gmail will adapt and display these perfectly well, however older clients such as Outlook may show the image at it's full size therefore breaking the design.  
    To prevent this we now automatically detect the real and visual sizes of your images when you add them, alert you and automatically adjust their size downwards so that they display properly on Outlook.
  • Scheduled email notification 
    In EMail Manager when you send a scheduled email for the coming days it will now ask you to confirm the date and time. Note that Mailgun only allows scheduling up to a few days in advance.

Site Admin & Services

  • Admin message bar
    Alert your own site admins with important news / updates.
    You can now set a banner to show at the top of your internal admin area in Admin > Site Settings > Display > Admin Message Bar.
    For front end messages for website visitors use the free new app  Our Site Updates.
  • Our Site Updates NEW APP  
    This free new app allows you to quickly publish important information via a banner that appears on the top of every page of your website.
    This was initially to allow you to display COVID-19 related notices, though we're also exploring it's uses for showing deals and other messages around your site quickly and easily. Extra features will be added soon such as date range support which would be useful for promotions such as Black Friday or Daily Deals. Sign up directly at Our Site Updates.

Designer

  • Script Manager
    Script Manager is a simpler way to add custom 3rd party scripts to your site, such as tracking codes or our new banner app.
    Go to: Admin > Connect > Custom Scripts and add your script. Give it a memorable name to remember its purpose and provider, paste in the script and it'll be live right away on your site. You can also temporarily disable the script at any time or edit/remove it later.
  • Twig v3 Upgrade
    We're now on the latest v3 release of the Twig template language. 
    Find out more about the tags, filters and functions now available to you in the latest release of Twig. These are on top of the functions we already have available for you. 
  • Module imports and exports are now CSV rather than TSV/TXT files to make them easier to work with.

API

  • The API Accounts & Webhooks (previously called push urls) have had a major refresh. 
    These areas have been improved with much more advanced logging, editing and manipulation options available.
  • Products API resource updated
    This now contains every possible field on products and sub product resources such as options. 
    The multi store release introduces fully automated testing to make sure the data is fully synchronised.
  • Users can now be filtered by status in the API request.
    By default the API does not show deleted users in the recycle bin, but you can now pass status=deleted to reveal deleted users or even status=* to see all users including those set as deleted.
  • Speed and stability improvements
    In addition to the changes above, we have also updated to the API to make it faster and further increase stability.

As always we hope you're continuing to stay safe during these difficult times. 



Coronavirus Business Update

We are writing to let you know what we are doing because of the Coronavirus problem.

As a business, we have told all staff to work from home for the foreseeable future which means our office will be unmanned. Service continues as normal as we can work from any location.

Support For Website Customers

The best way to contact us for support about your website is via the freshdesk system which you can access from within your admin console or via this link: https://reallyeasycart.freshdesk.com/ and get twitter updates for news on any service disruptions: https://twitter.com/wildfirenet 

Support For Marketing Customers

Please contact your account manager via email or any business mobile numbers you have been given. We are actively monitoring the impact of the virus on your marketing programs on a weekly basis and contacting you to advise of changes we believe you should make, including increasing budgets due to increased demand and good ROI.

How Can You Protect Your Business During This Period?

We are all now in a period of uncertainty and it's hard to predict what will happen. If we were to give only 3 pieces of advice, this is what we would say:

  1. Look after your staff
  2. Analyse your performance on a weekly basis
  3. Keep promoting your business

For ecommerce customers, you have a wealth of data to analyse changes in buying patterns across your catalogue and customer groups which will help you understand the demand-side of the business extremely well and to take balanced decisions based on those metrics.

Our best wishes go out to you and your families during this difficult time.

The Wildfire Team.


New in REC+: Web Notifications, Stripe Checkout, Quickshop, Content Block improvements & more.

Stand out features

  • Web Notifications on desktop & mobile for new form replies & orders.
    You can now optionally receive instant desktop or mobile notifications for new form replies & orders on your site as first class device notifications.
    To do this, on the device you want to receive the notificiations, login to the REC+ admin centre and under the notifications icon on the header navigation you can tick to enable notications. The browser will then ask you to confirm this and after this you should start to receive notifications on your device as soon as new forms are filled out or orders are received (for online retailers).
    You can manage your connected devices and notifications in the edit user area of your account under a new devices tab.
  • Stripe Checkout added giving you Google Pay & Apple Pay options plus cards
    We've integrated the Stripe Checkout payment processor, allowing payment by cards, Google Pay & Apple Pay payments on devices that support this.
    Go to setup instructions 
  • Quickshop for faster ordering
    Quickshop allows buyers to speed up their ordering with product code lookup and add to cart. Perfect for B2B clients or regular bulk buyers. Here's an example of this in action: 

CMS

  • Easier content creation with repeatable & feature content blocks
    A new range of content block features have rolled out, along with with recipes for quickly building up new content layouts which can be easily edited within Page Manager once the content block has been set up. For example, displaying your team members on an About page.


    View examples and developer information on our new page
  • Page Manager tabs for navigation / Creating custom page menus with rec_menu()
    Page Manager now has simple tabs to see pages which appear in each type of menu navigation (i.e. header, footer, etc.), as well as allowing you to create your own menus. You can use these custom menus on the front end with the rec_menu() function, or you can use them to help categorise pages in the admin area.
  • Easier to view/edit Content Blocks and Forms on pages in Page Manager
    The content flow in Page Manager has been improved when editing a page so that as well as content blocks it shows forms that are present on the page, with a button present to edit  the form. This uses the pre-existing rec_form() function in layouts.
    Additionally for front end developers when designing the page content you can use effectively this function as a placeholder for a future form that hasn't yet been built and then afterwards add the form via Page Manager when editing the page using the Add Form button that will appear. 

Ecommerce

  • Fresh new payment processor images and recommended methods.
    The payment processor images have been updated to a more modern design.
    the admin payment processors area has also had a refresh to help point out old/deprecated payment methods and the ones we now recommend using such as Stripe (which supports Apple Pay and Google Pay) & PayPal Express.

  • 'Movers & Shakers' - Top Products & Top Brand/Category Report can now sort on Revenue Change
    These reports can now be sorted by Revenue Change % compared to the same period on the previous years so you can see your Movers (% from high-low) and Shakers (% from low-high) by product, category or brand.  
    Reports > Top Products Report / Top Brands / Category Report > sort by "Revenue Change % high-low' or 'low-high'.
  • Product filter improvements
    Design improvements to long lists of filters or categories to clean up the design of this area.
    Filter tags in the sidebar app now show in Title Case.
    Header / site search can now tie into the filters by adding a search block and showing the filters on the shop layout page.
    Compatibility improvements between the instant load and infinite scroll functions.
  • Free delivery indicators show against order items in admin
    When viewing orders in admin, items with free delivery will be marked so you can better tell why delivery charges on orders are different to what you would otherwise expect if free delivery didn't apply.
  • Setting to sort items by code in admin orders & invoices
    You can now force sorting of order items in the admin area by product code (options also sort by name) to help the readability of these screens and making picking through items faster. 
    Admin > Settings > "Sort items in Admin order views & invoices by product code"
  • Template order update emails & invoice link as a variable.
    Order update emails now run full template syntax & allows use of the variable {{ invoice.link }} for sending the user direct to the invoice.
  • Guest checkout - hide delivery address
    The existing "Hide delivery address if it's the same as the billing on Checkout" setting now extends to the guest checkout registration.
    This lets you visually hide the delivery address entry until users tick that they'd like to enter a different address and makes the screen look simpler to aid conversion optimisation.
  • Standard option recursive updates now apply against matching group/name/code
    This makes the mass updates of options much easier, you can even add new standard options that match the group/name/code of existing options, to then change it and have these changes apply back to the existing ones.
  • Minor cart improvements:
    The paypal & proceed to checkout buttons now only appear when items are actually in the cart
    Non js cart buttons now adapt when still in a JS browser enviroment.
    New live reloadable classes available for the cart template for "cart-subtotal-vat", "cart-subtotal-price-ex-vat" & "cart-subtotal-price-inc-vat"
  • Price Manager - Changes Under Consideration.
    We are re-thinking the flow within Price Manager to make it simpler to understand and safer, with live previews via spreadsheets before changes are applied. This would move it more into line with the way prices are handled in accounting systems like Sage.

Email

  • New in Email Manager - Send "non-marketing" emails to all users irrespective of subscription status 
    Under GDPR, you have to have consent to send marketing emails to people and Email Manager would therefore not send email to any unsubscribed users because it was primarily intended for sending marketing emails. However, you may be sending email to customers under legitimate interests  such as important service or company updates in which case it will need to go to all users whether unsubscribed or not. To allow this, you can now mark your email as non-marketing and have it send to users regardless of subscribed status. 
    Email Manager > Write Email > "4. Additional settings" > "Mark as "Non-marketing" to send to non-subscribed users as well"
  • EU Mailgun support
    Mailgun now offer EU servers so when integrating inside Mailgun you can choose to have your emails sent from EU instead of US servers. 
    You'll then need to change this in Admin > SMTP > Mailgun API config > Region/Endpoint
  • Notification emails to admins when users subscribe or unsubscribe now contain more detail
    The membership code & business name is now included on these emails by default to help with subscriptions managed at a business level.
    These notifications are optional as configured in Site Settings.

Admin

  • Bandwidth stats
    A graph of your site's bandwidth usage is now available to you in Admin > Bandwidth Usage.

Behind the scenes

  • JS Code Assurance.
    We've been working on new static analysis tools to check sites for Javascript compatibility issues across the major browsers and on older versions such as IE11. This now lets us automatically check the core code for possible issues when deploying new releases. We're looking to take this code and make it available to all sites in time. Stay tuned for more information on this to help building new JS on the sites.
  • Redirect issues with Chrome and admin sessions fixed
    New versions of Chrome hide the www prefix which lead to an issue where if you clicked the url bar in the admin area and pressed enter to reload the page you could end up back on the login page due to cookie/redirect issues. This has now been resolved.

New in REC+: Expert Answers, Site Tests, Performance Reviews, opening times and more

Core Features

  • Expert Answers
    Allow users to submit questions to you on any page or product and easily reply & publish the question and answer on your site.
    Helps you to seal more conversions and to improve your content and gain additional natural keyword phrases for extra indexing by search engines.

    Can be shown for specific products: {{ expert_answers('product', product.id) }}
    or specific page urls: {{ expert_answers('url', '/faq') }}
    or it can figure out the url for you automatically with {{ expert_answers() }}
    NB Premium Subscription required. Contact us for details and setup
  • New Helpdesk button for fast access to support and articles
  • Opening times
    You can now manage your company opening times directly from within admin
    Site Settings > Company > Opening Times > Monday - Sunday
    And can be accessed in the templates as an array: {{ dump(company.opening_times) }}
  • Image optimisation applied to Content Sliders
    Our WebP & image optimisation support has been extended to fully support sliders in responsive templates, further optimising your image sizes for performance on desktop and mobile devices.

Ecommerce

  • Enhanced Returns Process
    We've changed the returns process to prompt users to select a reason and provide a comment about why they are requesting a return.
    When a user requests a return they are now prompted to select which products, as well as selecting from a list of return reasons (editable in Admin > Return Reasons) and an optional comment field. This is emailed to the site admin(s) and recorded against the returned order lines.
  • Product Feed ID Lookup
    While working Google Merchant Center you may notice IDs for products are different from the website due to options spinning up different versions of the product. Our new report lets you cross-reference against the Google ID to find the product on your site.
    Reports > Product Feed ID Lookup
  • Order Manager minor style tweaks
    As part of continuously our Order Manager interface we've made some minor improvements to the display of codes & prices to prevent breaking these onto new lines as well as several other minor tweaks.
  • Coupon sorting
    Track down coupons more easily in Coupon Manager via: Admin > Coupon Manager > new "Sort By" option to top right offering: Latest, Name, Code, Start Date & Expiry Date sorting.
  • "Users making purchases" report improvements
    Two new columns added: "count_of_items" & "days_since_last_order". This helps you identify customers based on purchase histories.
    For example, the item count can help you understand whether your cross- and up-sell promotions are effective; 'Days since last order' helps you identify customers who have stopped buying from you that you want to chase up.
  • Added delivery cost template keys for Purchase Invoices 
    The purchase order templates can now contain delivery information such as cost price, available in the template with {{ dump(order.delivery_cost) }}

Outside REC+

  • Automated Site Testing 
    Automatically test specific parts of your site are working as expected such as the checkout process or form enquiries and no problems are present which would break the process. Avaiulable to run hourly or daily. Contact us for pricing and set up. 
  • Price Comparison tool updated to select crawl time/day
    This allows you to set when the crawl takes place to avoiding crawling during competitors maintenance windows. Contact us for pricing and to find out more.
  • Site performance reviews
    We're now offering optimisation & performance reviews for your website to see how page load speed can be improved and the impact of 3rd party plug-ins. Faster speeds can help increase your conversions. Contact us for pricing and to book a review.

Designer

  • New module field type for "large text" 
    We now offer a new field type on modules letting you add larger amounts of text content for when an editor interface isn't appropriate. 
  • New content block type "page-url"
    This allows admin(s) to select a page in Page Manager so that the result of the content block will be the page url string.
  • Module Import Ignore Existing Files
    When importing modules, previously it would error if the folder for the module already existed, e.g. if you imported templates from another site and then tried to import it's modules.
    You now have flexibility over this, by default it will skip adding the folder if it already exists or you can tick to override the folder.
  • Updated Modernizr to include CSS Grid
    If you're looking to trial CSS Grid in your designs but are worried about applying other properties for browser support you can now use the moderniser css grid classes, inspect the page and check the classes added to the html element.
    To see what's available & read more here: https://modernizr.com/docs/

New in REC+: Email to users based on purchase history, reviews.co.uk integration, full emoji support 🤠& more.

CMS

  • Full UTF-8 emoji support 🚩
    We previously supported many of the simpler emojis in the system but we have now launched full support for any utf-8 emoji.
    Useful especially on emails and blog posts to help grab users attention, such as for seasonal posts: 🌇 🎃 🎄 🎁
    Many emoji's available, both Windows & Mac's have emoji keyboards built in, but you can also lookup emojis from sites such as: https://www.utf8icons.com/
  • Ckeditor template improvements
    Inside our text editor, click the 2nd icon from the left to find pre-set responsive templates for building content in your page such as 2, 3 or 4 column layouts.

    These have been refreshed and given screenshots so you can easily pick the one that will help you add content in the design you are looking for.
    Remember, be careful if you tick to 'Replace actual contents', it will completely overwrite whatever text is already in the content block.
  • Forms > Multiple checkbox fields
    You can now ask users multiple choice questions on the forms displayed as multiple checkboxes on a single line.
    Available when adding a form field as the "multi-checkbox" field type.
  • Image optimisation: WebP support for sliders, products & more
    Our thumbnail script can now convert images to WebP to help optimise them further.
    We've also introduced a new helper to embed picture elements into pages to upgrade images to WebP where supported in the browser:
    {{ picture('/userfiles/path/to/image.png', { thumbnail: '250x250' }) }}
    {{ picture(product.image, { alt: product.name, thumbnail: '250x250', class: 'pcl-product-each-image' }) }}
    This is used on sliders by default too, on mobile we've optimised this to compress the files by up to 4X smaller.
  • Longer title input on add/edit blog posts
    Making it easier to read long titles for your blog posts
  • Admin design refresh tweaks
    A few minor tweaks around the admin area such as a simpler sidebar design to help keep focus on the main area. 

Ecommerce

  • Personalisation > New ecommerce targeting available in Email Manager
    As part of a set of new personalisation features that we are rolling out over the coming months, Email Manager has been significantly extended to allow emails to be sent to your ecommerce visitors / buyers based on the same range of criteria that is now also available in the Users Making Purchases Report. This allows you to send a much wider range of highly targeted emails to maximise relevancy and increase uptake. Users can be filtered based on order date & status, groups or tags, categories & brands they have bought right down to the tags on products.
    Contact us to talk about personalisation pricing.

    Personalised ecommerce emails
  • Reviews.co.uk / Reviews.io integration
    You can now merge product reviews collected by your site with reviews from the reviews.co.uk service so they both display together on product pages.
    Admin > Connect > Reviews.io API Key & Site ID
  • Reviews.co.uk: exclude groups of users getting review notification reminders
    When selling to freqent buyers such as dealers or distributors you may want to stop them getting review notifications for every order. 
    This setting let's you blacklist groups from receiving these notifications: 
    Site Admin > Settings > Ecommerce > Do Not BCC Order Confirmation Emails for the following Groups (i.e.the selected groups will not be sent a product review email from the Reviews.co.uk service; 'ungrouped' retail buyers will always receive the product review email).
    Reminder: the emails will be sent after the number of hours specified in the Site setting > Ecommerce > Abandoned Carts > Abandoned After How Many Hours?
  • Email Tasks are now templatable
    Introducing templates into Email Tasks means you can now have better designed content to send to your customers with more control over what content is displayed in emails such as abandonded carts, for example showing the products that were in the abandoned cart.
  • Despatched email task event
    Allows you to delay sending review reminder emails or similar until after the order is despatched to account for delivery time so that the review email arrives after the package has actually turned up.
    Admin > Add/Edit Email Tasks > New despatched.order event that can be hooked into, e.g. only send a review request emails a few days after order is despatched.
  • Coupon assignment area cleanup
    New tabs have been introduced to separate Coupons vs Gift Vouchers vs Expired in the Assign Coupons area in Admin.

  • Coupons category exclusions
    You can now prevent specific coupons from applying to categories such as clearance or ones with discounts already applied. You can multi-select a number of categories. All sub-categories will be included automatically.
    Admin > Add/edit coupons > "Exclude applying this coupon to the following categories"
    Also in Assign coupons > an edit coupon button has been added directly in here along with an indicator if category exclusions have been added back on the coupon, as shown above.

  • On invoices, you can now group the products and options together as a single combined line
    Allows you to simplify the invoice lines for customers, especially useful if you have a large number of items placed on orders as it will cut down the amount of printing.
    Admin > Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Display Products and their Options as single lines on Invoices
    + New template tag in html/invoice/table_row.html.twig > line.item_name_inc_option_values (like line.item_name but with option values only instead of groups in front)
  • Order info screen, delete lines now moved into edit line screen.
  • Google Analytics: Custom dimensions & metrics now sync with orders When a customer makes a purchase, if you're tracking custom dimensions against them such as user group, you can now track them to the point of making an order or other system level events like form submissions and downloads.
  • NOTICE: Legacy Order Manager info view - removal 15th January 2020
    We have now deprecated the legacy order view and as of 15th January 2020 we will be removing this old area.
    The new order view has been in place and working well for the last year,  make the switch today to get the latest order management features.

 


New In REC+: Website Recommendations, App Store, Payzone integration, better form debugging and much more

REC+ Infrastructure

  • Website recommendations UPDATE
    You can now dismiss recommendations that do not apply immediately to help you focus on ones that you need to action.
  • REC+ app store
    We have added a significant new feature set for ecommerce sites - read more
    Start exploring the entire app store.

Forms & CMS

  • Forms dry run mode
    Dry run mode allows full debugging info to be shown as well as suppresses emails during this process.Useful for developers.
    Give it a try in Admin > Form builder > Enable dry run mode.
  • New form layout for floating placeholder display.
    This optional new display moves form labels into the fields and then as the user enters into the field the label reduces in size and moves to float above the field nicely
  • Another new form layout for a dual column design
    Split your form into 2 sections and enable multi column support to have the sections sit side by side.
  • Show in header notifications?
    This allows you to include or exclude whether form replies are included in Admin Notifications in the top navigation bar.
  • Referrer page added to form replies
    Form replies include the page from which a user filled out a form, this is very useful where you have the same form shown on multiple pages.
  • Draft blog posts shown at the top
    Admin blog manager now shows drafts above live posts to serve as a useful reminder that they need to be completed.
  • Added "map" and "youtube" content block types
    Allowing you to easily add maps based on an entered address, or youtube video embed simply by pasting the url of the video.
    Available both through the template layout files and through Admin > Content Blocks > Add/Edit > Types > map & youtube
  • User manager now shows counts of total, active and subscribed account as well as new sorting options
    This improves overall visibility of the volumes of users you have on your site. Read more on how these are calculated.
  • Template system can now filter to show just the files you're working on in a template by hiding shadow files.
    Shadow files are the ones shown from parent templates, these illustrate the layers the template system uses to build the site, but when working on a set of new changes this new feature can be handy to reveal which files you have worked on, hiding away the shadow files from the parent templates. 
    Admin > Templates > Active template > Toggle shadows.
    Also now on hover of template file names it will show the full path including the parent folder.

Ecommerce

  • In-cart deals
    Utilising coupons you can now display deals to users in the cart, this tempts users to buy more by progressively offering discounts as the order value and/or quantities increase.
    Read more here.
  • Show associated products in cart
    Following from the in-cart deals feature, you can also show through associated products directly in the cart (based on the products already in the cart using the associated products program), helping you cross sell products that users can easily buy to qualify for the deal(s). 
    Read more here.
  • "On hold" state for orders
    This allows you to categorise specific order statuses on your site into an 'on hold' state that fits between 'in progress' and 'dispute' e.g. for backorders or situations where there is a longer delay than normal.
    Available in Order Manager > new "On Hold" tab, & available in Order Statuses > Add/edit statuses as a state. (Remember to enable 'success' with this otherwise it will not show in order totals)
  • Payzone Payment Processor
  • We've added Payzone as an alternative to Paypal, Sagepay and the other processors already available. Find out more about them on the Payzone site. For instructions to setup and use Payzone read this article.
  • UPS errors now pull through onto checkout
    If you use UPS for delivery rate lookups on your site then users will now see more informative reasons if UPS cannot deliver to them.
    These reasons are also logged against each order in the Order History for admins to view too.
  • Coupons can now optionally allow both a mininimum spend & minimum quantity before applying.
    This now let's you run deals that only apply when a user adds more than a single item to cart.
  • Reviews & testimonials now have simplified statuses
    Both now use the names: "New/pending", "Published" & "Suspended" to help you manage your product reviews & testimonials. 
  • Avg. Order Qty/Value now available in Marketing Metric's Order Traffic Analyser.
    Head on over to Order Traffic Analyser in Marketing Metrics (Marketing Console) and in the 'Show' dropdown select Avg. Order Qty or Avg. Order Value. This is helpful for working out the effectiveness of different types of campaigns driving customers to your site. 
  • Thanks page 'ordered items' template keys
    'Ordered items' are now leaked into the thanks page template via {{ dump(order.items) }} allowing you to auto embed these into thanks confirmation page forms so that admins can see what was being purchased when they look at the feedback forms. Also allows you to add more custom tracking.
  • Price list downloads
    You can now offer a CSV download for price lists on your site as well as showing retail vs group base pricing.
    These 2 new settings are available in: Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Displaying Prices > Offer Price List app as a downloadable CSV  &  Show "Retail Price" column on the Price List app

Behind the scenes

  • Facebook v4 upgrade
    Keeping up to date with Facebooks latest API updates we've upgraded to their latest version 4.
    NB You may need to re-connect to Facebook to continue posting automatically from your site.
  • Auto expire old user passwords (3 months for admins and 15 months for users)
    As an automated additional security & privacy layer, you can now enable auto expiring old user passwords. Their accounts will not be lost but when they try to log in they will need to confirm a link emailed to them at which point they will auto need to set a new password. Read more.
  • Lazy loading images in new browsers enabled in default template for products and categories
    With this the browser will only request those images when the user scrolls down near to them, this has resulted in large initial request counts and download size reducing by over half on several large sites.
    The new browser standard for loading="lazy" is now implemented around these images by default, your template may need updating to add these in.
  • Autoparts export/import now contains the marketing site link
    This is a custom field that can be used on your sites for custom functionality such as different enquiry links per product etc. Allowing it in this export file allows for faster entry when in use, if you don't use it you can safely ignore the new column.
  • Form builder now triggers subscribe events for email tasks and admin email notification system
    This lets you setup email tasks for new subscribers and utilise form builder to sign up the user. 
  • Blog posts can now be shown in full on blog category pages rather than just being a summarised list of posts
    T
    his is useful where you wish to create an easier-to-read 'stream' of your articles in full e.g. for readers to be able to search faster for information rather than clicking in and out of each post. See how we use it on our Update page to show all our software changes.
    New template tag available in the /html/blog/item.html.twig templates for {{ blog.text_full }} that's similar to {{ blog.text }} but without the set character limit.
  • Google Analytics user group tracking via custom dimensions
    Set up views inside Google Analytics so you can include/exclude different user groups from reporting, for example only seeing retail visitors or only seeing trade customers. Read how to set this up

Password Hygiene: Handling Of Old Passwords

As part of our program of continuously improving data protection, GDPR compliance and planning for new web standards, we have introduced an optional change so that old user passwords are removed from the database where the user has been inactive for 15 months. This can be set in Site Settings > Security > Expire Passwords For Old User Accounts. NB for new sites from 11th October 2019 this is enabled by default.

Why Is The Inactive Period 15 Months?

The 15 month timeframe is a practical time limit because it means that annual repeat buyers, such as Christmas shoppers, will not be affected the following year when they may wish to make a repeat purchase, but once they lapse a further 3 months then they will be classed as inactive and will then benefit from greater data protection through password removal. 

Can Users With Deleted Passwords Still Login & Use The Site?

Yes. When they try to login the system will inform them that their password has expired and automatically send out a new password to their registered email address:

Webauthn - Industry Standards To Eliminate Passwords

Looking further ahead, there is already an industry drive towards eliminating password use altogether for website logins via the 'WebAuthn' web standard. This will use different methods of authentication such as biometric devices like fingerprint readers on your phone or browser based control, and there are already passwordless 'magic links' in use allowing one-time logins via email addresses or SMS.


Website Recommendations & Admin Notifications

We are pleased to announce the introduction of actionable business intelligence in REC+ to help you manage your site and be alert to ways to improve it and maintain compliance.

Actionable business intelligence in REC+ websites

What Is Business Intelligence (BI)?

BI analyses data and presents you with actionable information to make improvements to your business, decision-making and processes.

Why Does BI Matter?

With so many changes taking place with web technology, search engines, internet security and legal compliance like GDPR, BI helps you stay on top of what’s important for your website.

How Does BI Work In REC+?

REC+ has become smarter by analyzing your website and presenting actions you can take for:

✓ Compliance

✓ Security

✓ User experience and interaction

✓ Marketing and products These are displayed in Website Recommendations.

Notifications have also been introduced so you can quickly see new user interactions with your site including new form replies, orders, testimonials and product reviews.

Is It Free?

Yes. This is such an important way to help business owners stay on top of everything that’s required of them we have released this for free to all REC+ websites.

This includes adding new recommendations in the future.

Accessing The New Features

Simply log in to your website Admin Console and click on the new icons in the top navigation bar.

How Can I Clear Down All My Unread Form Replies That Have Built Up?

You can now also mark all replies in a form as read to focus on just new replies.
Go to Admin > Form Builder > View from replies > "Mark all as read"

In addition, if a form is set to email your admins, we now track that you've read it from your email client to keep the read/unread status in the system up to date which will stop the build up of unread replies. Tip: Make sure admins allow images to display when reading the email as this is needed to trigger the tracking mechanism.

Can I Use BI To Analyse My Overall Business?

Yes. For businesses running on Sage turning over £1m per annum we can now extract your Sage data into the Afinitis BI tool to analyse and recommend business-wide improvements.

Contact Neil Whelan to book an appointment on 0330 311 2810.


Introducing the new REC+ App Store

Introducing the new REC+ App Store

You can now easily browse through the major system features and complementary services in our new App store - take a look.
We will be continuously updating the store with apps and services every week, so keep checking back in the New & Featured section in each category.

Explore through and discover all the things available to you with REC+.

Interested in a feature? Click the Enquire button on it's page and we'll get back to you about getting it enabled on your site.

This is the first version of our app store, any feedback you have will be greatly appeceated, thank you.


Important: Heart Internet Email Changes

Heart Internet have been in touch with some essential information about your Heart Internet email services (If your email is provided by Heart or Wildfire).

Heart are currently working on some major improvements to the services they offer. The aim is to make their entire range of products even more dependable, efficient and secure.

These enhancements are set to go live on October 1st 2019.

While that may seem like a long way off, there's a task you can carry out now to ensure that the upgrade runs as smoothly as possible and that you don't experience any problems.

What you need to do

In your email client (such as Outlook or Apple mail) if your outgoing server is currently using port 25 or 465, you will need to change the port to 587. Heart recommend using STARTTLS encryption.

You can keep your server name the same, it's just the port that needs to be updated.

When you need to do it

The sooner the better. These settings will work today. If you leave it until after the go-live date you won't be able to send any emails until you make the change.

Support

We have written an article to help explain how to set up your local email client which you can read here.
If you need further help setting up your email client you will need to contact your local IT support company since this is outside the scope of our support.
 


New in REC+: Smarter form data, automated browser testing & speed improvements

Since the last update we've invested a great deal of time into automated testing technology for use in our development cycle to further improve quality assurance. Part of this is scripting browsers to run through orders on a test site and perform admin actions each time we push code (which happens many times a day).  Later in the year, we're looking to introduce this as a new service you can use on your site to ensure specific parts run smoothly, contact us if you'd be interested in being an early adopter. 

Forms

  • 'Smarter' form responses 
    Form responses will now show extra information including user & cart/invoice details and (soon to be released) which page the form was sent from, with links to the user and order for quick access as well as displaying the user's telephone number where available. This helps sales and support teams to be more efficient in handling enquiries and queries:

    Smarter form responses
    Auto enabled on all forms, however it can be disabled in Form builder > Edit form > "Show meta data on emails?"
  • Relating Order & Customer data to forms
    After an order, a guest user is normally logged out and cart session reset, however to better support forms on the thanks and contact pages directly after an order, we now auto relate the user and order information.
  • Unread Form Replies Improvements
    If a form is set to email the admins, we now track that you've read it from your email client to keep the read/unread status in the system up to date.
    You can now also mark all replies in a form as read to focus on just new replies.
    Admin > Form Builder > View from replies > "Mark all as read"

Ecommerce

  • New product filter setting to enable redirecting to previous category page when clearing filters
    This allows users to filter products from a category page and return to the page once they are done filtering.
    Admin > Product Filters App Manager > Remember & return to last page.
  • Filter by user group in the Order Revenue & Sources Report 
    Segment your order reports better with this new option in our revenue and sources report.
    Admin > Order Traffic Analyser > User Group
  • Order manager not logged in filter & cleanup
    Added a filter to order manager allowing you to see orders started by non logged in users (i.e. retail orders when groups are in use)
    We've also cleaned up a couple issues and design around the search form on order manager.
    Order Manager > Filter by group now has a "Not logged in" option.
  • Batch edit product issues
    We've added a batch edit button under each product issue listed.
    Admin > Reports > Product Issues Report > under each issue's table of products > "Batch edit these products"
  • Checkout delivery method performance
    For sites with a large number of delivery methods or bands this will largly improve the performance of looking these up resulting in faster checkout screens
  • Further speed fixes
    Product downloads now available as a template preload (auto enabled). Along with faster loaded lists of products on pages and faster feed generation for Google Shopping.
  • Showing full category path in dropdowns
    Improved display of product category dropdowns in admin to reveal full path to the category for added clarity
  • Improvements to tracking visitors & orders from Facebook
    We now detect the new facebook "fbclid" url param

Developer

  • Automated browser testing
    Our new range of automated browser tests run before we release code running real user simulations on core areas to catch bugs faster. 
    Contact us if you'd be interested in being an early adopter on an important area of your site such as an app, form or checkout process.
  • Form codenames
    The rec_form() method can now take in a codename for the form, shown on the edit form screen, allowing you to embed forms into pages without worry of the form name you're referencing changing and thereby causign an issue.
  • Email task events for when a user subscribes & unsubscribes
    Send users deals or notify them to say thanks when a user subscribes or send a goodbye message for when a user unsubscribes.
    Add/edit email tasks, new events for subscribe.user and unsubscribe.user
  • Chrome devtools console back to Zero messages by default.
    We believe the best way to debug site issues is to start with messages in the devtools console & so we maintain a clean console area by default so you can track issues easier. 
    This release resolves the only warning showing from the new Chrome release for "[Deprecation] Synchronous XMLHttpRequest warnings".
    It's always worth checking the developer tools console in your browser for site issues.
  • JS REC.Cart.batchAddItems method now allows custom extra_data
    Detailed additional info can now be passed when adding multiple items to cart in custom cart related apps you're building.

 


New In REC+: Product issues report, settings audits & more

Since our last update we've taken more of a focus on underlying performance improvements and checks with some new features to help further with the smooth running of your site, let's dive right in:

Ecommerce

  • Product issues report
    This new report lets you find and resolve issues fast on your site such as products without prices, images, weights, invalid details, and much more.
    Available in Admin > Reports > Product Issue Reports.
  • Checkout confirm screen re-login alerts
    If a user has left the checkout screen open for a long time and their session has expired, we now notify them so they can re-login and resume the order. 
  • Product imports, no more "quick fix" program runs
    Previously after importing your products you'd have to runt the "quick fix" program to the side of the import to populate the new data around the system such as for prices & images. 
    However we have now removed this and the import program runs these automatically for you.
  • Batch products processor recycling
    Batch products processor allows you to mass edit & delete products on your site, however when deleting them it would previously permanently delete the products. 
    Instead this now sends the products to the recycle bin by default though there is an option if needed to fully delete them. 

Auditing & Security

  • Settings confirm screen
    When changing site settings we now ask you to confirm and save the changes which also records them into the audit log.
    This helps keep track of when and where changes have been made on your site, useful when testing new changes. 
  • New security hardening settings available
    A range of HTTP header security options are now available to add extra security to your site
    Before enabling these we recommend testing them on your site first, contact us for more information. 
    Available in Admin > Site Settings > Front End HTTP Header Security

Developer & Performance 

  • New Twig functions to shuffle arrays and debug as yaml instead of full html dump debug
    E.g. to shuffle items in an array: ... | shuffle
    or to debug in plain text with yaml, e.g. inside css or js: yaml(...)
  • New template access to parent categories
    These allow you to create lists of categories as filters inside the templates on pages and category pages above shown products.
    category_products_shell.html.twig -> {{ category.relatedid }}
    layout files -> {{ page.products_shown_cat_id }}
    Here's an example of this: https://gist.github.com/stilliard/0a5a1080722105a42784850ae96c986c
  • Speed/performance improvements
    We've made a number of large changes behind the scenes across the product & feed areas of the site to help improve speed especially at peak times as well as introducing new monitoring for this.
  • Internal work for static analysis tools 
    Lately we've been adding more static analysis checks to our development process to help detect  and thereby fix potential bugs so they never reach your sites.
    We remain committed as always to investing time & resource into our development and security tools to protect your sites as part of our ongoing maintenance and security update services.

 


IMPORTANT New Payment Authentication Measures For Sage Pay, Paypal & Other Providers

Payment Services Directive (PSD) 2, Strong Customer Authentication and 3D Secure v2 
Effective: 14th September 2019

What Is PSD2?

PSD2 is an EU Directive which uses additional security authentications for ecommerce transactions to help reduce the increasing costs of payment fraud. This will typically mean that during the shopping process the buyer enters a pin code, as per 3D secure already in effect, via a trusted device or with fingerprint reading. You can read more in this Sage Pay article.

Who Does It Affect?

This regulation applies to any electronic payment that takes place within the European Economic Area (EEA). For ecommerce card-based transactions (including digital wallets backed by cards), it applies to transactions where both the card issuer (i.e. financial institution with whom cardholder has relationship) and the acquirer (i.e. financial institution with whom merchant has relationship) both reside within the EEA.  If you trade within the EEA then you are affected.

Which Payment Processors Are Affected?

All processors which handle EEA payments, including Sage Pay, Paypal, ePDQ etc.

Is REC+ Ready For This Change?

Yes.

All payment processing is handled by the payment processors, rather than on your REC+ site, and they will need to comply and update their systems accordingly. You do not need to make any changes on your REC+ website.

Is There Anything I Should Be Doing Before 14th September?

Check via your payment processors to ensure your payment settings have 3D Secure enabled prior to September (if not already enabled). European issuers are likely to start declining electronic payment transactions that have no authentication in place. Read more about this for Sage Pay or refer to your own payment processor for more information. 

NB There are no changes needed in REC+

Who Can I Talk To For More Advice Or Setting Up 3D Secure?

Contact your payment processors directly for support and advice. 


New In REC+: Module search & sub module relationships, coupon manager, payment method limits & much more inside

We've had a great mix of new features and improvements to the system to roll out this month, let's dive right in:

Ecommerce

  • Selectively display Payment Processors to specified user groups
    This lets you select which payment processors will show for selected user groups. For example, users in your 'Dealers' user group will only be given an invoice payment option when the 'Invoice' payment processor is set to work with the 'Dealer' user group.  To set this up go to:
    Edit Payment Processor > "Only show this payment method if customer is in the following group(s)" and select the required group(s).
    Having no checkboxes ticked means it will show for everyone & this will apply if the user is in any of the 3 available user group categories.
  • Autoparts Product Sales Report
    There is a new sales report for autoparts sites which allows selection of vehicle by Make Model Year so you can hone in on specific vehicles. Go to:
    Reports > Autoparts Product Sales
  • Coupon Manager Loading Time Improvement
    Coupon Manager loading time has been improved by splitting out unexpired coupons, expired coupons and Gift Vouchers into their own tabs and dynamically loading in the 'times used' count to show the last 6 months for successful orders where the coupon has been used. It is possible to select a different time range if required. 
    Coupon Manager > Coupons, Gift Vouchers & Expired Tabs
    Coupon Manager > Used Count Range
  • Price lists main body app now show group based prices
    Group prices are displayed for logged in users and there is also a new switch for price lists main body app to show inc/ex vat prices
    Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Display both inc VAT and ex VAT on the Price List app
  • Product Filter > default page content
    This new setting allows you to change the default page when no filters are selected on product filter, rather than showing all products as it does by default.
    Product Filters App Manager > Show default page
    Which you can edit in Page Manager > System > product_filter_default

Forms

  • Form builder rating/score fields
    Allowing you to capture business KPI scores such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) & Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
    Form Builder > Field Type > Rating - Uses min and max to set the from and to (default to 1-5 if fields are blank). Splits Explainer text on comma's to display labels underneath (e.g. Very Difficult -> Very Easy).
  • Form builder display labels
    These let you set different labels for fields for admins vs the ones users see.
    Useful for the new scores system so you can ask users a question as the field label, but have it in admin show as your score name.
    Form Builder > Display Label - "Hidden" in a details element, changes the label on the front end if filled in.
  • Form builder logic conditions for ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ values
    Useful for building processes based on scores, for example send an email to an admin if a score is very low, or other numerical comparisons.
    Form Builder > Logic Filter > Condition - "Less than or equal to" and "More than or equal to".

Designer

  • Module Relationships
    It is now possible to build relationships between modules, so that you can associate / select data between modules. E.g. a books module that has submodules of authors. When adding data to the book module items you can select an author in a drop down menu which comes from the authors module. In addition, when displaying the book on the page, it pulls in the author name and picture from the author module. This helps ensure data consistency for common fields during data entry and to build more complex web page applications. 
    Add/Edit Module > Field Type > Module:XXXX
    Template Function: module_parents() allows you to reverse lookup relations from the related items, e.g. books can have authors as a submodule, but this would let you access the books from an author page the other way around. 
  • Module search
    You can now setup searches for modules based on specific fields you can define.
    Add/Edit Module > Fields > Searchable
    Note: Module Item names are inherently searchable
    Simple demo: https://gist.github.com/stilliard/284a446e810622173d4cc9e5d256a7a4
    More complex demo: https://gist.github.com/stilliard/57cf2d5b2a3470c347cc3953e0ae0140
  • Checkout & thanks text templates
    Edit the thanks page template in Templates > html/checkout/order_thanks.html.twig
    Edit the checkout top text area template in Templates > html/checkout/order_confirm.html.twig
  • Documentation updated for Twig functions/filters supported
    We've now fully documented all the template functions and filters we've added to Twig: https://reallyeasycart.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/210155

Development

  • Linkedin v2 API
    We've upgraded our LinkedIn connection as per their new integration rules.
    If you're using the Linkedin integration, please reconnect today and make a test post.
  • StopFormSpam integration now uses a confidence threshold
    This score enables us to be smarter about blocking form replies based on how likely someone is a spammer.
  • Improved RASP security & XSS detection
    As well as following secure development practices and having external scanning tools audit our security, we also have internal checks like this to detect attacks at runtime. 
  • PHP 7.3
    Continuing our always ongoing upgrades, we're preping to upgrade to PHP7.3, ready to migrate to stay within supported software versions when 7.2 goes out of support in December 2020 though we aim to upgrade long before this. 

 


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