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Magento September and October 2018 News & Commentary

October 30, 2018
News
Robert Rand
Director of Partnerships & Alliances

Robert is a Magento 1 & 2 Solution Specialist with over a decade of experience in helping merchants benefit from sound E-commerce and Digital Marketing strategies. He’s highly experienced at harnessing the power of E-commerce technologies and solutions to help businesses of all types and sizes grow and succeed, and has earned numerous distinctions and accolades from his work with merchants and partner organizations.

It’s full steam ahead for our friends at Adobe’s Magento, and the news cycle around Magento releases and enhancements has certainly picked up. For those that haven’t been keeping a close watch, here are the highlights that you’ll probably want to know about:

In September, Magento announced that Magento 1 will go End of Life (EOL) in June of 2020. While M1 was saved from a sunset once, this time, when it goes, it will go hard. Then, in conjunction with Magento Live Europe 2018 in early October, Magento shared lots of important updates with the world, including:

– Magento Payments is currently in “Early Access” mode, signing on select merchants. This initiative is meant to simplify the merchant experience, handling merchant processing, payment gateway and quick checkout (Braintree + PayPal Checkout), and credit card fraud prevention (Signifyd) into one stack, all managed from the Magento admin panel. This appears to be similar to what technology partners like Bolt are already successfully providing to Magento merchants. It also appears to more directly compete with the success of Shopify in the payments space. Look for the official Magento Payments launch in Q1 2019.

– Magento Sales & Advertising Channels will help merchants connect their data with Amazon and Google Merchant Center with a free extension. In essence, this turns a Magento instance into a data master for those that also sell on Amazon or run AdWords campaigns. It will even handle advanced features like repricing rules. This won’t necessarily compete with systems like nChannel that connect directly with an ERP or POS system, but it does conflict with the offerings of several Magento Partners, like M2E. This one is also predicted to launch in early 2019

– Magento announced their Mobile Optimization Initiative in partnership with HiConversion and PayPal. Participating Magento merchants can select from a variety of standardized checkout optimization experiments to find which adjustments improve conversion rates. It’s foreseeable that after using HiConversion’s technology for this, many merchants will want access to the full HiConversion platform.

– Magento has continued to upgrade their relationships with some partners, like Akeneo’s Product Information Management (PIM) solution, and Yotpo’s advanced reviews and ratings suite, while some partnership categories have been thinning out. It will certainly be interesting to see how Magento Partnerships evolve under Adobe’s control, including any changes to partner fees and rev share, and any more encroachment into Magento features and services that conflict with established Magento Partners.

At this year’s Magento Imagine, there wasn’t as much focus on features that were “in the works” as there have been in previous years, but Magento has now announced several new features for v2.3, which is anticipated to launch in Q4 2018, including a variety of Developer and Admin enhancements, such as:

– Multi-Source Inventory – This feature allows businesses with inventory in multiple locations to manage data more effectively in Magento. As SaaS ecommerce platforms have made strides in this arena, alongside open source solutions like OroCommerce, it’s a welcome addition for Magento users.

– Elastic Search will now be available for Magento Open Source users, whereas it was previously only available with a paid Magento Commerce license.

– Progressive Web App Studio – This new tool set promises a less costly creation of PWA experiences for Magento websites.

– Page Builder – A more user-friendly way of managing landing and CMS pages without knowing coding languages, with a variety of extra bells and whistles to enable businesses with advanced needs to empower their content and marketing experts.

– Asynchronous and Bulk Web APIs – These should provide much faster results for stores that heavily leverage Magento’s API’s. Such stores will still need to have enough hosting resources and proper hosting optimization to efficiently handle the load. If your API calls are a bottleneck, we’d still highly suggest a free consult from the JetRails team.

– GraphQL promises a fast frontend API querying experience

– Queues is intended to provide a scalable developer pattern

– Security enhancements for admin access including Google ReCaptcha and Two-Factor Authentication. [For those in need of Two-Factor Authentication for M1, we highly recommend our own free JetRails 2FA extension on the Magento Marketplace https://marketplace.magento.com/jetrails-jetrails-twofactor.html ]

– Performance enhancements, such as sharding and parallel processing of indexers to, for instance, significantly cut down on category product reindexing time.

Some of these Magento 2.3 additions and enhancements, such as Multi-Source Inventory, have been sourced from members of the Magento community. Over 50% of Magento’s code is now coming from the community, proving Magento to be an ongoing, highly successful open source project that isn’t easing up on the gas pedal.

We’re excited to see what will come down the pike at Meet Magento NYC in early November and look forward to bringing you more updates in the weeks and months to come!

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