Our latest Oracle Commerce Cloud release is here! 16.4 is now available with a number of new features, including SEO canonical tags, new promotions, including Gift with Purchase and ability to have a single coupon code enable more than one promotion, Search Admin improvements to allow you to better tune your internal search, and Vertex API support.
As always, you can review our official release documents here and also check out our videos and other resources in our Help Center.
SEO Canonical Tags and Bot Routing
Canonical Tags: Canonical tags are now automatically applied to all relevant pages—content (e.g. article pages, homepage), product, and category pages. Rel tags have also been added automatically for paginated pages, such as listing and search pages. Automatic application of canonical tags follows SEO best practices and helps drive positive organic search rankings.
Bot Routing: Allows merchants to specify which user agents (web crawlers) should be directed towards static page snapshots versus the standard JS-based page. By default, Google will get the regular page and all other bots will get the snapshot version.
Providing merchants with more control over user agent routing gives them the ability to make additional strategic SEO decisions without reliance from Operations or IT.
Gift with Purchase Promotion
Gift with Purchase Promotion: Allows merchants to create promotions that provide shoppers with a single free gift at the product level if a qualifying condition has been met:
* Get Gift with Item Purchase
* Get Gift with Any Purchase
* Spend Y, Get Gift with Purchase
The free gift is automatically added to cart when the qualifying condition has been met and promotion messaging displays in the minicart.
The shopper can select which SKU to receive as the gift if the gift product has more than one SKU. For example, if the free gift is a t-shirt product set up with individual SKUs as different t-shirt size options, the shopper could select which t-shirt size to get as the free gift.
Gift with Purchase promotions are supported in Commerce Cloud Admin, Storefront, Agent Console, and Reporting out of the box. (It is not yet supported in the Commerce Cloud Assisted Selling Application.) For Agent Console, the CSR can create/amend/view order with Gift with Purchase, and process exchanges and returns of the gift and qualifying items purchased.
Support Multiple Promotions Per Coupon
Support Multiple Promotions Per Coupon: Allows merchants to attach a single coupon code (or batch of coupon codes) to more than one promotion, enabling the ability to combine promotions, but only provide one code to the shopper for marketing or customer service purposes. For example, a merchant could promote a single coupon code, such as FREESHIP10OFF that allows shoppers to get two promotions (Spend Y Get 10% Off and Free Shipping) when using that one coupon code.
This capability is currently supported via API only in the Admin. The merchant will see a read-only notification that the relationship has been set up between the promotions and coupons.
Support for applying multiple promotions using a single coupon code is also available in the Agent Console, so that CSRs can apply/remove promotions, view, and adjust those promotions.
Search Admin Improvements
A new Search Admin UI is now available in the Oracle Commerce Cloud Admin as its own tab. It contains two new features:
Read-Only View of Index Fields: This provides a read-only centralized table view of all search index fields, allowing merchants to have a centralized location to manage search configurations. The table shows whether a field is used in search or marked as facet or multi-select.
In order to edit the search properties, the merchant will need to go to the Catalog or Searchable Field Ranking section of the Admin. A new property must be published first, before it will show up in this table. The table view does not provide the corresponding catalog property for an index field.
Searchable Field Ranking: Provides merchants with a self-service mechanism to tune the internal search on their individual commerce site. Shows an ordered list of the index fields that determine how search works on the site and the fields that affect matching, as well as ranking. Default out of the box index fields include display name, brand, cross-field, and category.
Changes to searchable field ranking will be published the next time the publishing process runs. Only properties that are in the index can be added in this table. Note that this does not provide a way to change the relevance ranking strategy.
Vertex Support: Commerce Cloud now supports Vertex O, providing merchants with an additional out of the box tax provider option. This allows merchants with active, valid Vertex O series accounts to use the OCCS Admin API to switch to this integration which will provide for automatically calculating sales tax in the shopping cart both at the start of the checkout process and once the order has been submitted. This is currently available API only.
Invoice-Based Payment: Provides merchants the ability to offer customers invoice-based billing, also known as deferred payment, a common payment method used especially by businesses and institutions. A purchase order number can be included as well. After being configured in the Admin, this appears as a selectable payment method for shoppers. The webhook passes the invoice information to downstream systems so that any other processing (e.g. invoice generation, purchase order matching) can be done outside of Commerce Cloud.
Additional New Features and Other Changes
Administrative Console and Agent Console: Firefox support changed from v38ESR to v45ESR.
Storefront: Firefox support changed from v38ESR to v45ESR.
Platform and APIs
Experience and Design
Extension Development: Setting Sections: Provides widget developers the ability to better organize the configurations of their custom widget/site/payment extension settings into sections and logical groupings. Each section may have “Section Text” that will be displayed in the head of each section. This section text is localizable.
Catalog and Promotions
Promotions Management Redesign: A new Promotion Management page is available for merchants in the Admin. This summary view allows merchants to easily browse a paginated list of the promotions that have been created and see which ones are active.
International Language Support: Oracle Commerce Cloud Guided Search integrates with the latest Oracle Language Technologies software and handles all languages currently available to Oracle Commerce Cloud: English (U.S.), Spanish (Spain), French, German, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil), Swedish, Japanese, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Chinese (Traditional), and Korean.
Improved Type-Ahead Capability: Performance has been approved for type-ahead across all languages, with additional support for Chinese and significantly improved support for segmented languages.
Order Creation: Price Override: Allows customer service agents to override price during the creation of an order and handle any necessary appeasement or price match to increase order conversion, customer satisfaction, and retention. This capability is currently limited to the Supervisor role in the Agent Console.
Assisted Selling Application
Scan and Add to Cart: Uses native iPad capabilities to scan bar codes on products in-store—both using the built-in camera or manual entry. Allows the user to add products to the cart or bring up the relevant product detail page, allowing for a smoother sales process and expediting addition of products to the cart. Does not support check-out in-store (items must be shipped).
On-Sale Messaging Enhancements: Further enhancements have been made to the on-sale messaging in the Assisted Selling Application. Users of the app can now see clear sale messaging on the product detail page and order history, allowing store associates to more clearly see when a product is on sale and see the price paid on past orders.
Configurable Profile Properties: Allows the administrator to control which profile properties are visible in the Assisted Selling Application, giving merchants more control over what information that is stored on a registered shoppers is actually visible to store associates and shoppers in-app.
A number of improvements have been made to the Generic Payment Framework for Oracle Commerce Cloud, which allows merchants and partners to consume our webhooks and integrate with the payment provider of choice:
Checkout and Pay: Web checkout/punchout payment webhooks are now available for Place Order (authorization), Edit Order, Cancel Order (void), and Refund Order (refund), allowing for instances when a merchants wants their shoppers to be able to go complete checkout and payment on another site. Merchants can easily create and uploaod a payment extension for Checkout & Pay and configure the settings in the Admin, while continuing to use their existing Checkout & Pay payment processor. In these instances, shoppers would use their existing accounts with the Checkout & Pay provider for payment.
Gift Card: Physical gift cards are now supported as a payment method, with or without an additional payment method. A gift card payment extension can be uploaded in the Admin and merchants can support any number of gift cards on an order (with or without PIN).
Custom Payment Properties: The Payment Webhook now supports sending of additional custom payment properties in the request to the merchant and the receiving of additional properties in the response back, allowing for useful customizations on existing payment methods. Can be used to add region-specific or gateway-specific information to the transaction, such as date of birth or recurring payment indicators (although Commerce Cloud does not validate the custom fields themselves).
Profile Export Support: Marketing Cloud: For Commerce Cloud customers using Responsys as their email service provider, they can now do a bulk export of shopper profiles to import into Responsys using a single Commerce Cloud Admin API. This will enable email campaigns that require registered shopper profile information to tailor offers and improve relevance.
ICS Adaptor: Commerce Cloud merchants can support the request and response model on Oracle Integrated Cloud Service with support for functional webhooks—shipping calculator, price validation, Organization business object, custom attribute support for Order and Profile. For example, this allows for calling external systems to check on accurate pricing.
Multiple Variants: The Oracle Commerce Cloud A/B testing tool now provides merchants with the ability to create up to five variants for an experiment. Visitors will receive the same variant on a return visit to the page or layout running the experiment. This saves merchants time by being able to test multiple hypotheses simultaneously. For example, a good use of this capability would be to test multiple designs of a checkout button in parallel, rather than testing them one at a time.