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The Official Oracle Commerce Cloud Blog

What's New in 16.5 Release

With the 16.5 release of Oracle Commerce Cloud, we’ve got a slew of new capabilities, including Volume-Based Pricing, new promotions and integrations, Split Shipping, B2B support, a number of new endpoints and API improvements, ability to control which JS loads first, better snapshot generation, access to Guided Search configurations, and more. Visit our Help center for videos and other information. The latest release information is always available at our Release Readiness page.

MAJOR NEW FEATURES

Volume-Based Pricing
Volume-Based Pricing: Allows B2B and B2C customers to set any list or sale price for a product or SKU based on the quantity of items purchased. Both bulk and tiered modes are supported. This provides an incentive to buyers to purchase higher quantities of an item. 

 For search facets, the high price (lowest volume) will be used as the filter for price. On the Storefront product detail page, as well as in the Agent Console, prices will automatically update as the quantity changes.

Management of volume-based pricing and price ranges is available in the Commerce Cloud Admin UI and there is a Volume Pricing widget element available in Design Studio, so that merchants can easily add volume-based pricing to appropriate pages, such as the product detail page.

Promotion Improvements
Promotion Exclusions: Allows merchants to identify one or more promotions to exclude from use with another current, active promotion. Enabling a promotion exclusion results in a shopper being unable to combine the excluded promotion(s) in the shopping cart and limits the promotions a shopper can take advantage of in checkout.

Spend Y in X, Get Item Discount: This new promotion template allows merchants to create item discounts based on a specific spend amount within a certain product collection. For example, Spend $100 in Women’s Shoes and Get $10 Off Any Item in the Kid’s Shoes category. Merchants can trigger this type of promotion using single or batch coupons and view promotion results data in Commerce Cloud reporting.   

Buy X, Get Order Discount: This new promotion template allows merchants to create order discounts based on the purchase of a specific product or product within a specific collection. For example, Buy Any Two Shirts, Get 10% Off Your Order. Merchants can trigger this type of promotion using single or batch coupons and view promotion results data in Commerce Cloud reporting.   

Split Shipping
Split Shipping: The Storefront Endpoint and JavaScript API have been updated to support split shipping, allowing merchants to split items across shipping groups and display shipping group-specific information the shopper. Covers use cases such as shipping items within an order to different addresses, specifying shipping methods per shipping group, reassigning order items across shipping groups, selecting from a list of pre-saved shipping addresses to use in split shipping orders, and seeing split shipment orders displayed properly in order status, order history, and transactional emails.  Storefront API support is end to end and includes the cart, checkout, order creation, order confirmation, order history, and system emails. This feature is also supported in our Agent Console—from order creation, amendment, returns, and exchanges.

This capability is currently supported via API only. Out-of-the-box Storefront widgets have not yet been updated to support this feature, so merchants need to build their own custom UI for presenting split shipment to their shoppers. 

B2B: Accounts, Contacts, and Contracts
To allow merchants to sell B2B on the Commerce Cloud platform, the following foundational features have been released that support the B2B sales process.

B2B: Accounts: Allows merchants that deal with organizations (e.g. distributors, manufacturers, companies, small businesses) to set up these customers (buying companies) as Accounts and create their purchasers (buying users) as Contacts. Accounts can have multiple Contacts associated with them. Admin users can search and manage these Accounts, which have account-specific shipping and billing addresses.  

Once an Account has been set up and marked active (among other conditions) in the OCCS Admin UI, an Account’s users can log into the store. If an Account is inactive, all users of that Account are prevented from logging in.

New header widgets are available for Account-based commerce. These header widgets should place these elements on the page in order for Contacts to be able to log in and make purchases at an Account’s store. These widgets also allow for Account-based personalization and display the Contact user name, company name, and company logo.

Management for B2B orders is supported in the Agent Console, as well as the Storefront. Agents can create or complete new B2B orders, cancel or amend, return and process refunds and exchanges. They can search for orders, customers, and returns using the Account name. They can also handle invoice-based payments on orders.

Reporting is also available for Accounts via an Accounts report and Accounts filter for existing sales reports for those merchants using the Accounts feature. Data for existing sales reports can be filtered to focus in on particular accounts. Also allows report users to view and compare sales KPIs by Account. 

The Accounts filter and report are only available when at least one account has been configured in the Commerce Cloud Admin.

B2B: Contacts: Contacts represent the purchasers (buying users) at Accounts and are created and linked to specific Accounts for a particular store. Secure login creation for Contacts ensures that a Contact is a member of a valid Account. Admin users can quickly search and manage Contacts. Note that a Contact can currently be associated to only one account and the same contact cannot be linked to multiple accounts at this time. 

Both the Storefront and Agent Console provide profile management for B2B Contacts and allow for resetting passwords, updating first and last name, viewing addresses for the associated Account, as well as order history. 

B2B: Contracts: A Contract associates a catalog and price group to an Account. The Contract determines the products and prices that are offered to customers. Once a Merchant has set up Accounts and Contacts, the Merchant can create a Contract by associating the applicable catalog and price list group for the account. Note that once a Contract has been created, it cannot be removed. Only the applicable catalog or price list group can be changed. Only published catalogs and price groups can be mapped to a Contract. One catalog or price group can be mapped to multiple Accounts as part of Contract definition.

B2B: Multiple Catalogs
B2B: Multiple Catalogs: Allows B2B merchants the ability to offer specific products to specific groups of customers, or even specific individual customers. This is done by creating a catalog that contains a subset of the products in the master catalog and linking that catalog to an account via its contract. 

Once set up in the OCCS Admin UI, the appropriate collections and products are automatically shown to shoppers when they log into their account.

This capability is also supported in our Agent Console where agents can retrieve products based on the Account/Contact information selected and the Catalog mapped to that Account. Search in the Agent Console returns products and SKUs within the selected catalog context. 

B2B: Multiple Price Groups
B2B: Multiple Price Groups: Allows B2B merchants the ability to offer specific prices for products to specific groups of customers, or specific individual customers. For example, this feature allows merchants to offer lower pricing to their highest revenue-producing accounts. This is done by creating multiple price lists and linking a specific price group to an account via its contract. 

Once set up in the OCCS Admin UI, the appropriate prices for products are automatically shown to shoppers when they log into their account.

This capability is also supported in our Agent Console. Similar to Multiple Catalog support, the Agent Console allows agents to retrieve products and price display based on the contract and price list context. Search returns product and SKU pricing within the selected contract context as well.


ADDITIONAL NEW FEATURES AND OTHER CHANGES
Browser Support
Administrative Console and Agent Console: Now supports latest for MacOS X v. 10.11: Safari v. 9.x

Platform and APIs
/products Support of Simple Queries: Merchants are no longer restricted to the out of the box query parameters for searching and can now use “q=” to perform simple queries on products. Supports operators such as “eq” (equals), “pr” (present/not null). 

Tax System Error Handling: Provides additional configurations for instances when the out of the box tax systems become temporarily unavailable, including the option to continue to take orders and/or additionally set a default tax rate to use in that situation. Orders are marked so affected orders can have the tax calculated later before the product is shipped.

Dynamic Type/Property Deletion: Added endpoint to allow the deletion of dynamic types/properties that are no longer needed. Allows this to be self-serve and done without Oracle support or intervention. 

Experience and Design
SEO: Improved Snapshot Generation: Updated static snapshot service to use a Prerender-based snapshot generation service. This provides high-quality static snapshots of all crawlable pages to search engine crawlers. Automatically updates with the most recent content every 24 hours. 

Extensions: Application Level JavaScript: Provides the ability for Extension developers to load JavaScript earlier in the page load sequence and control which JS files get loaded first on the page. This is invoked by the Storefront on page load during the initial JS library loading (require.js). Allows loading of a single JS file that gives more flexible options to load additional libraries and provide JS that can extend the OCCS JS. 

Catalog and Promotions
Product/Collection Media Assignment in Import/Export: Allows merchants to link media for products and collections through a bulk process (out of the box CSV import/export process) and also add alt text data. Merchants can use this as an alternative to following the standard naming convention for internally stored product media.  

Promotion Management: The Promotion Management page in the Admin has been updated to include the ability for merchants to search for promotions based on the Promotion ID or Display Name. Also allows for filtering the promotions list by Enabled, Disabled, or View All, providing merchants with improved efficiency in managing and viewing promotions. 

Location-Based Inventory:  Merchants can now track, store, and manage specific inventory levels, counts, and stock thresholds by location. This is available via API only and is an enhancement of the Admin API, which now allows for definition of multiple locations for inventory tracking and uploading of inventory counts and stock threshold amounts for multiple locations.  

Storefront
API Support: Store-Specific Details: The concept of a “store” now exists. With that, endpoint enhancements have been made to retrieve a list of stores and their associated details, such as store name, address, contact details, and opening times. Endpoint enhancements have also been made to retrieve store-specific product inventory (e.g. in-stock indicator, stock quantity per SKU).  

These Storefront endpoints have been enhanced to allow this store-specific data to be retrieved and exposed in the Storefront. While store look-up support using zip or postcode is not available out of the box, merchants could implement this feature on their own using the APIs. Also, while Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store is not yet implemented out of the box as it requires enhanced order statuses (e.g. ability to submit and order without payment), these endpoint enhancements would allow a shopper to see store-specific inventory online before going to the physical store to make an offline purchase.

Page Endpoint Optimization: Performance enhancements have been way to optimize the way data is retrieved so page endpoint data is returned faster. This enhancement is backwards compatible, so it does not impact existing customers. 

Event Notification Documentation: Documentation has been added to cover the Storefront mechanisms for event notification. This documentation covers the PubSub Library and the Event-Dispatcher Module and is available in the Commerce Cloud Help Center, along with the rest of the official solution documentation.

Guided Search
Search Configuration Support: For technical users, especially those experienced in Guided Search, a REST endpoint is now available that packages the Guided Search configuration and allows “super-user access” for modifying the majority of the Guided Search configuration, including Thesaurus, Keyword Redirects, Precedence Rules, Relevance Ranking, and Boost and Bury. It also allows customers to move an entire configuration from one environment to another. 

B2B Support: Guided Search now also supports B2B Accounts. Each SKU can be associated with one or more accounts and only those SKUs related to a user’s account will be returned in type-ahead, search, or navigation. 

Returns Support: In-store associates using ASA may now assist shoppers with returns, including returns from online purchases and returns from in-store purchases. Note that the Assisted Selling Application does not yet support split shipping, issuing refunds to gift cards, or returns made outside Oracle Commerce.

Credit Card Image Capture Support in Checkout: Allows in-store associates to use the built-in iPad camera to capture a shopper’s credit card during the payment step of checkout, making it faster and simpler to complete a purchase. CVV must still be entered manually. Does not support gift card image capture or automatically retaining the credit card information on file. Every checkout requires a new picture of the credit card for security.

OCC – OROMS Integration: Point to point integration for Oracle Retail OMS (OROMS) is now available. Orders captured in OCC (Store or Agent) can be submitted to OROM for fulfillment and order status can be fetched from OROMS on demand. Includes support for PayPal and credit cards, as well as near real-time update of order and order line status. Does not include integration extension to support or map custom attributes.

Language and Currency Support
Lastly, a reminder that Oracle Commerce Cloud currently supports 32 languages and  48 currencies.  

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