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The Official Oracle Commerce Cloud Blog

What's New in 17.4 Release

In the fourth release of the year for Oracle Commerce Cloud, we've added a number of new features, including ability to manage multiple B2B (or multiple B2B and B2C) sites from a single OCC instance, Backorder and Preorder, ability to define Audiences by lifetime value, Split and Partial Payments, new Storefront OOB widgets, powerful Guided Search APIs, and Promotions by Credit Card Type.

Visit our online Help center for more in-depth documentation. All customers can now also access details on What's New with each Commerce Cloud release, as well as videos, FAQs, how-tos, best practice guides, and more in our online community, Customer Connect log-in required). 

Major New Features
The major new features released in the Oracle Commerce Cloud 17.4 release include: 
 
Multisite for Oracle Commerce Cloud now allows merchants to run multiple B2B or multiple B2B and B2C sites from a single instance and centralized Admin console. Merchants can have different catalogs and price groups for each site and a single account can have multiple contracts—one for each merchant site. 
 
Shoppers from an account that spans multiple sites have a separate shopping cart for each site (no cart sharing between sites currently). 
This feature is automatically available, however a service request is required to have the new hostname set up.
 
A site filter has been added to each report. Merchants can now view reports for all sites, a combination of sites, or a single site, making it possible to break down sales and site traffic by site. Users may also search by Site Name or Base URL.
 
The site filter becomes available as soon as more than one site has been configured within the Admin.
 
NOTE:  Report data is not yet aggregated across currencies, so if the sites are in different currencies, a user will not be able to see totals across multiple sites.
 
Wish lists are now multi-site enabled, allowing merchants to provide shoppers with wish lists for each additional site. Full wish list functionality is available for each site, including wish list email notifications, social sharing, and wish list modes (i.e. private, shared, group). Each wish list can have its own layout to match the look and feel of each individual site.
 
Merchants using multisite can choose to have site(s) with wish lists and site(s) without, depending on business requirements.
 
NOTE:  OCC does not yet support shared wish lists across more than one site.
 
In addition to the site-specific email opt/out preferences added in 17.3, the Storefront API now supports global email preferences, so that shoppers can manage email preferences across sites. 
 
The following Shopper settings are now site aware, allowing merchants to manage shopper settings differently per site and have more control over their multisite strategy: 
Shopper Session
Guest Checkout
NOTE:  Password policy settings remain global.
 
New shopper profile attributes have been added to allow merchants to build new audiences, including: 
Lifetime spend, lifetime average order value, last purchase amount
Number of orders placed 
Registration date, first purchase date, and last visit date
 
Also added ability to build audience rules against both out-of-the-box and custom date profile properties.  
 
For example, merchants can now build audiences, such as Shopper has a lifetime spend > $100 and last purchase date > 3 months ago and use these audiences to display targeted content and/or A/B tests.
 
NOTE:  This feature initially starts accruing values starting from the 17.4 release for a merchant. Also, only orders made in the default currency for a site will be included in the lifetime value calculation.
 
Merchants can now personalize content to shoppers in different audiences without having to write code. Each slot can contain multiple widgets and can be associated with multiple audiences. It is also possible to show default content to shoppers in any of the audiences not otherwise specified.
 
For example, merchants can now show specific banners or promotional content on the homepage to high value shoppers specifically and/or show how-to content on a collection page for shoppers interested in a particular product or category.
 
NOTE:  Content is currently not personalized right after login, but on the next page load.
 
Audience rule builder now provides a visual estimate of the number of shoppers in a particular segment. This visual estimate shows the number of shoppers who could be reached by a specified audience rule and the cumulative impact of a rule for an audience.
 
This allows merchants to check the suitability of audiences as they’re being built, making it easier to adjust an audience rule as necessary to meet certain requirements. It also helps merchants understand the potential impact of complementary or contradictory rules within an audience.
 
Catalog
This new API allows merchants to take orders for items that are available to sell, but don’t have inventory. Common scenarios where this include instances where the products are backordered (e.g. existing items that have gone out of stock due to manufacturing delays), the products are new and no stock has been received yet (e.g. new arrivals for an upcoming season), and/or shipment must be done based on an agreed upon release date (e.g. DVDs, video games).
 
Allows merchants to provide inventory counts for backorder and preorder levels and thresholds for customer service and/or merchandising reasons. The OCC Storefront now recognizes and uses those counts to control the display and cart capabilities. 
 
Provides merchants with the ability to understand if an item was ordered from a backorder or preorder inventory.  
 
Payments 
Provides the ability for shoppers to use multiple payment methods (i.e. credit card, debit card, gift card, deferred payment) to pay for a single order in the Storefront, as well as the Agent Application. (Previously, shoppers could only combine gift cards with one other payment method, not multiple.) 
With split payments enabled, shoppers can also now choose the specific amount to be charged per payment method, giving them more control.
 
There is a new Split Payments widget available out-of-the-box (for both registered and anonymous users) that can be added to the checkout layout to display split payment options to shoppers. Only the payment methods enabled by the merchant in the Admin will display. Merchants will need to configure whether they want to allow full payment only (default) or allow partial payment (recommended for split payments) in the Admin settings. 
 
Provides the ability for merchants to configure the system to “hold” partially paid orders in a pending payment state. Also allows merchants to configure orders to be full payment only or to allow partial payments. The “hold price” time is also merchant configurable. Once an order is unpaid after that time, the system will auto-cancel the order.
 
For orders held in a pending payment state, shoppers will be notified via email and will be able to return to the site and pay the remaining amount. 
 
Additional New Features and Other Changes
There are also a number of additional new features, changes, and improvements included in the Oracle Commerce Cloud 17.4 release. By functional area, these include:  
 
Browser Support
There are no changes to browser support.
 
Language and Currency Support
Languages: One new language is supported in 17.4—en-GB is now supported (Storefront only). 
Thirty-six languages are currently supported: Arabic (ar) (Storefront only), Bulgarian (bg), Chinese—Simplified (zh_CN), Chinese—Traditional (zh_TW), Croatian (hr), Czech (cs), Danish (da), Dutch (nl), English (en), English-GB (en-GB), Estonian (et), Finnish (fi), French (fr), French Canadian (fr_CA), German (de), Greek (el), Hungarian (hu), Italian (it), Japanese (ja), Korean (ko), Latvian (lv), Norwegian (no), Polish (pl), Portuguese—Brazil (pt_BR), Portuguese—Portugal (pt_PT), Romanian (ro), Russian (ru), Serbian - Cyrillic (sr), Serbian – Latin (sr_Latn),,Slovenian (sl), Spanish (es), Swedish (sv), Thai (th), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk). 
 
Currencies: No new currencies are supported in 17.4.  
Sixty-one currencies are currently supported:  AED (UAE Dirham), ARS (Argentine Peso), AUD (Australian Dollar), BGN (Bulgarian Lev), BOB (Boliviano), BRL (Brazilian Real),  CAD (Canadian Dollar), CHF (Swiss Franc), CLP (Chilean Peso), CNY (Chinese Yuan Renminbi), COP (Colombian Peso), CRC (Costa Rican Colon), CZK (Czech Koruna), DKK (Danish Krone), DOP (Dominican Peso), DZD (Algerian Dinar), EGP (Egyptian Pound), EUR (Euro), GBP (British Pound Sterling), GTQ (Guatemalan Quetzal), HKD (Hong Kong Dollar), HNL (Lempira), HRK (Croatian Kuna), HUF (Hungarian Forint), IDR (Indonesian Rupiah), INR (Indian Rupee), JPY (Japanese Yen), KES (Kenyan Shilling), KRW (South Korean Won), KZT (Tenge), LBP (Lebanese Pound), MAD (Moroccan Dirham), MXN (Mexico Peso), MYR (Malaysian Ringgit), NGN (Naira), NIO (Cordoba Oro), NOK (Norwegian Krone), NZD (New Zealand Dollar), PAB (Panamanian Balboa), PEN (Peruvian Nuevo Sol), PHP (Philippine Peso), PKR (Pakistani Rupee), PLN (Polish Zloty), PYG (Paraguayan Guarani), QAR (Qatari Riyal), RON (Romanian Leu), RSD (Serbian Dinar), RUB (Russian Ruble), SAR (Saudi Riyal), SEK (Swedish Krona), SGD (Singapore Dollar), THB (Thai Baht), TJS (Somoni), TRY (Turkish Lira), TWD (New Taiwan Dollar), UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnia), USD (US Dollar), UYU (Uruguayan Peso), VND (Vietnamese Dong), XAF (CFA Franc BEAC), ZAR (South African Rand. 
 
B2B
Allows merchants to define custom conditions for order approvals (e.g. quantity of items in order, products containing hazardous materials). Approval conditions must be created and triggered in an external solution, based on orders which are passed to it by the webhook. Orders that meet the criteria for requiring approval are sent back to OCC and put into the out-of-the-box order approvals workflow.
 
NOTE: When the webhook is used to determine order approvals, the OOB approvals trigger based on the value of an order is not enabled. The merchant must choose to use one or the other.
 
Experience & Design
Allows users to exclude certain products from inclusion in XML sitemaps, such as products that aren’t directly available for sale or products that merchants generally wants to discourage search engines from indexing. Also adds a noindex tag to product pages where the product(s) has been excluded. 
 
This new out-of-the-box stack type allows merchants to easily utilize an accordion UI component on their site. Similar to other stacks, merchants can add any desired widgets to each section within the stack. Also, the stack is expandable from 1-10 steps/sections.  
 
Experiments 
Experiments now comes with a lightweight rich text editor that makes it easier for users to make variant edits. Includes paragraph format, font name and size, background/text color, and bold/italics/underline. Allows for toggling between RTE, HTML, CSS styling and classes. Also includes improved navitagion with the editing menu.
 
Storefront
This new out-of-the-box widget allows breadcrumbs to be displayed on the Product Listing Page, Search Results Page, and Product Details Page. The breadcrumbs build as the shopper navigates through product catalog categories. Shoppers can use these breadcrumbs to find the navigation path they are in and navigate directly to a category in the path by clicking on a link within the breadcrumb.
 
If a shopper selects a product from any location other than from the navigation widget or search results, the system will display the ancestor category for the product.
 
Promotions
Allows merchants to utilize credit card type as a condition on any promotion (e.g. Save 20% on your order when you pay with a Visa credit card). Allows for a range of values and granularity when choosing card type; can be more broad (e.g. Visa) or more specific (e.g. a card from a specific bank). Also supports a range of card values. 
 
This feature is supported out-of-the-box in the Admin Promotions UI and displays out-of-the-box in Storefront, Agent, and Assisted Selling App.
 
NOTE:  This feature can be used only for payments entered in the OCC system (not an external framework that allows payment details to be entered outside of OCC). Does not apply when Split
Payments or Partial Payments is enabled. Also does not apply to loyalty points.
 
Allows merchants to create custom properties on promotions. These promotions are passed through the order webhook, so that users can evaluate and analyze the data. This is useful for providing more insight into how promotions are being used, such as tracking promotion referral source. 
 
For example, when a merchant creates a promotion, a short text property can be added via API. The property will then show up as a field on promotions and the merchant can track the number of times the promotion was used. 
 
NOTE:  Initial API setup is required in order for the properties to display in the Admin Promotions UI.
 
Guided Search
Allows merchants to dynamically add content alongside product results on search and navigation pages to show relevant information for specific queries. Utilizes Guided Search content spotlighting functionality. 
 
Extremely flexible and can support custom requirements, including the ability to add an information box at the top of search results, for specific key terms, and the ability to dynamically generate a banner on landing pages. For example, merchants can now display information about returns and link to the Delivery and Returns page at the top of search results for queries on “shipping” or “returns.” Or if a customer searches for a TV, for example, display a banner linking to the TV Buying Guide at the top of the search results or a promotional banner for TVs. 
 
NOTE: API-only feature provides a lot of flexibility, but does not have corresponding out-of-the-box widget support, so in order to use this feature, merchants will need to customize the product listing or search results layout(s) as needed. 
 
Provides merchants with more control over the ordering of facets across their sites. Allows for reordering of the facets in left-hand navigation, as well as ability to set a default order across a site or any page, including Collections. 
 
Can also opt to show all facets or limit to select key facets only, for example, showing certain facets only after a shopper chooses a specific category, to improve the presentation and browsing experience, focusing only on the facets that matter most in context. 
 
By calling the API, the order of the left-hand navigation facets can be changed anywhere on a merchant’s site. This API even allows for facet ordering for specific search terms only.
 
Integrations
Supports Bill of Materials (BOM)-based and Recommended Items configuration models, as well as support for sub-item pricing for configured items. Adds the ability for merchants to sell complex, multi-level hierarchical configured items in OCC. 
 
Pre-built integration with CPQ supports post-pay telco-like product structures and bundles. Provides comprehensive view of complex pricing structure. Out-of-the-box Storefront widget support includes updates to cart, order confirmation, and order details, to support this feature.
 
While OCC supports complex, multi-level configured items up to ten levels deep, recommendation is to have items requiring no more than five levels.
 
NOTE: Not yet supported in Agent Application. 
 
Tax
Allows both B2B and B2C customers using the out-of-the-box Avalara or Vertex O-Series integrations, as well as the external tax webhhook, to take into account customers who have tax exemption certificates. Sends appropriate information to the tax processor, so that complex tax exemption use cases are managed accurately.
 
Supports both customers who are 100% tax exempt (e.g. a member of the clergy) or exempt for certain goods or services only (e.g. exempt from tax when purchasing machinery for a factory). 
 
NOTE: Does not handle the upload and/or management of the tax exemption certificates themselves in OCC. Assumption is that this would be managed in a service associated with the tax processor. Also does not handle automatic updating of the tax Customer Code.
 
Assisted Selling Application
Provides the ability to customize taking payments using ASA, such as installment payments or requiring additional fields, such as National ID Number. Allows merchants who have more complex or custom payment requirements the ability to take these payment in ASA. 
 
NOTE: Does not handle setup of these custom payment types in the Admin UI. Requires confirmation in the webhook section of the Admin.
 
Supports the display and use of custom order properties in ASA (e.g. notes, special shipping instructions). Allows store associates to capture and view important information on orders, providing store associates with more insight and a better way to support shoppers during order creation and/or returns.
 

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