Launched in 2015, SuiteCommerce is NetSuite’s solution to a business platform that unifies ecommerce with core operational processes such as inventory and order management, customer support and financial data, in order to create a 360 degree view of the customer. SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced both aim to provide businesses with engaging web stores that transform the buyer experience.
(Read more about Tvarana’s SuiteCommerce Advanced practice here)
With the second 2019 release of SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced just around the corner, users have several enhancements to look forward to. These include enhancements on the following SCA Commerce Applications:
- Commerce Platform
- Commerce Applications
- Site Management Tools
Commerce Platform Enhancements
1. Grouping Items using Item Collections
SCA introduces a new feature to allow grouping of catalog items. Item collections allow users to:
- Add an item to multiple item collections
- Include items in item collections based on criteria chosen (vendor, location, product type, price)
- Select the items in the collection manually or using mass updates
The typical NetSuite grouping features for catalog items, such as commerce categories and merchandise hierarchies, tend to be limited by their intended use. Some key ways that Item Collections differ from existing grouping methods are:
- In contrast to commerce categories, item collections do not have a hierarchical structure, do not affect navigation menus on web stores, and can be used in NetSuite as well as on web stores
- In contrast to merchandise hierarchies, an item can be added to multiple item collections
- In contrast to item groups, item collections cannot define a count of component items and cannot be used to sell multiple items as one item
2. Personalized catalog views (PCV)
The PCV feature enables businesses to provide different customers with access to different items. Customers can be divided into groups, and each group has access to a tailored selection of catalog items. This is useful in particular for B2B websites. For example:
- VIP customers can be given exclusive access to specific catalog items
- Retailers that are licensed to sell certain products in limited geographies can prevent customers in other geographic locations from seeing those items
- In cases where a manufacturer requires customers to be certified in order to purchase certain items, access can be restricted to only certified customers for those items
To implement PCV:
- Enable the Personalized Catalog Views feature on the Enable Features page
- Segment your customers into groups
- Segment inventory items into groups
- Make item segments visible to customer segments
3. Customer segmentation
In PCV, groups of customers are called customer segments. PCV supports the following customer segments:
- Customer Groups: Segments created using the existing entity groups feature.
- Anonymous Users: Segment composed of those website visitors who are not logged in and whom the website cannot recognize in any way, for example, through active or expired session data or browser cookies
- Recognized and Logged In Users: Segment composed of those website visitors who are either logged in or visitors whom the website can recognize, for example, by using session data or browser cookies
- All Users: Segment composed of all visitors to the website, regardless of whether the visitors belong to another customer segment or not. By default, all items are visible to all users
4. Item segmentation
Similar to customer segments in PCV, groups of items are called item segments. PCV supports the following item segments:
- Item Collections: Ability to add specific items to an item collection either manually or by using a mass update. Using item collections does not affect the navigation menu on your website.
- Commerce Categories: Allows creation of a hierarchical structure of product categories, subcategories, and products for display on your website. They can be used in PCV to display specific commerce categories to selected customer segments, if already in use to organize and display products on a website. Commerce categories used in PCV are automatically hidden from a customer segment if none of the items in the commerce category (or its sub-categories) should be available to that customer segment
Defining Item Segment Visibility:
Once customer segments and item segments have been defined, you will then need to define which item segments are visible to which customer segments. The Customer Segments Manager enables you to define these mappings in a single location. You can also define item segment visibility from a customer group record or an item collection record.
The Customer Segments Manager gives you an overview of all the item segments you have mapped to different customer segments. You can create and edit the mappings on this page. You can also use the Customer Segments Manager to define whether items not mapped to any of the selected customer segments should be visible to or hidden from all users.
Verifying Item Segment Visibility:
There are two methods to verify that the correct items are visible to the correct customers:
- Reports: The following SuiteAnalytics Workbooks let you view:
- Items by Customer – select a customer and view all items they can access
- Customers by Item – select an item and view all customers who can access it
- You can also set up your own SuiteAnalytics workbooks if you need a different view of the data
- Preview: Website administrators can use Site Management Tools to preview which categories and items are visible to different customer segments
- Reports: The following SuiteAnalytics Workbooks let you view:
5. Website inactivation
Website administrators sometimes need to make a website permanently inaccessible. However deleting the website record is not possible, as other NetSuite records may be dependent on that website. Keeping all database references to the unused website may also be necessary. From 2019.2 onwards, it is possible to inactivate a website without deleting the website record. An inactive website is no longer accessible to users but retains its internal references to other areas of NetSuite.
Inactivating a website:
- Makes all website domains inaccessible
- Deletes the website search index and clears all caches, including CDN caches
- Reduces the number of active websites, thereby freeing up a site licence
- Removes inactive sites from all related dropdowns and lists. Inactive sites can only be found using saved searches and filters
6. Mandatory migration from Web Store Email Templates and Customized Text Groups to System Email Templates
In 2018.2, System Email Templates were introduced to replace the less flexible and customizable Web Store Email Templates and Customized Text Groups for emails. A conversion tool helps in the conversion of Legacy Email Templates to System Email Templates.
As of 2019.2, use of System Email Templates is mandatory for web store emails. It is no longer possible to use Web Store Email Templates and Customized Text Groups for emails.
If either of these legacy email template types are still selected in your Web Site Setup record at the time of the 2019.2 upgrade, custom System Email Templates will be created for you automatically using your existing selections. These custom System Email Templates will then be automatically selected on the Web Site Setup record to ensure that templates are available for your web store emails. To minimize any disruption, it is advised that you verify that the converted templates are working as expected as soon as possible.
7. Separation of commerce offerings
From 2019.2 onwards, it is possible for you to enable one or more of the following Commerce offerings from the Enable Features page. Only Commerce offerings available to your account are shown on the page.
- SuiteCommerce Advanced
- SuiteCommerce InStore
If you are already using any of these products, the corresponding features will be automatically enabled in your account as part of the 2019.2 upgrade.
8. Browser Cache Management
In 2019.1 and earlier versions, browser caches would retain data for 7 days, displaying old content to returning website visitors even when the CDN cache had been refreshed.
Browser cache management in 2019.2 upgrade allows website visitors to see the latest website content. Website visitors will now retain website data in their browser caches for no more than two hours. After two hours, the website data in the browser cache automatically expires. Visitors who return to the website more than two hours after their last visit must therefore request fresh data from the CDN cache. If the static data in the CDN cache has been manually or automatically refreshed within these two hours, the visitors receive the new website content from the CDN cache.
Commerce Applications Enhancements
1. Target versions for Themes and Extensions
With the 2019.2 release of SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced, Theme and Extension developers can now specify compatibility with specific releases of SuiteCommerce, SuiteCommerce Advanced, or SuiteCommerce InStore.
The Theme and extension Developer tools (provided with the 2019.2 release of the Extension Management bundle) now include prompts to specify a Target Version. This information prevents site managers from accessing incompatible themes and extensions on their site.
2. Configuration Changes
Category Navigation Menu Level Deepness:
This field specifies how many levels of the category hierarchy to show in the Categories navigation menu.
Exclude Empty Categories:
This field enables or disables the Exclude Empty Categories feature.
Show Categories Navigation Menu:
This field enables or disables the Categories navigation menu.
Side Menu > Sort By
This field specifies the Category record field to act as the primary sort field in the Categories sidebar. This is set to sequence number by default. In this case, the sidebar categories sort by the sequence number set in NetSuite.
Side Menu > Collapsible
This field specifies if the Categories side menu is collapsible and expandable.
Side Menu > Show Max
This field specifies maximum number of categories to show in the list before displaying a Show More link. The default is 5.
Side Menu > Collapsed
This boolean specifies if the Categories sidebar is collapsed when the page loads. The default is to appear expanded.
3. Architectural and Developmental Changes
2019.2 has introduced significant change to the structure of the core commerce code bundles. In short, three new technologies are being introduced:
- TypeScript (including ES6+ support via transpiling)
- SuiteScript 2.0
- SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF)
4. Extensibility API Updates
With the 2019.2 release of SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced, the Visual component includes two new methods to show and hide messages (showMessage() and closeMessage()) in the notification area of a Commerce web store page.
5. Code changes to support APM
With the 2019.2 release of SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced, source code includes instrumentation to eventually make webstore performance data available through Application Performance Management (APM). This addition will eventually allow users to view basic website performance metrics and identify the root cause of slow performing websites.
Site Management Tools Links Portlet
A new Site Management Tools Portlet enables you to see all your available websites and domains from your administrator account in NetSuite on your home dashboard.
Previously, when logged into Site Management Tools, to access NetSuite you had to open a new tab or window, manually log in, and choose your role. With this release of Site Management Tools, we provide a seamless and integrated way for accessing NetSuite with your site administrator role.
When logged in to Site Management Tools, click the Oracle NetSuite image in the upper-left corner of the header. This opens a new window or tab, that is automatically logged in to NetSuite with the same role used to log in to Site Management Tools.
Tvarana can help with customized NetSuite solutions for your business. Schedule a demo with us today.