In 2020, it’s estimated by emarketer that retail eCommerce sales grew by just under 30%. This year, some of these transactions will naturally take place in brick and mortar stores once again. However, with customers becoming more dependent on digital commerce, it’s important to ensure that your website is kept up to date with the latest platform releases.
With feature, security, and performance enhancements, we are diving into some of the main improvements in the latest version release of Magento 2.4.2.
Magento are committed to their B2B merchants, and this release is no different. In the 2.4.2 release, enhancements have been made to the B2B buyer and seller purchase approval experience. The aim is to make the process easier and more streamlined for both parties.
Support for online payments now gives sellers the flexibility to accept purchasing policies regardless of the payment method. This improves the purchase approvals experience, as previously this only supported offline payments which could sometimes become difficult to manage.
The ability to accept purchasing policies from any payment method provides a lot more flexibility for merchants. It also means that buyers can use the same, convenient approval process for all orders.
The online payment option will appear in the checkout and buyers will also receive email notifications and onscreen reminders to add their payment details.
Improvements to the storefront in this update focus on enhancing performance and content management.
A new Media Gallery was introduced in Magento 2.4, which in the 2.4.2 update now features Image Optimisation. If enabled, this means that rather than the high-res version from the Media Gallery, a smaller image file is generated and shown on the frontend. This doesn’t change the original image, but instead produces a web-optimised version to allow the storefront performance to remain high.
An Access Control List has also been introduced in the Admin, which allows merchants to define user permissions for the Media Gallery. This improvement means that any external designers or agencies can now access Magento to manage assets directly in the system, without having access to any private or sensitive data.
PWAs (Progressive Web Application) aim to deliver app-like shopping experiences via mobile and desktop devices.
Improvements to the PWA Studio in Magento help merchants to speed up the launch of any international sites as high-performing PWAs. With the addition of multi-language and multi-currency support, it makes launching into these markets faster and easier.
In addition to this, some ‘My Account’ related features such as Wishlist, Saved Payments, Address Book and Order History within the Venia storefront were also improved to accelerate launches.
Magento merchants on version 2.4.2 now exclusively have access to in-product guidance. This guidance provides proactive, personalised, and scalable in-product experiences which help users to make the most of important product features.
The guidance helps users make better use their time and encourages them to become more self-serving. In-product guidance will help to raise awareness of new features, is quicker for new customers onboarding, helps new users to find their way around the platform, and helps existing users how to use high-valued but potentially under-used features.
Something to note is that for this feature to work, Admin Usage Tracking must be enabled in the Admin. To do this you can head to Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Admin > Admin Usage.
As with every update, 2.4.2 also includes many enhancements to platform quality and performance, as well as bug and security fixes. These aim to support both the developer, merchant and customers experiences.
Some highlights of quality and performance enhancements include: