Ecwid v10.4: new sharing buttons, improved Order API and more

May 10, 2012 by Qetzal, Product Manager
Posted May 10, 2012 by Qetzal, Product Manager

Ecwid v10.4
A new minor version of Ecwid (v10.4) has been released. All Ecwid users have been upgraded automatically. In this post we’ll describe what new features have been added.

New Sharing Buttons

Social networks, such as Facebook, have proven to be a great viral source for new customers. People love to share new things with their friends, so we’ve improved our social sharing options – it’s now easier and faster than ever. Ecwid already has the most popular button: Facebook’s “Like”. Now it also has these additional share buttons.

  • Twitter’s button. Twitter, with its 140 million active users, is a great way to promote your products and inform your customers about your store’s news. Users can now easily tweet a link to a product in our store – we will even suggest for them to follow your store’s Twitter account (if you’ve entered it in the settings).
  • Google+ Google pushes its social network very actively and there is already a lot of people who prefer Google+ to Facebook. Ecwid now has the Google+ Share button, which looks very similar to Google’s “+1″ one, however it is designed specially for sharing. This button was released a few weeks ago only and is already available in Ecwid.
  • Pinterest’s “Pin it”: quite a new player on a social network field which gets a lot of attention nowadays. Pinterest is already named a 3d popular social network in US (after Facebook and Twitter), so it can bring you a lot of traffic. Check out our selection of articles describing why Pinterest is cool and how to use it properly.
  • VK button: VK is the most popular social network in Russia, so if you’re targeting customers from Russia, this button will be very useful.
  • Tumblr button – Tumblr is a microblogging platform, which is designed to share multimedia: most of Tumblr’s posts are images. The “Share to Tumblr” feature will be especially welcomed by merchants, who sell using Ecwid on their Tumblr blogs.

Embedding new buttons seems like not a very complex change, but actually our engineers had to perform a lot of work under the hood. For example each button loads an image, CSS and JavaScript files, so if you enable all of them, it could slow a product page loading down, even if a user didn’t want to share anything. This would be a big no-no for us, as Ecwid was built around speed. We had to create a system, where buttons are loaded only when a customer wants to share something. When the customers opens another item, the buttons and their resources are re-used, so the loading speed of product pages aren’t affected.

The other interesting task was to make the buttons work all together and on all sites without issues. We even had to reverse-engineer the faulty JavaScript code of some of the buttons to fix minor, but annoying glitches.

All of these additions and fixes were to make enabling and using them our your site extremely easy: just log in to your Ecwid control panel and open the “System Settings → Social Tools → Share buttons” page. Such buttons encourage your customers to share your items more, this in turn will get you more visitors and sales.

Improved Order API

When you start getting more and more orders, you will want to automate some actions. That’s why Ecwid API was implemented – to create a way to integrate Ecwid with other useful 3rd-party systems and apps (i.e. Quickbooks) according to your unique business needs. You can check some of these integrations in our “Goodies” section.

Our Order API already allows to get information about your sales, now it is possible to update orders’ statuses and tracking codes via API as well. This feature should be used for more deep integrations with other systems. For example if you update a tracking number in your shipping software, it now could be updated in your Ecwid store as well.

Speed

As you already know, constantly improving the speed of Ecwid stores is one of our primary goals. Ecwid is already an extremely fast shopping cart (thanks to its AJAX nature and our constant optimizations), however we improve its speed in every release. In v10.4 we paid very close attention to the initial loading of Ecwid stores, when all its main elements are loaded. We were able to further optimize Ecwid so the initial loading of an Ecwid store so that it takes 40% less time now. Pretty awesome result, isn’t it?

What’s next?

v10.4 is a minor release and doesn’t bring any big features. They will appear in v11.00, which will be released soon. We decided to add:

  • Sale/”Compare at” price – new way to promote your items and their new prices.
  • New social tool that will encourage your customers to share items with their friends – something even more cool than the usual share buttons.
  • Bulk discount pricing.
  • The completely re-vamped shipping module: ability to set rates based on order total (e.g. “free shipping for orders over $500″), ability to set a default shipping method on checkout and much more.

These features are already developed and currently tested by our QA team. So stay tuned and subscribe to our Facebook page and Twitter for updates and news.