Features Digest May 2016: Automatic Taxes, Admin Order Notes, And More
Summer is finally here, so this means the Ecwid team can finally leave the office and go work on the balcony! Here we are at a recent team meeting:
We’re not letting the warm weather make us sluggish, though. We added loads of new features and improvements to Ecwid in May. Let’s go through them here.
New Automatic Tax Calculations in Ecwid
We launched an “Automatic Taxes” feature, available for Ecwid merchants in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
This feature fully automates tax rate calculation within Ecwid. When enabled, the automatic tax tool will determine a precise tax rate at checkout depending on where you and your customer are located. The tool knows the tax codes in your country, state, city, and even county, so it applies them properly to each order. The tax rate is calculated with zip code accuracy, and in some US states, it even drills down to street address. This means no manual adjustment is required — you get to focus on running your store, not calculating taxes.
Admin order notes
You can now add internal notes to the orders in your store. These notes are visible to the store owner only, so you can use this feature as you see fit. Whatever you write stays internal, the customer will never see it.
With this new feature, we now differentiate between two types of order notes:
- Public customer notes, where customers can leave comments on their order at checkout to add any special requests they might have.
- Private internal admin notes, where the store administrator can keep record of customer details, coordinate the order fulfilment process between store staff members, or simply keep track of whatever needs tracking.
You can even manage your order notes from Ecwid’s mobile app to make order processing even more convenient. Whatever notes you add from the app are instantly synchronized across your Ecwid account, so you can find them again later no matter which device you’re using Ecwid from. You can also search your order notes to quickly filter sales by some keyword, for example VIP customer.
See this article in our Help Center for more details on order notes.
Color customizer tool for Wix stores
Wix users can more easily tweak their Ecwid theme by changing the base colors using the Ecwid Wix application. This tool has a simple interface that enables you to change your storefront’s look with no knowledge of CSS or web programming.
Support chat improvements in the control panel
If you’re on a paid plan, you can chat with the Ecwid support team to get questions about your store answered in real time.
Check out the improvements we made to this feature:
- The live chat window works right inside the control panel. You no longer need to switch between the control panel and live chat pages when speaking with a support team member. You can manage your store, open your store settings pages, and have a chat with customer support going all in the same window. This is very convenient, especially if the support agent happens to be guiding you through your store setup process.
- Your name and email are sent to the support agent automatically, as soon as you start a chat session. You no longer need to enter this information when the support agent joins the chat session. The agent already knows your actual name and email address, so he or she can easily follow up by email in case your question takes a little time to answer. Moreover, each chat session is stored so that our support engineers can see your communication history in order to more fully answer your questions.
New floating minicart widget on WordPress sites
We added a floating minicart widget to the Ecwid plugin for sites that operate on WordPress. You can enable the new widget on your WordPress site by navigating to Appearance → Widgets in your site’s backend. This widget shows a count of how many products are in your shopper’s cart, and it only appears when they add something to it. It lives at the top right or bottom right of the screen so that your customer can easily click on it to proceed to checkout. Add it to your site — it’s free!
App Market updates
The Ecwid App Market has new software category called Analytics And Reporting. If you’re not running any sort of statistical diagnosis of how your visitors browse and buy from your store, you’re probably losing sales you could’ve made. Get started fixing this problem by browsing this new category and finding an analytics tool that works for you.
With this news, the Ecwid App Market also hits a milestone: there are now 50 apps available to our users who want to extend and modify the way Ecwid works. Here’s the overview of the apps that are new to the Market since May.
Custom Payment API
The new Ecwid API makes it possible for you to create a new payment gateway from scratch. There are plenty of online payment gateways out there already, and many are supported natively in Ecwid — but not all of them are represented yet. With this new API, payment gateway companies, app developers, and ambitious merchants can easily integrate an unsupported payment gateway to work with their store.
All the technical details you need to get started are here.
With the help of our Ecwid users, we updated the Spanish, Romanian, and Hungarian translations of Ecwid. Want to add or change something to your Ecwid localization? Head on over to translate.ecwid.com.
We’ve focused on improving Ecwid’s speed performance over the last three months. This is what we did in May:
- When a user makes a Show products request, we decreased the number of times that storefront calls Ecwid servers and made product pages load faster.
- We optimized the way our Categories pages work. They now load much faster for merchants who use many categories, or who have many products listed in a single category.
Wondering what we were up to earlier? Check out our April updates.
Did you noticed something that we changed and forgot to announce? Want to learn more about the specific features of future updates? Want to share any feedback at all? Leave a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch! Thanks!