Ecwid Features Digest Summer 2016: New Starter Site, Automated Tax Reporting, API updates

Sep 29, 2016 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team
Summer features digest
Posted Sep 29, 2016 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team

Hello, Ecwid friends. Happy fall!

We’ve been quiet on the product update front for these past few months, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything exciting to talk about.

In fact, we’re delighted to bring you new Ecwid features that we’ve been busy designing to help you take your online business to the next level.

New Starter Site

The new look of Ecwid's Starter Site

The new look of Ecwid’s Starter Site

As you likely know, you can add an Ecwid store to any website, no matter how or when it was built. If you don’t have a website yet, you can use the Ecwid Starter Site —  a nice, mobile friendly, one-page website with a built-in Ecwid store.

This past summer, we completely refreshed the look of Starter Site and added powerful features to it:

  • Professional and responsive design makes your site look great on any device.
  • Customizable content blocks and images let you create a unique story:  share your business story, display offline locations on a map and highlight customer testimonials.
  • In-context WYSIWYG editor: view  your Starter Site while making real-time edits to it. Update the content on your site as often as you’d like. No coding is required.

The new Starter Site is free and available to all Ecwid users. Enjoy!
Read the blog post to learn how to enable your new Sarter Site today.


Create my Starter Site

Automated Tax Reporting And Multi-state Sales Tax Management

Ecwid and TaxJar are partners!

Ecwid and TaxJar are partners!

With the recently added tax reporting automation and multi-state sales tax management features, Ecwid now provides a full set of tools to assist you with your tax needs:

  • Automatically calculate and charge a precise tax rate at checkout based  on where your customer and store are located.  No setup is required. This feature is applicable in the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia.
  • Keep tax rates and calculation rules up-to-date with our built-in regulations (applicable  to the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia).
  • New: Generate and automatically file sales tax reports (available for U.S. merchants)
  • New: Calculate, collect and report sales taxes for businesses with locations in multiple states, which each have different tax rates. For now, this feature is only applicable to the U.S.

To learn more, read the following blog post.


Download the Tax Reporting App

Storefront design improvements

Retina Ready Thumbnails

We optimized the way product thumbnails display in the storefront. This enables high-quality thumbnails and improves the visual  appearance of your store on Retina display and other high-resolution screens. The feature seamlessly increases the density of thumbnails to enhance overall image quality. Now, you can take an original image and magnify it by up to 650 pixels to create a thumbnail without distorting dimensions or sacrificing pixelation.

See the example in our Demo store.

How to enable it in your store:

  • If you signed up for  Ecwid after August 2016, the feature has already been enabled in your store — no action is required.
  • If you signed up for Ecwid before August of 2016, visit the “What’s New” section in your control panel to enable the improved thumbnails.


Enable Retina Ready Thumbnails

Improved Buy now and Checkout buttons

We are constantly working on improving the look and feel of existing and new Ecwid stores. In this update, we tweaked the look of all of our main storefront buttons. They are now clearer and visually appealing. The new buttons have already been enabled for all Ecwid users.

Improved Buy now and Checkout buttons

Improved Buy now buttons

Color customization tool for Wix users

This is a unique update for users who run their sites on Wix. Now, it’s possible to customize the basic storefront colors under the store page settings section. No programming skills are required.

You can change the colors of background, text, links, buttons, etc. without a single CSS code. In your Wix app settings popup, navigate to the design tab, scroll to theme color picker and set the colors to best fit to the elements of your store.

Wix Website Editor

Wix Website Editor

Facebook Storefront Updates

New Facebook Storefront look

New Facebook Storefront look

New minicart and categories widgets

We updated the look of the categories menu and minicart widgets in the Ecwid Facebook storefront. The new widgets have a cleaner design and are better fit for Facebook pages, especially if your store has a lot of categories. The new widgets are have already been enabled for all Ecwid stores, so you should see them in your store.

New call to action

To improve conversion rates of Facebook  online stores , we added a new feature — the “Shop now” button. When a merchant installs Ecwid and enables sales through their Facebook page , this new, more clear call to action will appear. We added and designed this new call to action for customers to easily find products and shop merchant store pages.

The new CTA

The new CTA

The Ecwid App Market Updates

New apps

  • Checkout Questions collects additional information from customers at the checkout stage.
  • Convead adds powerful analytics to your store.
  • Sweepstakes sets up and runs enter-to-winrefer-to-win promotions.
  • Scaler retargeting brings back bounced visitors by reaching them on social networks.
  • Gratisfaction provides loyalty/reward program.
  • Aftership tracks shipments all in one place.
  • Coupon Generator automates discount coupons management.
  • Facebook Chat allows visitors to speak with you over Facebook messenger
  • Promo Bar adds a call to action bar on the top of your storefront.
  • Message Mate adds a “Contact us” widget to your store.

New “Advertise your products” apps collection

We added a new collection page to the Ecwid App Market — “Advertise your products” . Check it out to get some useful information on where to get started with product advertising. It also provides app recommendations so you can easily launch and automate your own ad campaigns. Check it out!

The Ecwid API updates

This is for the developers who are creating Ecwid apps or custom integration with Ecwid stores.

API

The Ecwid APIs now provide a very robust toolset for developers who create e-commerce applications. Now, there are more than 70 apps in the Ecwid App Market and thousands of stores that have been customized  using  Ecwid’s APIs to enhance functionality. In the past few months, we’ve been focused on continuing to  improve the Ecwid APIs. Here’s what’s new:

JavaScript API Updates

  • The Ecwid JS API now allows  developers to easily set basic storefront colors and fonts. This includes the new Chameleon skin tool — using a single line of code, you can set up the storefront to automatically detect colors and fonts that will adjust to the site. Read more in the API Docs.
  • The new JavaScript API functions were added to dynamically set customer addresses and order comments  directly in the storefront. You can use this to prefill or customize customer and order details at checkout. See more in the API docs.
  • You can now remove specific items from a customer cart in your JS code. Along with the other Ecwid JS API tools, this allows you to easily manage cart contents in your app. New Javascript API method description.
  • The Ecwid JS API can start the checkout process for a customer visiting  a storefront using  a single function call. Use it to create your own Checkout buttons and call to actions. Learn more in the JS API docs.
  • You can now generate a link, which opens an Ecwid store AND automatically adds a product to the customer’s cart when they open the link. See the API docs for more details.

REST API Updates

  • We added public access tokens support to the Ecwid API. It allows you to collect  public information about  a store from anywhere using the Ecwid REST API. Now, you can use the REST API on the client side of the application to get information about  products, categories and store profiles. For example, it’s now safe and easy to utilize the REST API in JS applications. How to use the Ecwid REST API in JavaScript.
  • Now, It’s possible to manage Ecwid’s Starter Site content using the Ecwid REST API. Learn more.
  • If you are using Ecwid billing to charge users for their application, there is a new API feature that makes it easier for you to manage users’ accounts. Now, you can get the status of an app subscription using a simple GET request with  the REST API.  You can also get automatic app notification changes when subscription status changes by using the  new subscription change webhook.

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Thanks for reading!

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About The Author
Matt is a product manager at Ecwid. He works with the Ecwid dev team and helps them shipping the right features for Ecwid merchants. Outside of work, Matt likes travelling and climbing the mountains.

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