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Evolution of B2B Commerce Cloud

This topic describes the evolution of B2B Commerce Cloud.

Optimizely decided to build a base platform that would allow for individual sites to be created quickly with better performance and with an supported upgradability, B2B Commerce Cloud has progressed through many iterations. The following describes B2B Commerce Cloud's developments added in the last few versions:

B2B Commerce Cloud

Self-Managed Release Notes SDK Customers

This release lets you launch your website solution in a SaaS-based, fully-hosted, PCI-compliant environment managed by Insite. See the website for more on general cloud functionality and the InsiteHelp for B2B Commerce Cloud Cloud support site for more information.

Other Resources

  • Review the 4.4 release announcement: B2B Commerce Cloud Self-Managed SDK v4-4 Release Announcement
  • Review SDK Release Notes

B2B Commerce Cloud 4.x

B2B Commerce Cloud 4 has been significantly re-engineered using a modern, scalable service architecture laying the foundation to power the next generation connected commerce platform for complex B2B interactions. Key to the success of this platform is our ability to prescribe the extension points to allow for easy and quick upgrades - combining the flexibility and extensibility of a platform while facilitating the rapid and seamless functional enhancements you need in today's rapidly changing environment.

With its lean, service-oriented technology stack and modular design, B2B Commerce Cloud can be operated on a reduced IT footprint or scaled at enterprise levels to optimize overall infrastructure spend and reduce total cost of ownership. Combined with the widely familiar Microsoft.Net development environment, the platform can be operated as a turn-key responsive application handling the complexities of today's commerce demands or alternatively serves as a modern, highly extensible development platform that can be flexibly used to realize our client's specific business requirements. Whether you are looking to enter the commerce space with an out-of-the-box solution, re-platform outdated technology, or to build highly specialized commerce scenarios to protect your competitive advantage in this fast moving ecosystem, the B2B Commerce Cloud platform provides the agility and scalability that your business requires to compete.

In the remainder of this document, we discuss the technical underpinnings, architecture and tool choices of B2B Commerce Cloud to provide Architects, Developers, and technical decision makers with the necessary information required for evaluating B2B Commerce Cloud.

The following describes the current and future releases of B2B Commerce Cloud 4.x:

4.1 Enhancements

  • SEO Enhancements
  • Integration Improvements
  • Improved Notifications, Monitoring, Retry, and so on
  • API Updates
  • inRiver Integration
  • 4.x Migration Enhancements

4.2 Management Console Redesign

  • Modern "Front-end" Architecture
  • Responsive Design for Tablets
  • New Taxonomy
  • Improved Feature Discovery & Usability
  • Integrated Contextual Help and Training
  • Improved "Guard Rails"
  • Streamlined Bulk Data Loading/Editing

4.2 Search Enhancements

  • Easy to Use Business User Interface for Configurations
  • Enhanced Facet Configurations - Swatches, Custom Ranges, Sliders, and so on
  • Sponsored Search
  • Content search - Supporting docs and auxiliary content (help and custom pages)
  • Search suggestions - "You might like"
  • Refine within search results
  • Usability enhancements - results logic, results layout, search form, results sorting

4.2 Miscellaneous Enhancements

  • Services Architecture

    The B2B Commerce Cloud platform offers digital commerce services through REST (Representational State Transfer) endpoints. The services provide a "facade" to the application, allowing developers to add new functionality without impacting upgrades. Services are versioned to provide modularity and backward compatibility. The business logic for these services is centralized allowing reuse of common logic, such as the card, regardless of where it is used.

  • Enabling Technologies

    B2B Commerce Cloud is built with the latest technologies and libraries available to the web today.

    The parallel use of TypeScript and AngularJS creates a strongly typed, client-side, JavaScript framework extending the vocabulary of HTML and providing the core logic to the platform through widgets. For example, consider the cross-sell carousel Angular directive which could be embedded in any HTML context:

    <isc-cross-sell-carousel></isc-cross-sell-carousel>
    
  • Performance and Scalability

    With the introduction of the RESTful services, we also support Entity Tag (ETag) caching which is a standard part of the HTTP protocol that browsers support. This caching approach takes a significant load off of the server, lessens the load of data moving back and forth and improves the user experience. There are also resources cached locally for settings, language and currency information that help lessen the load from page to page, keeping the same content context in scope through the site experience.

  • Administrative REST API's

  • Installable Modules

  • Integrate Common Client Extensions

  • Buying Experience Usability Improvements (Phase 1)

  • Advanced SEO Enhancements

4.3 Enhancements

You can find corresponding videos for the following features and functions in the 4.3.1 Announcement

The 4.4 release focuses on improving the experience of the business user to manage their digital platform and enhance the B2B end-user experience.

4.4 Enhancements

  • Cloud (SaaS) Deployment Capability
    • Always up-to-date
    • Scalable, hosted, PCI-DSS compliant, cloud environment
  • Improved Front-End Capabilities - Themes and widgets can be managed via the Admin Console
    • CMS page variants
    • Multiple product images
    • Improved print and email options for order and invoice history pages
    • Single-Page-Application model to reduce page load times
    • Real-time pricing plug-in and supporting UI/UX enhancements
    • Improved inventory messaging
    • Remember Me- customer pricing and catalog shown when returning to the website
    • Cart persists across devices for logged in users
    • Enabled requested delivery date option during checkout
  • Several improvements to the Admin Console
    • Merged Application and Website Settings into one page, and added user-friendly naming and tooltips
    • Improved security by splitting Users into two groups: Website Users and Console Users
    • Improved "Forgot Password" workflow for the storefront/website
    • cXML Order Processing Enhancements

4.5 Enhancements

Cloud server-side customizations

Cloud environment management

  • A CDN option has been added for Cloud customers

A/B testing

  • Enable dynamic variant testing & track the results of the test

    • Added revenue and lines per visitor metrics
    • Added a graph showing a comparison of all metrics for each variant to get an overall picture of A/B testing results
    • Added clean-up of A/B testing data to the nightly maintenance routine

    See A/B Testing and Customer Segments for more details.

Dynamic personalization

  • Configure search boost/bury by Customer Segments
  • Dynamically assign Customer Segments to a guest/new user based on online activity

πŸ“˜

Note

This release introduced a name change, where "Personas" are now called "Customer Segments".

See Customer Segments for more details.

Dynamic product recommendations

CMS improvements

  • Bulk publishing functionality to make multiple changes to content and products, then preview it before moving it all to production at one time
  • Future publish with rollback functionality to publish content automatically on a future date, and then optionally revert updated content to its previous version on a specified date

See Publish Multiple Pages and Set Future Publish and Rollback Dates for Content for more details.

Copy content between environments

  • Allow users to export content from one environment and import into another environment. For example, you can start a site locally or in Sandbox then push it to Production for the first time or copy Production content down to Sandbox for content parity.

See Copy Content Between Websites for more details.

One-time Ship-To address

One-time ship-to address functionality has been available since the September 2018 release. See One-Time Ship-To Address for more details.

Shop by brands and product lines

Enable the Shop by Brands feature on your B2B Commerce Cloud website to allow your customers to quickly focus their search for products on a brand they know and trust. The brands feature also allows merchandisers to manage a brand's identity, for example by featuring or boosting specific brands on the website.

  • Enable the shop by brand/manufacturer taxonomy easily

  • Create shop by brand/manufacturer landing and category pages

  • Add product lines to brands to extend the product hierarchy

  • Define brand/manufacturer imagery on brand and product detail pages and widgets

  • Added brand as first attribute that displays on product detail pages

  • Exposed product line assignment field on product details page in the Admin Console

  • Improved SEO and the consistency of the Brands URL root for Brands and Brands List pages

  • Updated logic to not select category images from parent categories with no assigned products on Brand detail pages

  • Added a Brand gallery widget to include on the Brands page via the CMS

  • Added a brand name display column in the order confirmation email

  • Added Brand and Product Line options to the table view of Product list

  • Added the ability to boost product lines in search results

  • Added the ability to boost brands in search results

See Brands and Product Lines for more details.

Will Call and Store Pickup Enhancements

Will-Call and Store Pickup functionality has been available since the September 2018 release. See Will-Call and Store Pickup for more details.

  • Updated order confirmation email, quote, site messages and various admin console screens to reflect pickup language if fulfillment method is pick-up
  • Improved the Pickup Selection widow behavior and functionality and updated how selected warehouse displays on the page and map
  • Added clean-up of one-time ship-to addresses to the nightly maintenance routine

Schedule Email Reminders for List Reordering

  • Schedule an email reminder for any list a user has access to

See Schedule Email Reminders for List Reordering for more details.

Bad Actor Prevention

  • Configure countries that should not be able to access site

See Creating and Assigning Countries and States for more details.

Abandoned Cart Email Reminders

  • Setting to enable feature and to determine when to send the email

  • Users can opt out of email reminders

See Send Abandoned Cart Email Reminders for more details.

List Improvements

  • Manage lists from Admin Console and assign to multiple Bill-To Customers

  • Improved lists to allow users without edit permissions on a list to change the quantity and add to cart, but not alter the list entry

  • Exposed updated saved quantity message for anyone with edit/owner permissions on all lists

  • Improved experience when updating quantity in a list

  • Duplicated the list action buttons to appear at the bottom of each page

  • Added button to lists to allow users to finish adjusting sort order and hide sort functionality

  • Added the ability to add custom quantities of an item on a a list to my cart, without updating the quantities on a shared list

  • Updated the sort behavior when reordering lists on the storefront

  • Added a tooltip when users cannot edit a list

See Share Lists with Multiple Customers, Sharing Lists, and List Management for more details.

Saved Credit Cards

  • Cloud: Using TokenEx for card vault/tokenization; when using a "saved card," an authorization transaction is executed and the resulting authorization data is available for order submission (that is not card token)

  • Extended existing TokenEx API to include CVV-only mode

  • Updated the Storefront API for Saved Credit Cards

  • Added fields to UserPaymentProfile table to save address information for saved credit cards

  • SDK: Partners and customers can leverage saved card UI/UX, but for card tokenization they can create their own TokenEx account or develop integration to the specific payment gateways vault

  • Created a setting to enable the option to save credit cards

  • Modified tooltip text for Enable Saved Credit Card setting

  • Added the option to add and manage a new credit card to the My Saved Payments page in My Account

  • Added the ability to review saved payment information from the My Saved Payments page in My Account

  • Added the ability to save credit cards during checkout or complete the checkout process with a saved credit card

See Saved Credit Cards for more details.

Quick Order Enhancements

  • Improved experience for adding child products using Quick Order form. When attempting to add a variant parent via quick order, the user will be prompted to select the variant options in order to add the correct item to the quick order form
  • Updated the Quick Order page to add Quick Order widget functionality for quantity and unit of measure
  • Updated display settings so items most recently added to a Quick Order list now appear at the top of the list
  • Adjusted the Quick Order form so most recently added products appear first, then this order reverses when added to cart
  • Adjusted Quick Order so it is not accessible unless the user is able to Add to Cart

See Overview of Quick Order for more details.

Search Enhancements

  • Improved search results for multi-word synonyms
  • Updated the Index ERP Numbers to allow ignoring non-alphanumeric characters
  • Added the option to disable AutoCorrect or Did You Mean settings without turning off suggested search
  • Added a setting to include or exclude Part Number from the Search AutoCorrect
  • Implemented Ngram search for partial matches on ERP Numbers and Manufacturer Items

See Working with Synonyms, Search Autocorrect and Did You Mean Options and Working with Ngram Indexing for Partial Matches for more details.

Improve Variant Products UX

  • When searching for a child variant part number, users will be auto-directed to the Product Detail Page with variant options preselected

  • When a child variant product is in a cart and the user clicks on it, they will be directed to the Product Detail Page with the variant option preselected

See Overview of Product Variants for more details.

B2B Commerce Cloud 3.x

B2B Commerce Cloud 3.5

  • Dashboard & Message Center
  • Easy Access to Common Actions
  • Account Overview at a Glance
  • Order Approval Workflow & Notifications
  • Send/Receive notifications with Purchasing
    Approvers and Sales Representatives
  • Integrated Quote Workflow (3.7)
  • Manage site content by language code
  • Multi-Language
  • Export/Import translations
  • Integrated machine translation
  • Site Restrictions by User
  • Ability to limit users to assigned sites

B2B Commerce Cloud 3.6

  • Multi-Currency & International Tax
  • Support For Explicit Product Prices in Primary
    and Alternate Currencies
  • Fixed or Floating Price Conversion Rates
  • Global Tax Support
  • ISC Fixed Rate Tax Calculator
  • Avalara Integration
  • Cybersource Integration
  • Mobile and Tablet Support
  • Fully Responsive Web Design
  • 3 Native Breakpoints
  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Phone
  • Touch Friendly Base Template Design

B2B Commerce Cloud 3.7

  • Dealer Locator
  • Find dealers, map them and display hours and contact information
  • Request for Quote (RFQ)
  • Request a quote for approval
  • Collaborate with sales rep on open quotes via integrated messaging
  • Convert quotes to orders
  • Set quantity break prices and model profitability
  • WCMS
  • Contextual Page Editing
  • Ability to Add Pages without Development
  • Preview by Persona and Device
  • Integrated Responsive Web Design Support
  • Content Approval Workflow
  • Personalization/Personas
  • Define Custom Personas by Customer or User Attributes or geolocation
  • Target Content by Device, Persona and Language
  • Advanced Personalization via Certona or Monetate
  • Miscellaneous Enhancements
  • Solr Search
  • Bazaar Voice Ratings and Reviews
  • Rules Driven Categories
  • Re-order from Order History

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