We just released version 6 of zeckoShop and it’s a pretty substantial one including several new features but also making major changes to how you administer the data on your site.
Data Admin Changes
Since the inception of zeckoShop you’ve administered the data aspects of your site in your ERP and zeckoCentral and then any site specific data or settings are manipulated through the zeckoShop admin.
This approach has worked great but we also found it difficult in terms of training and understanding of our system not to mention that it can include data maintenance concerns and can add to potential syncing issues you experience.
In a move to change all this and constantly improve we will be making several big changes over this and our next build to make things easier and more robust all round.
For 6.0.0 we’ve moved all data administration to the zeckoShop admin essentially making zeckoCentral just a tool for syncing (in fact we’ve renamed it to zeckoSyncs to drive this concept home).
Now when it comes to setting up your category structure, working with custom fields and adding manufacturers you will do that directly in zeckoShop, no need to worry about two administration sections anymore, it’s a one stop shop!
Also, image thumbnail generation has moved to the web. Instead of us generating these on your server and uploading them to the web individually which is a time consuming process, we instead compress and move batches of your ERP images to the web and from there your thumbnails are generated. This approach is not only more efficient but several issues which is great for all our clients dealing with lots of image changes.
Now on to features…
This is a feature we’ve wanted in zeckoShop for some time and it’s finally here!
This feature works off our our already existing coupons but adds very important enhancements that add to the visual aspects of the discounts and promotions in play.
So let’s say for instance you wanted to offer a normal BOGO style coupon, you can now set it to a promotion and the system will handle it in a much more visual and helpful way for your customers.
Firstly, any promotions will be displayed in the product previews and details page making your users aware that they actually exist and that they can take advantage.
Once a user has added a promotion to their cart the discount is displayed so they know what savings they have made and this information flows all the way to the receipt.
Along with this we’ve really taking your helpful feedback on board and made setting up coupons/promotions much simpler than previous by making this all happen in a single admin screen.
Also, in order to add true flexibility to how and when a coupon/promotion is applied we’ve updated the system to now use our conditions system. This means that you can base coupons/promotions not just on part #’s and categories but manufacturers, custom fields, customer information, user information, location etc. The options here are vast and allow for you to have different coupons/promotions for completely different sets of users based on any make up of conditions you like. Truly powerful.
zeckoShop has had the concept of translations for some time now.
You could have multiple languages and once you had a full set of translations available could import them into the system and voila! You support the alternate languages of your user base.
The problem we found was that sometimes you didn’t have the means to get the translations in place. Whether it be cost or effort it just wouldn’t be feasible and overall the daunting nature made this a difficult project to take on.
What we’ve done is set up an integration with Google Translate that automatically translates all your descriptions for products & categories so that every time you make changes to them in your ERP or the zeckoShop import, that they are automatically translated without any intervention from you.
Of course, if you find that you don’t like how a translation occurred, you can just go in and make adjustments after the fact so it reads exactly as you want.
Multiple Stock Indicators
We’ve not made it so you can have as many stock indicators and their associated settings as you need. For instance if you wanted your retail and wholesale customers to see different stock indicators you can set one up for each customer type.
The best part is that like coupons/promotions these are all controlled by the same condition system which has the flexibility for you to have stock indicators appear differently in a multitude of situations, including on mobile.
This feature, when enabled, allows your users to quickly view the details on a product without having to leave the search/browse page they are on to jump off to the details page.
You get to configure exactly what shows here and by simply clicking the link a popup will appear with all these details.
Much more efficient then jumping back and forth between a list of products and their details page which will speed up the shopping process considerably and make it more enjoyable for your users.
We have a long standing integration with Essentials/Spire and as part of this we’ve supported their incredibly powerful price matrix system.
The price matrix however lacks support for currencies so we’ve enhanced our implementation to allow setting a currency for each price matrix rule.
An import/export has also been included so you can administer as much of your pricing through our implementation as you need.
- Your users can now search on alternate part #’s, multiple UPC’s and the SEO keywords associated with a product.
- Product addons can now be embedded directly in the product details page instead of appearing as a popup
- Product selectors now have multiple choices for how options are displayed. Previously all options appeared in a dropdown whereas now they can appear as a list, colour list or image list
- The Google Taxonomy component has been completely reworked to be automated with much less setup involved. Instead of associating the taxonomies with products they are associated with the product categories. When you add new products to your ERP and they sync the taxonomies assigned to the associated category are now automatically applied to the products so you no longer have to manually handle this yourself
- We’ve added support for the Paytrace payment gateway
- We’ve added diagnostics around missing shipping information so you can tell if dimensions and weights are missing for your products and for which
Our next release is due in September, version 7!
This release will include many other major improvements around syncing and UI including:
- We will be removing the UDC and so only a single sync between your ERP and zeckoShop will exist
- We will move administration of the syncs to the web so you will only need a single install of zeckoSyncs on your server. No more multiple installs required!
- We will be doing a major overhaul to our UI to make it even more mobile friendly but also to include more advanced components and give you the ability to change certain appearance properties yourself e.g. background colour, fonts etc