With every release of Oracle Commerce Cloud (OCC) I’m impressed with the team’s ability to productize features and extensions that we, as customers and system integrators, have been building out ourselves over the years. Sometimes these features may not jump off the release notes page, but they have huge implications to enable rapid deployment that will result in increased revenue for your e-commerce sales channel.
The latest release of 18C is no different. Here are four features in the latest release of OCC that I’d like to highlight:
Promotions can be a difficult conversation with businesses who manage them externally and need to ensure that online promotions match those created elsewhere and used across all channels. Previously, the best solution was to create promotions as they were published from an external source via API or import them via a special promotion description language (PMDL). While both of these are acceptable solutions, it can still be a challenge to ensure consistency across systems.
The new external promotions webhook vastly simplifies this endeavor. Now storefronts can simply ask the system of record to apply the promotional discount to an order. This will lead to more consistency between systems both in applying promotions, but also ensuring that there is nothing lost in translation between the original discount logic and OCC.
Launching a B2B Customer Portal that includes e-commerce is a huge step forward in providing a best in class customer experience for buyers. For larger customers, allowing the automation of purchasing and procurement through punchout solutions such as Ariba can be the difference in being an ‘eligible’ supplier.
The challenges connecting OCC and punchout solutions before this release included authentication and profile management between punchout systems, integration of cXML data between systems, and differentiating the checkout process.
By delivering punchout functionality in this release of OCC, customers can focus on providing a best-in-class storefront experience by tuning merchandising, promotions, and pricing instead of managing complex authentication and data structures.
Back in Stock Notification
Back in stock notifications are powerful alerts that enable businesses to better communicate proactively with their customers. Many customers do not want to place an order for backordered items, and would rather be alerted when the item is available again. This is an opportunity for a store to save a sale that may otherwise be lost to competition or the customer simply not returning to purchase.
In previous versions of OCC and the on-premise solution there was no ability to notify shoppers when a product was back in stock without extending the product to a database, providing a scheduled job to determine who needs the notification, and integrating with an SMTP server to send the notification.
With the new back in stock notification, customers can easily ask to be notified. Business users can manage the notification template within the OCC Administration tools, and emails can be automatically generated. All of this is completely out-of-the-box with no need for extensions.
Layout Manager: Content Variation by Date
OCC has had the ability to target content to audience segments for some time now. This is the core of what is traditionally referred to as “personalization”. There may be other reasons to vary content though and now Oracle has included Date as one of the options.
This is important to content managers and merchandisers not only because your company may have seasonal or time specific promotions, but because it offloads the work of publishing content at specific times. Now business users can simply configure widgets to vary over time and publish once. As an example, the banners for Black Friday, the weekend, Cyber Monday, and then Christmas promotions can be setup and tested at one time.
One last important thing to note not just about the new feature, but content variation in general is that all the user audience segmentation and targeting works out of the box without the need for any software configuration or programming. In on-premise solutions it was a lot of work to plan for content targeting and variation. It was so much work, that companies rarely made it to the stage of implementing it. Now with OCC all of these features can be managed by business users on day one including A/B testing.
As you can see, Oracle is pouring a great deal of research and development resources into OCC. All four of these features are significant capabilities in the platform, and these are just a handful of the new functionality in 18C. Check out the official New Feature Summary for everything new included in the latest release. It would be our pleasure to talk to you about how Pierce Washington and Oracle can deliver an innovative platform for your e-commerce business.