Latest Magento update adds exciting site design options

Magento ecommerce platforms may already be highly configurable, but parent company eBay wants to capitalise on the growth of its business-to-business online sellers and retailers by making the service even more versatile. Recently they rolled out a series of exciting updates, all of which have been designed to stretch the Magento ecommerce platform further, and make configuring your virtual storefront easier than ever.

Chief amongst the new features is an overhauled Visual Merchandiser tool. Available exclusively to Magento Enterprise Edition subscribers, this new feature allows merchandise managers to build customised product displays via an intuitive new drag and drop interface. Simply identify the product, or web content, you want featured on your storefront, and drag it into the appropriate section or category.

Clients can also use the software to preview content displays, checking for errors and making any last minute adjustments before flicking the switch and making them live. Paul Boisvert, head of Magento’s product management for eBay Enterprise, talked about the upcoming changes recently, revealing that the Visual Merchandiser tool was co-developed by Magento and the UK-based ecommerce development firm On Tap Group. Previously, the tool was only available as a plugin through the Magento Connect marketplace, but now anyone with a Magento Enterprise Edition can take advantage of it.

Additional improvements, available in both the Enterprise and free Community Edition of the Magento ecommerce platform, include a selection of new swatches for the presentation of thumbnail images. The new selection of swatches offer a multitude of options for store owners to chose from, allowing them to sort their wares by colour, size, type and price, among other things.

Improvements to the web content renderer and expanded use of responsive web design, have also improved the browsing experience on both mobile devices and desktops, and additional support to the MySQL 5.6 database management system makes gaining access to important data simpler than ever.

Although the most recent round or upgrades were aimed primarily at apparel merchants, Boisvert says that Magento will continue to release updates and upgrades that benefit ecommerce companies of all types and sizes of as the year goes on.