Version 5.0 of Apogee StoreFront and Asanti StoreFront will be released on 9 September 2018. The main new features are:
- New upload window – Easier file upload for ordering posters, banners, business cards, etc.
- Stripe payment gateway – Add an affordable easy to use payment option to your stores
- Extended promo codes – Give a discount on a specific product or offer free shipping
- Allow backorders – Customers can order products that are no longer in stock
- Shipping API – For high-volume stores you can now automate shipping
Support for backorders
Previously, users could not order printed or non-printed stock products once the required quantity exceeded the available stock. From version 5.0 onward you can allow backorders, which means that customers can continue ordering products even if none are in stock. This is controlled via the ‘Backorder Allowed’ checkbox at the bottom of the Description tab of the product wizard. When this flag is enabled, you can specify up to how many items can be backordered, as shown to the left on the screen capture below. Not setting a limit allows for unlimited backorders.
When customers order products in a shop that displays stock counters, then the backorder quantity is also displayed, as shown to the right.
Set default quantities
If customers can order various quantities of a product, stores previously listed the lowest quantity as the default. So if leaflets are available in quantities between 100 and 5000 copies, the default quantity would be 100. Now you can set 250 as the default quantity, because that may be what most customers order or is more profitable for you. Configuring the default quantity is done in either the General tab of the product template or the Restrictions tab of the product wizard.
Using the CTRL-key you can now select multiple categories in the Stores > Product Catalog window to enable or disable all of them with one click.
Handling a long list of companies
When a new store is created, this is done for a specific company. New companies can however also be added purely for billing purposes. To limit the list of companies that are shown in various windows, companies that are only used for billing purposes can be marked as such. To do this, activate the ’Use this Company only for billing’ checkbox in the Billing Address section of the Companies > General window. This filters out these companies from all other places. Such companies will not show up in lists that are not related to billing.
StoreFront 5.0 includes the same release of the Online Editor as in version 4.5.8. A newer version with a substantial number of improvements and some new features will be made available in a future update.
This upgrade does use a new caching algorithm to speed up document loading. After a new document is added to a store and opened the first time, all subsequent times shoppers open that customizable document for editing, this will happen significantly faster.
New upload window for unbound products
When shoppers add an uploadable unbound product – such as a poster, banner, business card or datasheet – to their cart, they were previously first asked if they wanted to upload a PDF or an image. For TIFF or JPEG images they could then do some limited scaling and cropping after having uploaded a file.
This wizard has been completely revised and is replaced by a single upload and repositioning window, regardless whether PDF, JPG or TIFF files will be uploaded. This window shows an empty canvas with the requested output size and required bleed and color mode. A button in the top left corner allows the shopper to select a file. The supported file formats are listed. Users can also simply drag and drop a file on the empty canvas.
Once a file is uploaded, it is automatically positioned on the canvas and added to the list of uploaded files. The bleed area is indicated with a light gray rectangle and the image is slightly lighter in that area to clearly indicate this part of the image will be cut off. The buttons below the canvas allow the shopper to rotate the image per 90 degrees, change the size in steps of five percent or scale it to fit the height and/or width. The orientation of the canvas can be changed and the image can be aligned to the canvas corners or center positions.
When the user clicks the image, it can be panned. The image then also gets handles, allowing it to be rescaled or rotated at any angle using the rotation handle, as shown below. This screen capture also shows another new function: live preflight. When an image does not cover the canvas and bleed area, warning triangles inform the user about the potential problem. When the user positions the cursor over a triangle, a small explanatory text shows up. Next to bleed, the live prefight function also warns users if the image resolution is too low.
Once the ‘Add to cart’ button in the top right corner is clicked, the full preflight takes place and the image is added to the cart. This is identical to the way image uploads worked previously.
The new upload interface has some other nifty features:
- The ‘Reset’ button in the top left corner allows users to undo all their previous image positioning and scaling changes.
- If you hover your mouse over the thumbnail in the Uploaded Files area, the file name and resolution of the image are shown.
- For double-sided products two buttons above the canvas allow users to alternate between the front and back.
- If the back needs to be identical to the front of a double-sided product, there is no need to upload the same image twice. Simply drag and drop the already uploaded image from the Uploaded Files area to the back.
- Users can upload a multipage PDF file to order multiple documents in one go. This is especially handy for promotional campaigns in which a retailer might want to order 50 alternate versions of a poster, each of them containing a different address of a local shop. This works for both single and double-sided pages.
- For PDF files StoreFront automatically generates a preview image. This allows the user to visually check if the right file was picked. Generating that preview image can take some time, depending on the complexity of the PDF file.
- Files up to 2 GB can now be uploaded. Previously the maximum supported file size was 1 GB.
Stripe payment gateway
Version 5.0 of StoreFront supports a new payment gateway, powered by Stripe. Their service is available in 25 countries and supports over 135 currencies. Stripe can be used alongside the already supported payment methods (Ingenico, PayPal, Mercado Pago and bank transfer).
- Stripe supports both direct and deferred payments.
- Stripe requires no startup or monthly subscription fee.
- The service supports three cards in all countries: Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
- In select countries StoreFront also supports the use of AliPay, Bancontact, EPS, Giropay iDEAL Multibanco, P24 and SOFORT within the Stripe payment gateway. Check the table at the bottom of the StoreFront specifications page for a detailed list per country. Other payment methods that Stripe supports have not (yet) been validated and are not supported.
Extended promo codes
Previously, promo codes which allow a shopper to get a discount by entering a code during checkout were limited to the entire order. From version 5 onward a promo code can be more selective:
- It can apply to a single product, allowing you to offer a discount of 10 percent or a fixed discount of 20 euro on the purchase of ‘Thank you’ cards.
- It can apply to shipping, either all shipping or a specific shipping service. You can, for example, offer free shipping but only offer this with the slowest, least expensive shipping service.
The new options are listed in the Type drop-down menu of the Stores > Promotions > Create Promotions window. The general settings like the number of times a promotion is available, its time frame or the number of codes have not changed.
Custom label for delivery services
When a store uses a shipping service with fixed delivery addresses, the name of that service can now be changed. Previously it was always called ‘A fixed delivery address’ but that confused users who had their order shipped to a pickup service or who could pick from a number of locations at a single address.
Now you can customize the name that is used by entering a custom label at the bottom of the Stores > Shipping window.
Searchable list of delivery addresses
Orders in B2B stores can often be delivered to a long list of fixed delivery addresses, such as all the retail stores of a retail company. To make it easier for shoppers to select the delivery address, the drop-down menu listing all fixed delivery addresses now includes a search window. It quickly filters the list down to the addresses that match the search string.
Tax exemptions for users
Sometimes specific users, such as people ordering on behalf of a charity organization, do not need to pay taxes on ordered products. In their profile pages, an administrator can now define that such users are tax exempt by activating the Tax Exemption check box.
Get all order item detail pages
Many companies use the order item details pages for the job bag of each print job. If an order contains many items, you previously had to open each order item’s detail page separately to print it. Now you can select the first order item, SHIFT-click to select the last order item and access all of the order item details with a single click. When printing this window, each order item will be printed on a separate page.
New status order for payments by bank transfer
When customers pay for an order using bank transfer, their order would automatically get the ‘In production’ status, even if StoreFront is configured to wait for the payment. To emphasize that the order will only be processed upon receipt of the money, such orders now first get the order status ‘Awaiting payment’. This only changes to ‘In production’ once payment is confirmed in StoreCenter.
More order information for administrators
Admins can ask to get an e-mail for each new order. Previously such e-mails contained only limited information. Now the list of all order items is added to the body of the e-mail. This way admins don’t have to go the StoreCenter to see what has been ordered.
Silently canceling orders
When an order is canceled, a reason must be given and by default the shopper is informed about the cancellation by e-mail. In version 5 you can choose not to send such an e-mail to the shopper when canceling an order.
Packaging orders in smaller boxes
In the Product Template > Packaging Units window you can now specify that StoreFront can ship products in 2 or more smaller boxes instead of using a single larger box. By default the system will use up to 3 smaller boxes before switching to a larger packaging unit.
Add the order ID title to invoices
Customer invoices can contain both an invoice and order number. Now you also include the order number title, using the variable ASF_ORDER_NR_TITLE. In English, this variable resolves to ‘Order Number’.
An API or Application Programming Interface is a way of allowing various software systems to exchange data. The new shipping API allows print service providers to integrate their MIS, ERP or shipping solution with StoreFront, eliminating the need to manually mark orders as ‘shipped’ in the StoreFront backend. Using this API, an application can send a call to StoreFront indicating that order item X can be marked as ‘shipped’ and that the tracking URL is http://trackmystuff /?packID=256326589. StoreFront will then automatically mark the item as shipped and send a shipment confirmation mail that includes the tracking URL to the shopper.
The shipping API allows a remote application to request or send the following information:
- Retrieve a list of all order items
- Mark an order item as ‘Available’
- Mark an order as ‘Shipped’
- Mark an order as ‘Completed
- Cancel an order item
If you are interested in implementing an API integration, please contact Laurens Leurs, the StoreFront Product Manager.
Processing the data of a large number of orders, users, stores, products and templates can slow down StoreCenter and lead to endless lists you need to scroll through. You can now limit the amount of data shown using a new ‘Global filter’ function. It is activated by clicking the funnel icon in the top-right corner of StoreCenter.
Once activated only the data for one particular store are shown. An additional grey bar underneath the main menu bar lists the currently active company and store. Clicking the Company or Store link will show a list of all available options, allowing you to switch to another company or store. To clearly indicate that you are only viewing a subset of all data, the button bar underneath also displays a filter icon for all filtered entries.
To disable the global filter click the X to the right in the grey bar.
Change in Analytics tracking
If Google Analytics is used to monitor store usage, the analytics data were previously also shared with the Agfa StoreFront team. With the GDPR and other privacy legislation in mind, this double tracking is no longer active. Only you now have access to those data.
Canadian sales taxes
Sales taxes in Canadian stores are now split up to clearly indicate how much federal and how much provincial sales tax is due.
Support for Uruguay
Stores can now also be deployed in Uruguay, with support for the Uruguayan peso, local tax rates and the Mercado Pago payment gateway service.
This upgrade contains fixes for small issues discovered in version 4.5 as well as some performance improvements.
Some of the changes and new features in this release require action by a printer administrator:
- The upload window for unbound products has changed radically. It may be worthwhile to inform corporate users who use this function frequently about the upcoming changes.
- If you prefer not to ship certain products in smaller boxes, update the settings in the Product Template > Packaging Units window of the matching product templates.