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Spring is just around the corner, and we are thrilled to introduce some fresh and handy tools to help supermarkets reap more benefits from Orckestra’s commerce platform! Inspired by the feedback from our customers and real use cases, we developed these built-in functionalities—specifically tailored for grocers—to solve deep-rooted industry issues and create a more enjoyable grocery shopping experience.

Here are 7 new features to help your online grocery store flourish this spring:

1. A more seamless online shopping experience

As soon as they land on the website, visitors can now be prompted (not required) to select a store. The right product prices and timeslot options for store pickup or delivery are then displayed automatically according to the store selected. This ensures that the online prices reflect those in-store, as well as flyer prices and current promotions. As a result, customers are not hit with surprise price adjustments at checkout, plus they can benefit from store-specific features like recipes and themes.

In addition, it contributes to a faster checkout, as the delivery option, store, and timeslot have already been selected. It is still possible to modify these options, but having them pre-set certainly expedites the process and makes checkout much more convenient!

More nutritional information at their fingertips

Our core platform now comes with a built-in component that allows you to easily provide more details about ingredients and relevant dietary information, such as volume, storage instructions, allergy information, country of origin, and more. It makes it easier than ever to display key information that your customers are looking for and that they will surely appreciate.

An easier way to update product quantity

Sometimes, it’s the small things that can irritate shoppers! Visitors can now adjust the product quantity when they select an item instead of having to go into the cart section to change it. 

2. Purchasing by volume or weight

We understand that supermarkets require unique functionalities that can be completely different from other retail industries. That’s why we offer grocery-related capabilities such as the option to purchase by volume or weight. This is particularly useful for fresh produce, meat, and other bulk foods. It simplifies order picking and better reflects the reality of grocery shopping. 

3. A simplified way to change product categories

Our enhanced product management capabilities facilitate taxonomy adjustments. It is now possible to move a product category as well as all its subcategories to a new parent category in a single operation. This makes it easier to modify the product category hierarchy and ensure that your online store is optimally organized.

4. The ability to update your online store 4 times faster

When a new fulfilment capability like micro-fulfillment or a new search engine becomes available, our flexible commerce engine allows for fast deployment thanks to its API-first design. We have made some major improvements to our core platform to enable even faster deployment. Developers will be happy to see these new features, which can help them update a website up to 4 times quicker than before!

ServiceStack and API browser upgrades

Our ServiceStack framework has been upgraded to the latest version for improved performance and now also supports the Open API specification for API description and documentation. As part of this upgrade, our API browser has a cleaner interface and is more efficient. You can also use the Copy to Clipboard and Download buttons to copy responses from any API endpoint.

Performance Profiler

The new Performance Profiler tool gives developers more detailed information on incoming platform requests and their overall performance. The insights it provides will make it possible to understand and improve the performance of specific API calls, cart and workflow activities, and more, giving developers access to the tools they need to diagnose and resolve any performance bottlenecks.

5. A time-saving import validation tool

The Product Import Validator allows you to validate key items in import files prior to going through the complete import process. This enables you to proactively identify any potential issues with the import file, obtain tips on how to fix any errors, and make sure that all products are imported correctly. This new tool is especially worthwhile given the volume of the grocery product portfolio and the frequency of updates.

The information validated includes the following:

  • Schema Validation: Identifies any missing or erroneous product attributes. For example, if a product attribute is not present, the validation will fail.
  • JSON Schema: Validates that the JSON schema is well formed. For example, if certain system fields are missing in the files, than these errors will be highlighted.
  • Attribute types: Validates that the values of the attributes are consistent with the types of those attributes. For example, if a string is passed in an attribute of type number, the validation will fail.

6. Powerful promotions

Our new promotion settings empower grocers to manage their promotions more efficiently. Here are 3 new functionalities to help you design the most successful campaigns, promotions, and events:

  • Enhanced promotion exclusivity: Promotions can now be made exclusive on a per-campaign basis. This allows you to have multiple promotions in one campaign and set some of them to be exclusive. When these exclusive promotions apply, they are the only promotions in that campaign that will be calculated, but if you have promotions in other campaigns, those will apply as usual. We still have the flexibility to support exclusive promotions across all campaigns (i.e., when applied, these promotions block all other promotions from being launched).
  • Maximum discount amount: You can now also set maximum amounts on promotions to easily apply specific limitations to maximum rewards.
  • Promo code usage limits: The maximum usage limit for promo codes has been increased from 2 to 10 uses per customer.

7. Gifts or free samples

Our marketing application now features the new Gift with Purchase reward option, available out of the box without any need for customization. This promotion option automatically adds a free product to a customer’s shopping cart when they meet the set conditions. For example, shoppers might get a complimentary dipping sauce for every three bags of chips they buy. No action is required by the customer!

For more information about Orckestra’s latest features and omnichannel commerce solutions tailored for supermarkets, get in touch with our experts or click here to explore the release notes.