The new MultiMerch 8.11 is here!
We've brought a number of major improvements to MultiMerch marketplace owners in 8.11 that cover order management for administrators and vendors, the process of making payouts to vendors and updates to various other MultiMerch areas across the marketplace.
In addition to this, we made it easier to keep track of future MultiMerch updates.
Here's the new release in detail.
Improved order status handling for vendors
It's now possible for the marketplace administrator to create order statuses for vendors that are completely separate from the main OpenCart (customer) statuses, thus making order management for vendors more straightforward.
All vendor order statuses are now managed separately from OpenCart statuses and can be rearranged and recreated as needed without altering the marketplace payment handling and order flows.
For backward compatibility, MultiMerch will automatically copy all existing OpenCart order statuses to the list of vendor statuses during the upgrade.
New statuses will be immediately available for vendors to use within their order management interfaces.
The ideal status configuration will vary between different marketplaces, but we recommend keeping the amount of vendor statuses at a minimum to make order handling easier for both customers and vendors.
A possible configuration of vendor order statuses in a regular marketplace could be:
- Awaiting payment (the default seller order status)
- Processing (after the payment for the order has been received)
- Dispatched (after the vendor has dispatched the order)
For fully digital marketplaces, the list may be even shorter.
Logical order states and status settings
In MultiMerch 8.11, we've redesigned and improved administrator's order status configuration to make it easier to manage how orders are handled by the system.
First, MultiMerch now makes it possible to assign OpenCart order statuses to different logical order states, that we'll be using in the future to determine how orders are treated by different subsystems.
For example, this will make it possible to assign a number of different OpenCart statuses to a "Completed" state, which will tell MultiMerch to treat this order as completed and allow the customer to leave a review.
On the other hand, if the current status of the order belongs to a "Pending" state, we may warn the vendors not to dispatch products since the payment has not yet been received from the customer.
The same configuration is possible for vendor order statuses.
In a similar manner, assigning one of vendor's order statuses to the Pending state will indicate that the vendor is waiting for the payment to go through and MultiMerch may display a note to the administration or to the customer to complete the payment.
As of MultiMerch 8.11, order states are not yet used by the system to give marketplace owners time to get acquainted with the new settings, but we'll be activating them in the upcoming updates.
More flexible balance transactions for vendors
In addition to the logical states, we've updated MultiMerch settings that handle how vendor balance transactions are created.
From now on, it is possible to tell MultiMerch to create vendor balance transactions not only based on the main OpenCart order status, but also based on vendor statuses.
This is especially useful for marketplaces where vendor balances are credited based on whether the vendor has processed their order and not whether the customer has paid for the order.
The new setting also works for balance refunds - the administrator can choose to use one of vendor order statuses to indicate a refunded order which will only refund the transaction by a specific vendor within a multivendor order, not for all vendors as it was in the past.
New order listing interfaces for admins
OpenCart's default order listing page isn't great for multivendor marketplaces, therefore we've implemented a new page to list orders that will make it easier for the administrator to manage multivendor orders.
The new order listing page consists of two different tabs - one lists marketplace orders grouped by order while the other one lists all orders grouped by vendor (seller orders).
This way, we hope to keep two different tasks - marketplace order management and vendor order management - simple and combined together within a single interface.
For now, we've kept the page displaying the details for a specific order the same and it still belongs to OpenCart. However, we have some plans on having our own version of it tailored for multivendor use.
Invoice and payment grouping into payouts
Starting with MultiMerch 8.11, we've begun a process of improving payouts to vendors.
From now on, all payout invoices to vendors will be grouped into separate "payout" entities that combine all invoices belonging to the same payout into a single group.
The whole process of generating a payout to vendors is also moved to a completely separate interface instead of being spread around multiple different pages.
MultiMerch now makes it possible to choose a specific date to generate a payout for compared to the previous behavior where a payout was generated for the current date only.
These upgrades make it possible for the administrator to generate a payout for a past date whenever it is convenient, for example pay vendors their last months earnings on 5th day of the new month.
We will be further improving the payment and payout system over the next few MultiMerch releases.
New license activation and update notification system
In the past, marketplace owners had to manually log into their MultiMerch accounts or follow us here to check for updates. We now make it possible to activate MultiMerch licenses and receive update notifications within MultiMerch.
Activating the license via MultiMerch settings will now notify the marketplace owners about new MultiMerch updates to make it easier to keep the system up to date.
In addition to the major changes listed above, we've introduced a number of smaller bugfixes and improvements including performance fixes for marketplaces with a large number of categories, SEO and shipping-related improvements and a whole lot of other changes throughout the project.
The full list of changes can as always be found in our Changelog: https://multimerch.com/resources/changelog/
MultiMerch 8.11 is now available for download both from our website (we've updated the internal account designs as well) and through OpenCart client accounts.