While our top secret MultiMerch redesign project is underway, it will take time to get it completed. Meanwhile, we're all stuck with existing OpenCart and MultiMerch interfaces, which aren't always great.
However, we're always working on improving our existing interfaces - even if you don't hear about it often.
MultiMerch 8.12 has featured a new seller coupon system, but there were also some smaller improvements that we didn't talk about much.
Interface improvements for admins
Generally, OpenCart's own interfaces aren't perfect – this is true for both admin and customer account interfaces. Sadly, this didn't improve a bit in OpenCart 3 – arguably, some of them got even worse.
For a while now, we've been trying to get rid of excess segmentation of OpenCart and MultiMerch interfaces. Since OpenCart developers seem to be focusing on internals and code changes and leaving UX studies behind, we decided to take some of these into our own hands.
In MultiMerch 8.12, we've updated our category, option and attribute interfaces for admins and turned them into combined interfaces for both OpenCart and MultiMerch objects. This will let marketplace admins manage both OpenCart and MultiMerch entities on a single page instead of having to jump between OpenCart and MultiMerch pages.
Marketplace and seller categories
OpenCart marketplace categories and MultiMerch seller categories are different entities meant for different purposes. Seller categories were introduced in MultiMerch back in spring in MultiMerch 8.7 Alpha (whoa, that feels so long ago).
Anyway – before MultiMerch 8.12, marketplace admins had to manage OpenCart categories through OpenCart's interface and MultiMerch seller categories through MultiMerch categories page.
Neither of these looks like something that belongs to modern e-commerce software in 2017.
What's worse, you have two different interfaces with a different column layout to manage similar things. So, we improved the experience just a bit.
From now on, MultiMerch marketplace admins will be able to manage both marketplace categories and seller categories on the same page in two different tabs.
In the next few updates, we'll be listening to your feedback and adding further improvements to this new area – such as additional columns (e.g. products inside each category), extra sorts/filters or better actions.
The same goes for options and I would probably say I like existing option management for admins even less than I do the one for categories.
Seller options are available in MultiMerch since spring, too. Now, in MultiMerch 8.12 we did the same thing to option interfaces that we did to categories.
Now, both marketplace and seller options can be managed through a single interface to save admins trouble of constantly switching between interfaces.
We also added a few columns I believe are pretty useful to marketplace admins such as option type and values – both tables can now be sorted by type and filtered by option name.
Again – these are minor but convenient improvements that are part of the ongoing improvement process. Nothing huge.
You'll probably guess what happens here.
Indeed, it's now possible to manage both OpenCart attributes and MultiMerch attributes on the same page.
These need some more work, but we'll get there.
Seller interface improvements
What about sellers?
Well, in addition to the coupon system we've also changed the way category dropdowns are displayed in the product listing form and a few other forms.
That's right – category selectors with scrollable autocomplete dropdowns.
This will be especially useful for marketplaces with a larger number of categories.
The new category selector is also much more easy on server resources when rendering multiple levels of categories with lots of child categories. It does need some integration with our partner themes, but updated integration files are on the way already.
These are just a few minor updates – we usually have dozens of them in larger releases and most of them aren't immediately visible, but quite useful I hope.
Stay tuned for more!