It’s time for the April release! Our teams have built a number of incredible features and improvements again. In this release we are bringing more video to the app as we are introducing Product Videos! Besides that we’ve done the groundwork for some future improvements and fixed a lot of bugs. Check it out now.
Platform Update – April 2021
🚀 New features
- Product videos
- Navigation redesign foundations
- Cropping tool
- Track Apple Search Ads
- Update Adyen integration
- Improved cache setup
- iOS tracking permission
- Products model Android
- Studio testing improvements
- Lots of other improvements!
We believe in the power of video! After the introduction of Video Lookbooks in the first cycle of 2021, we are therefore taking another step towards further integration of video in the app. We proudly present: Product Videos!
With this feature you’re now able to display videos in the gallery on the product detail view. We believe that Product Videos are a great way to show your products qualities and shouldn’t be hidden at the bottom of the gallery. That’s why by default the app displays the Product Video as the second gallery item. However, the app is flexible and one or multiple videos can be displayed in any order or position. Before, in between or behind the product images.
A play icon at the left side of the gallery indicates where a video is positioned. This makes it easy for users to instantly recognize if there’s a video available. Once selected, the videos keeps looping – giving a great visual overview of the product. If the Product Video is positioned on the first place in the gallery, the category view and product lists will still display the first image available. This way the category view retains its speed.
How does it work?
Getting product videos into the app requires a small setup. The product videos are required to be present in Vimeo (Pro account or higher), preferably in Portrait mode. You will then need to expose a couple of attributes through the API, which exposes the video ID to the app. We will be able to provide you with technical documentation for that. Depending on the video dimensions the product videos in the app will require some styling to be done by the Highstreet team.
Product videos are available for all e-commerce systems and will be available on iOS first.
Navigation redesign foundations
Last year, we completely redesigned the navigation bar on iOS. Moving this element from the top of your category views to the bottom helps reachability and ease of use.
This year we are going to bring this navigation pattern to Android as well. Android previously had a completely different navigation pattern. This required us to do foundational work before moving to the front-end part of the feature. To be able to support the bottom navigation the whole catalog structure on Android had to be rewritten.
Now that the groundwork done, we will spend the upcoming cycle finishing and polishing the bottom navigation for Android.
Cropping tool Studio
Studio previously required specific size restrictions for most of the images you upload. With this improvement we want to give you more flexibility when it comes to uploading images. Size requirements will become less strict and Studio will help you to crop your images to the correct size.
The Cropping Tool is available for your Home Merchandise, Lookbooks and Cart Messages. We hope that this will make it a lot easier and more accessible for your teams to make appealing app content. The best news is: the Cropping Tool is already available in Studio!
Track Apple Search Ads
Apple Search Ads allow you to promote your app in the App Store search view, based on keywords that you bid on. This works quite similarly to Google Ads and is a great way to increase your total installations.
To support Apple Search Ads in a better fashion (get it, fashion?), we have now improved the Apple Search Ad Attribution. Analytics is now able to report Apple Search ads as an installation source. The reported installations can also be tied to a specific ad campaign. This allows for brands to more easily maintain and improve their running campaigns.
Update Adyen integration
In the near future Adyen will deprecate the current Hosted Payment Page. Because of that, in our last cycle we investigated a solution to upgrade the Adyen integration. Our team investigated three solution directions and decided on which one will be implemented.
In this cycle we’ve finished the new integration with Adyen. For now the new integration is an optional configuration, as the date on which the current API will be deprecated isn’t known yet. In the end the new API will need to be enabled for every brand that uses Adyen. We will be reaching out to every Adyen merchant in the future to setup the new API. This will require some capacity from your team for both the integration and testing.
If you’re keen to connect to the new API already then please reach out to us.
Improved Cache Setup
In our previous cycle we’ve made some major changes to the way cache is handled on the platform. The product cache was moved to the new caching system successfully. This cycle we’ve prepared to move the caching of the Product Order (Sorting options, filters, product order on PLP), Order Tracking (Temporary storage of payment information) and Payment Methods (Temporary cache where we store the payment methods and sub options) cache to the new system too.
The changes to caching will be rolled out gradually and independently on the platform. Our team will closely monitor any irregularities.
iOS tracking permission
Apple is soon going to require apps to ask users for permission before tracking them. This is done using a system prompt. Until the user has given permission, apps do not have access to the Advertising Identifier (IDFA). While we do not use the IDFA or perform tracking ourselves, we do include 3rd party SDKs that do so. By default this popover will be disabled, but it can be activated on request.
The iOS 14.5 update is expected to go live any day now. Read more about what these changes mean to your app and business. In case you have any questions, please reach out to email@example.com.
Products model Android
We are constantly doing work on improving the backend of the platform. Last year we’ve finished the new products model for iOS. In the past cycle it was time to update the products model for Android. This means we have refactored the way product data is handled.
By reworking the product API’s our apps will become faster and more flexible. Next to that it will also become easier to develop new feature for the Android apps in the future.
Studio testing improvements
We’ve improved the way we do quality assurance within our Studio team. We have created an automated test environment and improved the testing capabilities of push notifications. This means we can now test push notifications with the beta apps.
In the end this allows us to test push notifications more thoroughly when we release a new feature or fix bugs. This should lead to less issues with push notifications or the test push notification functionality in Studio.
Other iOS improvements
- Added support for product videos to the media items on the product detail view.
- Fixed an issue where the top safe area wasn’t considered when presenting a configuration popover on a product detail view that was presented from the promotional products popover in the cart.
- Fixed an issue where the character `+` was not encoded correctly.
- Made loyalty vouchers and order history account dependent preventing data to retain after a logout/login action.
- Fixed an issue where the first category on the bottom navigation was highlighted when the user switched between navigation bar tabs.
- Make sure the app starts when a lookbook request fails during launch.
- Fixed an issue where the order history overview wasn’t filling the entire width for some merchants on the iPad.
- Enable the home wall parallax effect again.
- Removed the opacity animation that some elevated elements on the store hub had when interacting with them.
- Fixed an issue where the back button on the bottom navigation bar would animate when it shouldn’t.
- Fixed an issue where the category view would be scrolled incorrectly too much to the top.
- Ensured a lookbook video stops playing when the store hub is presented over it.
- Slightly increased space between product image and name.
- When the user scans a valid, but unrecognised, barcode in the store hub product scanner, the app now shows an error view instead of a blanc view.
- Fixed an issue with lookbook look hotspots that would connect a look to a different incorrect look.
- Fixed an issue where the account image would sometimes be blurry.
- When the products cannot be loaded for a product list an error view is shown now instead of a blanc view.
- Fixed a crash related to an optional image view which was seen as not optional on the merchant side of the app.
- Fixed an issue where the user could not open a category from the bottom navigation bar after the store hub was presented.
- Fixed a crash that would occur when the user selected a filter which was encoded incorrectly.
Other Android improvements
- Fixed an issue with the recently viewed products list in the product detail view
- Fixed an issue with the card shadow in the country picker
- Fixed a frequent crash caused when and ImageView used a recycled Bitmap
Other Studio improvements
- Search field on the Notification Content popover won’t occasionally clear anymore.
- Fixed Row Sliders Layout/ Dragging issues for Windows & Firefox browser.
- Made Tiles that display Walls & Lookbooks more responsive so they won’t break the page on smaller screens.
- Show notification error when notification is scheduled too far in the future.
- Fixed Lookbook Category banner confirm button overflowing last element in the popover.
That’s it for our release update! Have a peek at our release portal to see what’s new and what’s next at Highstreet.