What's next new at NewStore.
Consumer apps - Release portal

Every few weeks you can look forward to new features on the NewStore Consumer Apps. Here you will find an overview of the latest features, what’s next and what we are currently working on.

In progress. ⚒️

Major Feature

Brand Stories

Brand Stories is a new feature, consisting of a single element that can be placed on the home wall. A Brand Story can contain multiple ‘pages’ that users can swipe through. Every page can have a different copy, image or video, and link to a different piece of content. The Brand Stories can be created in Studio through a new manager.

Refinement

Transcoding video in Studio

We will work on a small improvement in the way we transcode videos in NewStore Studio. Some of the managers have already been worked on, but there is some small left-over work for push messages and home merchandise. This refinement will allow for more video formats to be uploaded.

Refinement

Color Swatches on PLP

As part of the Lister View Redesign, we will work on adding a new feature to the PLP: Color Swatches. During our most recent usability tests, we often got a comment about not having swatches on the PLP and that it would be nice to be able to see if there are more colors of an item. In Cycle 3 of 2022, we will work on adding swatches as a platform feature to add direct value to the app consumers.

Major Feature

Generational Cache

Instead of relying on a synchronised cache as we do right now, we want to move over to a generational cache system, where the cache can be updated constantly. The goal of this project is to cache more products while spreading the load of fetching products to cache over the day. We can later use this to cache content like walls and lookbooks from Studio.

Major Feature

Migrate to Room

During the development of the Android Membership Instant App, we have identified an issue in one of our currently used libraries. Due to this we need to migrate over to Google’s ‘Room’ library. This is a huge project which will take a couple of months to finish, but it will allow us to increase the number of Instant Apps in the future.

Major Feature

Remember Last Size

The intention of this feature is to take another step in automating the process of buying products from the app. By remembering the sizes a customer has previously selected, we can take away a step in the buying process.

Major Feature

Redesign Lister View

The Product List (aka Lister View aka Category View) is one of the older sections of the Highstreet experience. With this project we plan to completely redesign and re-engineer it to offer exciting new features. This will be a huge project that will last several cycles before completion.

Improve Code

App Clips foundational changes

When looking back on the first App Clip we created, it turned out to be hard to get the App Clip to fit in the 10MB limit set by Apple. We were only able to make it fit if we enabled bitcode. There’s a bug (somewhere in Apple’s toolchain) that makes crash reports for large frameworks that have bitcode enabled near useless. Because we are planning on creating much more App Clips, we need to make changes that make creating and maintaining App Clips future proof. This project will take care of that.

Just launched. 🚀

Major Feature

Push notification statistics (Studio)

The Notification Manager in Studio is a great tool to reach out to your customers. To make sure you can create even better and more effective push notifications, we will add some statistics to the notifications manager in Studio. This can help you analyse which notifications perform best and learn from that.

Major Feature

Alerts for broken product link (Studio)

We are constantly trying to make Studio smarter. Lately, we have noticed that sometimes products are missing from the apps, mostly for look books. This can happen when products are out of stock, or removed from the catalog. Right now, we don’t have any indication in Studio that notifies you when a product link is ‘broken’. This cycle, we will work on an email alerting system that automatically checks your product links and will send you an email overview of any product links that are broken. This way we can more actively let you know something is broken and you can act accordingly and make sure lookbooks or categories do not appear empty.

Major Feature

Android Account Onboarding

Having an account in the consumer app comes with a lot of benefits, both for you as a brand and for your consumers. With an account you can keep track of your purchases, check out faster, and use a membership card, for example. The account onboarding has been around on iOS for a long time, and we are finally bringing it to Android. This will give you that extra option to notify your customers that they should create an account.

Refinement

Order status refinements

We worked on some small improvements for the order statuses in the order history view. This includes some stability issues and updating the color coding of the different statuses to be more accurate.

Refinement

Payment Methods Express Checkout (iOS)

Since we developed the iOS Express Checkout that is used for buying a product in a store, we have only supported Apple Pay as a payment method. For consumers that don’t want to use Apple Pay and for brands that don’t have Apple Pay set up in their consumer app, we will now add all other payment options to the express checkout. We have worked on this for Android during our previous product development cycle, and will now implement it in a similar way on iOS.

Major Feature

End-to-end tests

The purpose of this feature is to improve the confidence in our codebase by adding a new layer of tests on the integration level. Right now, we rely mostly on unit tests. While the test coverage is good and the tests run fast, it doesn’t necessarily protect us from any errors introduced when integrating the various units. The goal of this project is to lay the foundation for a maintainable and effective set of end-to-end tests.

Improve Code

Refactor Calendar Component

The current calendar component in Studio is based on guessing a user’s local time. When scheduling content we ask you to select a timezone. In the current setup we do some work to ‘fight’ the calendar component which wants to display the scheduled content relevant to the user’s local time, instead of the timezone it is scheduled in. By refactoring the code we can solve this issue in a proper way.

Studio

Branded Media Manager

Previous cycle we have added some improvements to the splash and account images. The images can now be localised. While developing this, we identified some usability issues. Since the features now live inside the ‘App Settings’ manager, it is hard to expand them. Therefore, we will work to migrate the existing functionality over to a new manager, where it is scalable for the future. With this we will also be able to fix the small usability issues of the current setup.

Refinement

Migrate Smartbanner

Last cycle we worked on moving away from DigitalOcean. Together with this we had to migrate several elements, such as the loyalty web components, API docs, buildbot, and the smartbanner. There is some leftover backend work to drop support for the old smartbanner backend.

Refinement

Dynamic Category Colors

Having a different color for a category item in the navigation bar is getting increasingly more popular, especially during sale period. It has turned out to be difficult to maintain for our service engineers, and requires an app update to work. To make this more dynamic for our team, we will work on a quick solution to manage the category color in such a way that it does not require an app update.

Proof of concept

iBeacon – Proof of Concept

Understanding when a user is in a store is crucial to delivering a delightful and personal omnichannel shopping experience. Currently, we use GPS to trigger the Store Mode, which is great for outdoor positioning, but fails precision indoors. With recent iBeacon technology we can use an iOS device as transmitter. That means, a Store Associate’s iPhone could double as an iBeacon and communicate with the Consumer App on a customer’s device. The goal of this project is to do a Proof of Concept to get a better understanding of the technology.

Refinement

Maintenance Mode Per Storefront

Last cycle we built support for enabling maintenance mode per storefront in Studio. To be able to release this feature we will make some last changes on the app side.

Major Feature

Membership Instant App (Android)

Instant Apps are the equivalent of the iOS App Clips, which we have recently build on the platform. To support Android users we will work on building a first Instant App. The concept is the same as App Clips: try out a part of the app without having to download the full app from the Play Store. The first ‘type’ of Instant App we will build is the Membership Instant App, which pushes store visitors to create an account.

Integration

Scayle Integration

Last cycle we started with integrating this e-commerce system and identified some changes we needed to make on our platform. This cycle we will continue with this project and deliver the needed platform changes.

Major Feature

Express Checkout Android

This cycle we will focus on bringing some store features to Android. Last cycle we developed an express checkout for ‘Buy Online Pickup In-Store’ (aka BOPIS) on iOS. Now it is time to bring this feature to Android.

Refinement

QR Code for in-store pickup

Another store feature we are bringing to Android is the option to display a QR code on the Store Mode and Order History. This QR code can be used to pickup an order in-store. This feature will only be available for brands using both NewStore Apps and Consumer Apps.

Refinement

QR Code on Member Card

We will add support for displaying a QR code on the Member Card instead of a barcode. Additionally, it will be possible to have an email address that is associated with a customer account.

Refinement

Push Notification Archiving

We will add support for archiving older push notifications in Studio. Additionally, we will permanently remove archived items after an X amount of weeks.

Studio

Home Merchandise Manager Improvements

The new Home Merchandise Manager is a huge step forward in how you can manage your content. Since we launched the new HMM, we have identified some improvements based on your feedback and our own testing. This cycle we will dedicate some time to improving the change order mode, so that you can change the order of your rows per storefront again. Next to that, we will support localising both the media and the title of a row, and will work on improving the loading speed.

Refinement

Tags for Store Locator (Android)

When we built the Native Store Locator on Android, we initially designed the feature to have tags (aka Store Attributes or Annotations). These tags can be used to indicate official brand stores and resellers, or to display the type of products a store sells, such as ‘Kidswear’ or ‘Footwear’. These tags will be added to the Android Store Locator on the Store Overview and Detail View.

Studio

Maintenance Mode Per Storefront

A couple of months ago we added the Maintenance Mode feature to the App Settings view in Highstreet Studio. This allows you to enable Maintenance Mode yourself without interference from the Highstreet Team. Up until now it has only been possible to enable the Maintenance Mode across all your storefronts. During this cycle we will improve this and add the possibility to enable the Maintenance Mode per storefront.

Refinement

Filters on search (Android)

We have had the ability to filter the search results on iOS for a while now. Our goal for this cycle is to align the platforms and bring the functionality to Android. When using the search bar to find items, we display the results in a lister view. At the top, just below the search bar, we will add a filter & sort button that allows your customers to get an even more accurate result. This will help them find the items they want quicker and easier.

Refinement

Apple Pay Coupon Codes

With the release of iOS 15 we are now able to support adding coupon codes while checking out using Apple Pay.

Refinement

Video Lookbook Audio

During the initial implementation of Video Lookbooks we made the audio be triggered by the physical switch on an iPhone. When the physical switch is turned off audio would never play. We realised that audio plays a huge role in the Video Lookbook content and it contributes to the engagement of the feature. We will therefore refine this feature a bit to make audio a more prominent part of Video Lookbooks.

Major Feature

Shopify Integration

The Highstreet Platform currently supports various backends and DIY implementations. To this list we are adding support for Shopify. A large chunk of the project is already finished, but the final parts still require a cycle to complete.

Refinement

Key Action Buttons (Android)

The latest Product Detail View (PDV) refresh on iOS introduced the key action buttons as a new UI element and a way to customise the PDV. The buttons are prominently featured in the product description section. This cycle we will add the KAB to Android as well.

Major Feature

Store hub (Android)

The Store hub is the next step in providing a seamless brand experience between the app and your physical stores. When customers enter your store and open the app, the Store hub will launch immediately. From this view they will be able to launch store specific features and see important information like their loyalty card, vouchers or recent orders. We now build this feature for Android.

Improve Code

Logging, Monitoring, Alerting (Backend)

In an earlier cycle we’ve spent quite some time on fixing our setup for Logging, Monitoring and Alerting. We did spend quite some time on research and trying out various things and added AppSignal to our list of tools. We now want to finish this project.

Improve Code

RxJava (Android)

This project includes some leftover work from the RxJava refactoring that was worked on some time ago. We reserved a bit of time for this in the cycle to continue working on.

Studio

Home title improvements

A while ago we launched the home titles feature. We are going to add a bit more flexibility in the way titles are being displayed and how many characters can be used on the tiles within Studio.

Improve Code

Speed improvements (Backend)

We recently planned some speed improvements for iOS, based on measurements we did earlier this year. We now planned this for Android and Backend as well to work on. This should make the platform and browsing experience of our apps faster.

Studio

Video lookbooks on home

With video lookbooks on our platform, you want to send traffic to this content to increase sales. We want to make this easier by having a new option in the home merchandise manager. You will only have to select a video lookbook and we will make sure it gets displayed on your home wall.

Major Feature

Store stock

With the releases of the Store Finder and the Store Hub, we now have a solid foundation for our in-store vision to connect online and offline shopping in one seamless customer journey. To play more into this vision, we are now going to connect the store data to the apps.

For app users, the biggest benefit is that they will be able to use the app to see availability date from their favourite stores.

Studio

Dynamic launch and account images

We recently created the possibility to upload launch images and account images in Studio. This would create a ticket for our services team. Now we want to implement dynamic launch images that automatically update in the app. This way, launch and account images become independently manageable within Highstreet Studio. It will also be possible to schedule these images.

Improve Code

iOS 15 update

We are going to start building our apps with the iOS 15 SDK so we can start leveraging new iOS 15 features and test if we need to make any changes for the upcoming iOS release later this year. This way we make sure the apps work optimal when Apple decides to launch it.

Studio

Home merchandise manager redesign

With this project we will be redesigning the home merchandise manager in Studio to make it a lot easier and more efficient to create and maintain home walls for multiple storefronts. We want to make it possible to publish and schedule rows instead of entire home walls, improve the way you preview them and make it easier to reorder your rows.

Major Feature

Sign in with Apple

Sign in with Apple lets the customers of your iOS app create an account with their Apple ID within seconds. With just a few of taps your customers set up an account without the need to remember their password ever again. This feature will boost the conversion rate of account creations and will help to reduce conversion loss when customers are logged out and forgot their password.

Major Feature

Membership App Clip

Signing up for an account inside a physical store always takes a lot of time. Information of every user needs to be filled in manually by either the store associate or some kind of form. With this new App Clip, we want to make the creation of accounts in your store effortless. This way you can gather memberships within seconds. In just a few taps your customers in the store can create an account and benefit from your app or loyalty program.

Major Feature

Favorite synchronization (Android)

We are going to work on the ability of our Android apps to synchronize the customer favorites with the commerce backend. This allows customers to save products in the app and also see these same products in their favorites section on the website (or the other way around). Right now we will focus on an implementation with Salesforce.

Improve Code

Products model (Final phase)

We are constantly doing work on improving the backend of the platform. In the upcoming weeks we are going to wrap up our products model refactor on Android. This means we are refactoring the way product data is handled. By reworking the product API’s our apps will become faster and more flexible.

Improve Code

Secure configurations

With this project we are going to make several security improvements to our configuration-repository. This repository contains all configuration settings for all the brands. We also like to take the opportunity to work on the general structure of how we work with the configurations of our apps.

Studio

Upload splash screens in Studio

We are exploring how we can automate the process of replacing splash screens and account images in the apps. The first step we will take is building an interface in Studio where these images can be uploaded. We are also looking in to automating the entire process, where no app update is needed for these images to be changed. This will be considered for a future project.

Major Feature

Navigation redesign (Android)

We recently worked on the foundations for a complete navigation redesign on Android (similar to what we did on iOS). With this project we are finishing the redesign of the navigation and improve the way Android users can navigate your categories in the apps.

Refinement

Magento 2 checkout speed

We are improving the way product requests are being handled in our Magento 2 checkout implementation. This way we can speed up the rather slow requests from Magento and make the experience in our apps better.

Refinement

Speed improvements

We recently implemented measurements to our apps and backend to see where we could improve in terms of speed. We analysed this data and are now going to implement some changes that would help to make the apps and backend on our platform faster.

Improve Code

Products model Android (Phase 2)

We are constantly doing work on improving the backend of the platform. In the upcoming weeks we are going to further update our products model on Android. This means we are refactoring the way product data is handled. By reworking the product API’s our apps will become faster and more flexible.

Major Feature

Favorite synchronization

We are going to work on the ability of our platform to synchronize the customer favorites with the commerce backend. This allows customers to save products in the app and also see these same products in their favorites section on the website (or the other way around). Right now we will focus on an implementation with Salesforce.

Improve Code

Security improvements

We recently let a specialised company perform a security audit on our apps and backend. We prioritised and filtered issues from the audit based on their threat level and whether the issue is actionable. We are going to fix the most important issues so that our platform becomes less prone to potential attacks.

Refinement

Video lookbook refinements

We are really impressed with all the great video lookbooks we currently see on the platform and want to make the experience even better. With this project we make some refinements to video lookbooks that will make it easier to create them in Studio and make the experience better for your customers.

Major Feature

Product videos

Video has the ability to convey an incredible amount of information very fast. Just like with video lookbooks, we believe video content is becoming more important in e-commerce apps. Video gives your customers more information about how the product looks and brands are discovering that it can help to reduce the return rate of your orders as well. Product videos will be available on iOS first.

Major Feature

Navigation redesign foundations (Android)

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. Because Android now has a completely different navigation pattern, we first need to do some foundational work before we can ship this feature. This cycle we take care of the foundational work so we can release the complete feature soon.

Refinement

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.

Improve Code

Products model Android

We are constantly doing work on improving the backend of the platform. In the upcoming weeks we are going to update our products model on Android. This means we are refactoring the way product data is handled. By reworking the product API’s our apps will become faster and more flexible.

Studio

Cropping tool

We currently require specific size restrictions for most of the images you upload in Studio. 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.

Refinement

Track Apple Search Ads

With this improvement you will be to track the effectiveness of your Apple Search Ads. You will be able to see who installed the app because of such an ad and what users do after they download your app because of an Apple Search Ad. This information will be integrated in our current analytics setup.

Refinement

Update Adyen integration

We currently integrate with Adyen using a Hosted Payment Page (HPP). The HPP integration we currently use needs to be updated to make it future proof. We recently did research on what would be the best approach and in this project we are going to update our Adyen integration.

Improve Code

Improve cache setup

The goal of this project is to migrate all remaining data caches to our new distributed caching system. This way we prevent having a single-point-of-failure for our cache and we have a more stable and scaleable environment for during peak traffic times

Studio

Studio testing improvements

We are going to improve the way we do quality assurance within our Studio team. In this project we are going to create an automated test environment and improve the testing capabilities of push notifications. This way we can do better testing when we release a new feature or fix bugs.

Refinement

App speed measurements

Next to building new features, improving our existing ones also has our priority. We will spend some time on improving the performance of important parts of the apps like the category views and the product detail view. To do this we will first need to gather data in the front and backend of the apps to pinpoint where improvements can be made. After this is done we can plan specific tasks to increase the speed of these views.

Home wall preview
Studio

Home wall preview

We care a lot about realistic previews of the content you create in Studio. The device previews in Studio give an accurate way of previewing content, but the best test is to see your content on an actual device. We are going to work on a preview functionality for home walls just like you can already do for lookbooks. Just scan a QR code and preview your home wall on your device.

Major Feature

Video lookbooks

Lookbooks are a big pillar of our apps and a feature that is heavily used by all brands. To bring lookbooks to the next level we are introducing video lookbooks! This new type of lookbook will let you link products to your video content and present it in a way where customers are able to shop the products visible in your video’s.

Major Feature

Store hub

The Store hub is the next step in providing a seamless brand experience between the app and your physical stores. When customers enter your store and open the app, the Store hub will launch immediately. From this view they will be able to launch store specific features and see important information like their loyalty card, vouchers or recent orders.

Refinement

Adyen integration research

We currently integrate with Adyen using a Hosted Payment Page (HPP). The HPP integration we currently use needs improvement to make it future proof for the upcoming years. This cycle we are going to investigate multiple integration possibilities with Adyen. The goal of this research is to decide on the best integration solution which we are going to build in the near future.

Improve Code

Distributed Cache

All products that a customer requests in the app need to be fetched from your backend systems, through our Middleware. We want to reduce the time it takes to fetch these requests. We are building a solution where we will need to cache this data on our side so we can reduce loading times in the apps.

Refinement

Store finder map view

Our next improvement for the Store finder will include a toggle where customers are able to see a map view of all the stores from your brand. The map view allows customers to get a visual overview of the nearby stores based on their location. From the map view, customers can quickly navigate to the detail view of a store and find more information.

Rich Content

Home wall deeplinks

Home merchandise can already be linked to a wide variety of app content. We are expanding this with a new link type: App views. This will allow you to link home merchandise to existing app views like “Account” or “Store finder”.

Refinement

Store finder on Account and iPad

We recently released the native store finder for both iOS and Android. Next to displaying the store finder in the bottom bar, we will now make it possible to place it on the account view. An additional improvement for iOS is to make the native store finder available on iPad as well.

Studio

Popover redesign

In Studio, a lot of the interactions needed to set up content is happening inside popovers. We want to invest some time in improving the code and design of these popovers. This way they will perform better and it will be easier to interact with them.

Free bonus products
Major Feature

Free bonus products

This feature allows you to give away a free product to your customers when they have reached a certain set of rules. An example could be: “Get a free hat when spending €50”. With this feature you can let them choose and configure a product from a range of different products.

Server side validations
Conversion

Inline error messages

We are improving the way error messages are being displayed for input fields. We will now show input specific error messages so that users can more easily understand what information they need to correct. Next to that we are also building the foundations for complete server side validations. This will allow us to validate addresses more thoroughly. In addition, you could also choose to run these validations using your own preferred service and return custom error messages to the user.

Conversion

Accessibility improvements

We believe our apps should be usable for everybody. This is why we want to invest time in improving the app’s accessibility features. With these improvements we will work on optimising the use of accessibility features that are available natively on the iOS platform.

Cart

Cart quantity redesign (iOS)

The quantity picker in the cart will get a new design. With this redesign we create a better connection between the quantity and the price by placing them in the same row. Next to that we make it easier for users to change the quantity of the products in their cart by simply tapping on the plus and minus icons.

Major Feature

App Clip: Product Discovery

With App Clips your customers can open a native app experience without having to downloads your app. They simply scan a QR-code or hold their phone near an NFC tag and they can start shopping.

Rich Content

Expand support for deeplinks

Deeplinks are a great way to offer seamlessly integrated brand experiences. With this update we are adding more possibilities for using deeplinks in other app sections from within your app extension.

Improve Code

Security

We are spending some time on updating the security measurements on our platform. This will mainly be backend work and the goal is to have a better protection against potential attacks.

Conversion

Cart promotions

With this feature we enable SFCC brands to utilize the promotions setup of Salesforce. When you configure a promotion, we will allow you to expose these as labels in the shopping bag of the apps. These promotions help customers understand where their discounts are coming from and if promotions are correctly applied.

Studio device previews
Studio

Refactor device previews

We are steadily updating the code base of Studio to make it more reliable and to improve its performance. A bigger project is to refactor the content previews of your home merchandise and lookbook content. We know how important it is to have previews which are an accurate representation of how your content will be displayed in the apps. With this refactor we aim to make these previews more reliable.

Order history redesign
Major Feature

Order history redesign

With this redesign we are making the order history view completely native. This allows us to integrate it more efficient in to the codebase of our apps and allows us to take advantage of native features. Next to making it native, the order history view will also get a completely new design.

Store finder Android
Major Feature

Native store finder

Physical stores are a big part of the customer journey and for many of the brands on our platform an important channel to build the brand. Right now everyone has the possibility to add a store finder through a content extension. The downside of this implementation is that we cannot build native experiences around the stores and leverage the experience of customers visiting stores regularly. This feature will open these possibilities.

Conversion

Coupon Code UI refinement

With this improvement we refined the way your customers can add coupon codes in the checkout. The user interface should now we easier to use and is less prominent so that customers don’t feel like they are missing out on a coupon code.