Atwix MageNews — November 2020

To state the obvious, we have experienced dramatic and rapid change in our industry for eCommerce retailers and the 2020 year-end holiday shopping season will be very different from any other previous year — in terms of traffic, delivery, security. To keep pace with our customers, we must stay informed, adapt, and bring our best quality solutions… quickly. And we will!


  1. [Business] Holiday Shopping 2020
  2. [Business] 2021 Planning
  3. [Good to Know] Is Apple Into Search?
  4. [Community] MageCONF 2020 Recap
  5. [Community] Magento Innovations Lab — Round 7
  6. [Community] Avalara integration enhancements for B2B
  7. [Technical] New Developer Tools
  8. [Technical] Hyva [or Hyvä] frontend
  9. [Technical] Magento Release Line Update
  10. [PWA and Headless] Magento PWA Studio release 8.0.0


Holiday Shopping 2020

eMarketer’s analyst Andrew Lipsman suggests that US retail eCommerce sales will jump ~35% higher to over $190 billion (+ $50B in eCommerce sales vs. last year). With that, expected eCommerce sales should account for ~19% of total retail sales.

This month we shared advice on how to prepare your Magento 2 store for the holidays. We covered in our article with Nexcess — a hosting provider — Prepare Your Online Store for Holiday Season 2020.

As mentioned last month, the terms of delivery of goods and services is exceptionally important. Data trends are now suggesting that eCommerce throughput is expected to outpace fulfillment — that is to say, shipping of what was sold to customers on a fixed schedule will become a growing, highly visible B2C business risk to monitor and manage closely. In this way, strategies and investments in eCommerce must align and support a business’s operational capabilities. So while providing your customers with new conveniences like a buy-online-purchase-in-store (BOPIS) experience — in-store pickup, curbside pickup — it is smart for an eCommerce retailer to also align its marketing strategy to the business realities and strains it will likely face. An example of how to strike the right balance would be to offer unique discounts and free shipping, rather than providing promotional gifts with purchase. In this way, customers will more likely have a better end-to-end experience, receiving what they ordered on time.

More info:

2021 Planning

Uncertainty is the main theme of 2021, nevertheless, planning for the upcoming year is critical, and we want to share with you on what are the main trends of 2021 — what we hear and see across our business.

  1. Hybrid commerce. The clientele is expecting the same level of customer experience across every shopping scenario – B2B and B2C. B2B, however, should be more focused on prices, special catalogs, approval flows, and quick order — providing customers with tools to order online quickly and efficiently.
  2. Direct to consumer (D2C) trend will continue into 2021 following the huge growth in 2020. This opportunity was seized by brands like Beavertown Brewery (have gone from an 85% drop in business to a 1000% sales increase by launching D2C in a short time), Allbirds, Casper, Harry’s, BarkBox, all in CPG or FMCG, that are digital native brands. But even companies like Heinz and PepsiCo, that were present on a market forever, have opened new channels of communication with their customers, where for the first time they have direct relationships with them.
  3. Headless. Platform-agnostic storefronts (API-driven) will only develop and grow in 2021. The reason for that is simple — cost-effectiveness. Simply said — your storefront developers should not be Magento or Salesforce experts — the storefront may be using any technology and leveraging platform APIs to connect with its commerce functionality.

Adobe and Atwix are sharing advice on how working with partners actively engaged in Magento’s Community Engineering Program can benefit merchants. This advice should be helpful when planning partnerships for 2021.

More info:

Good to Know

Is Apple Into Search?

New Apple’s search engine. In iOS 12 Siri is capable of serving its own search results, not powered by Google. Also, recent increased activity from Apple search crawler was spotted. These lead to a possibility of Apple entering the search engine game in 2021 or 2022 and competing with Google and other players.

It was recently reported that Apple sold 1 billion iPhones and with all that install base the new search engine will be the default for a lot of iPhone users. But what is even more important is that the search ranking system of this new search is not known yet — PWA, which is at Google’s focus right now, is not well-supported by Apple. Most (if not all) merchants are focusing primarily on Google ranking, but iOS is a huge deal and I expect big changes for this seemingly stable market.

More info:


MageCONF 2020 Recap

MageCONF 2020 was the biggest Magento community-organized technical conference of the year, gathering developers from all over the world, traditionally in Ukraine, and this year — online. Atwix is proud to have organized the event for a second time. It was a truly great conference, and we are looking forward to the next year, but for now, you can check the conference and Contribution day recaps as well as great Wallpapers.

Magento Innovations Lab — Round 7

Magento Innovations Lab is aimed to empower early-stage bleeding-edge tech and promote it through the Magento community of merchants and developers. In the scope of Innovations Lab solutions like Instant Purchase Magento 2 plugin were introduced. Magento Innovations Lab is expected to deliver new, innovative technology into the Magento ecosystem. Submit your innovation by December 31st, 2020 to qualify.

More info:

Avalara Integration Enhancements for B2B

Avalara is releasing the Magento integration update (Avatax Magento plugin), providing more B2B functionality for merchants.

CertCapture for eCommerce provides a smooth exempt customer experience in the Magento B2B storefront allowing a buyer (our customer’s customer) to add exemption certificates during the check out process and complete transactions with tax removed. They can also manage certificates in their customer account in Magento.

Cross Border makes it easier to sell anywhere in the world by automating the process of identifying and mapping tariff codes to your products and by calculating customs duties and import taxes. This is now enabled and built into the Magento 2 extension allowing customers to display duties and import taxes in the checkout experience without the need for additional third parties.

This is a much needed and essential piece of B2B functionality appropriate for most B2B customers.


New Developer Tools

Adobe enables developers with a set of tools to leverage getting Adobe apps up and running with the least effort required. Those tools include:

  • Project Firefly – cloud extensibility model (UI, APIs, Events, Runtime, Console, Marketplace);
  • React Spectrum – a collection of libraries and tools that help you build adaptive, accessible, and robust user experiences – open source UI library;
  • Web / Mobile SDK – allows leveraging data collection across Experience Cloud.

The idea is simple but hard to implement given how many apps there are in the Adobe portfolio — should you have experience in building one Adobe Experience Manager solution, this experience should be applicable to your work on other Adobe Experience Manager apps.

More info:

Hyva [or Hyvä] frontend

On October 13-15, one of the greatest React conferences — Reacticon v3 — was held. It is worth checking slides available on the official website as well as recordings on YouTube.

But with all that content, what really caught our attention is the new Hyva frontend for Magento. Why? Magento theme development is a bit tricky nowadays. Magento PWA is not suitable for every business case and Luma theme is overcomplicated and outdated from a technology stack standpoint. Hyva theme tries to address those concerns and delivers a simple and modern Magento frontend.

Magento Release Line Update

Adobe is updating Magento Commerce and Open Source release line. More details are provided below but the point is that all new features and patches will be delivered only against the latest release line (2.4.x) — for example, SWAT in Magento Admin available for Commerce Cloud customers in the Admin. The older release line (2.3.x) will have security-only releases (think of “-p” releases). Bug fixes will be available via Magento Quality Patches Tool (MQP).

More info:

PWA and Headless

Magento PWA Studio Release 8.0.0

We have a new release of Magento PWA Studio — 8.0.0. Let’s talk about what it brings.

Other than Magento 2 GraphQL coverage improvements – new Magento API – the main highlight of this release is migration to Apollo Client 3.0. This version of the Apollo Client provides better cache controls and better network fetching performance in general.

Other features available in this release include:

  • Complete cart and checkout experience:
    • Shopping Bag feature (aka mini cart).
  • Branding updates — a new version of Venia was introduced.
  • My Account code preview — this release includes a sneak peek at features associated with My Account, such as Wishlist, Order History, and Address Book.

In H1 2021 we should have the most needed Commerce and B2B features, so customers can utilize Venia and GraphQL coverage for hybrid commerce scenarios.

Atwix and other contributors help with GraphQL coverage development greatly. You can read a Q3 recap of open source contributions on our site.

Upcoming Events

– Nov 10-11th, 2020 – Meet Magento Brasil 2020, Sao Paulo.

– Nov 26th, 2020 – Meet Magento Singapore 2020, Singapore.

– Apr 13-15th, 2021 — Adobe Summit 2021, Online.

Want to be first?

Make sure to be the first for our December MageNews digest – subscribe to our blog.

See you in a month. Between now and then, Happy Holiday season to everyone. Cheers!