WooCommerce 4.3 is now available

WooCommerce has released 4.3.0 stable version on July 8. This is a minor release, so everything is backward compatible. However, create a backup of your website and ensure that the theme and plugins are compatible before updating.

It has been on development since April 2020 and added several new features. The notable difference is the WooCommerce home page which will be the center of your WooCommerce experience. The home screen provides a glance at three important elements that WooCommerce users would want to quick access to. The three elements are inbox messages, a quick overview of common store metrics, and shortcuts pointing to various store management settings pages.

WooCommerce has also added a new status called Drafts for orders. The HTML editing has been removed from different WooCommerce blocks to prevent WooCommerce admins from breaking the website.

The All product grid type block in WooCommerce now defaults to 3 rows instead of 1 row in the earlier versions. More options have been added to the attribute block for product filtering.

Retail brick-and-mortar closures to increase dramatically in the US

According to a recent report from Coresight Research, the retail brick-and-mortar store closure in the US will considerably increase to 20,000 to 25,000 far surpassing the 2019’s 9821 closures.

The report predicts that most of these stores will be mall-bases anchor stores as they go through the lack of cash flow due to store shutdowns and heavy debt. In the first half of this year, the home and office retail sector have seen the highest number of store closures at 1,161, followed by apparel, footwear, and accessories at 986.

The closure of non-essential stores increased the shift towards online purchasing. As most consumers get familiarised with the eCommerce, they are more likely to online shopping even after the COVID-19 lockdown. It makes it unlikely for brick-and-mortar shops to recover from the crisis fully. However, this opens a huge opportunity for eCommerce businesses.

Instagram tests replacing the Activity tab with Shop tab

Instagram has started globally testing its new Shop tab in its navigation bar at the bottom by replacing the Activity tab (heart icon). The new Shop tab allows selected Instagram users to shop from top brands and creators with one click.

Instagram Shop is a feature that is available for a long time but it’s the first time Instagram adds the Shop tab in the navigation bar. Now, the selected users can open Instagram Shop by tapping the Shop icon where they can see the products by categories like clothing, accessories, and travel, etc. Some products can be purchased directly from Instagram without leaving the app while other products will need to be purchased from the retailer’s website.

Instagram and Facebook have been adding lots of social commerce features in their platform recently. They open huge opportunities for eCommerce businesses by allowing them to get their products in front of a huge audience.