Nov 27, 2020 | By poq

Poq Platform Release: Mercury has Landed!

Mercury is here! Our latest platform release continues to improve the app experience and includes new out-of-the-box dynamic filters. It also empowers clients to take advantage of new self-service category management capabilities and developer-enabling product listing and modular shop category functionality.

Consumers have spent 20% more time on their mobile devices already this year as they shelter in place. With non-essential physical retail also closed or severely constrained to help stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring the best app experience for customers is even more vital than ever.

Enhanced App Search Experience

Enhanced dynamic search functionality
Enhanced dynamic search functionality

Mercury makes it easier to help customers quickly find what they’re looking for  in-app. This upgraded search capability for clients using Poq Search is a new elastic search solution that can process natural language to understand keywords searches at a deeper level. It can also index product metadata into search, meaning customers can use search to display products based on colour, size, style or any other variation and metadata type search query as well. 

Improving the speed at which customers can find a product they’re looking for, as well as reducing the number of searches with no results, is essential to maximise conversion. Some 79% who don’t find what they’re looking for the first time online will abandon and head to another app or site. 

The new search solution is built on a newly formatted product feed, as well as a new category feed from clients. We plan to make this migration as smooth as possible but these features will work best by exploring what product data you can expose to Poq in the new product feed. (Please note that this feature is only for clients using Poq Search and not those using Merchandising providers).

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Out-of-the-Box Dynamic Filters

Dynamic filters make it easy for customers to discover relevant products
Dynamic filters make it easy for customers to discover relevant products
‘Sort by’ filters can include featured items
‘Sort by’ filters can include featured items

As part of the Upgraded Search roadmap work, Poq’s apps are now capable of indexing product metadata. This means these same data points can be surfaced to filters as well. This, in turn, gives Poq clients the power to show any product attribute that can be included in their product feed as a filter option in the app.

During large-scale mobile site user experience (UX) testing, independent Web UX researcher, Baymard Institute, found for example that 80% of users applied price filters, regardless of the type of products they were looking for. So, the new filters screen is also more flexible in terms of customisation, with a new and improved look and feel to also help boost conversion.

Product Listing Page – iOS & Android SDK

Product listing page

As part of our ongoing commitment to empowering our clients’ mobile app developers, we have created a new and improved product listing page (PLP) screen for our iOS and Android SDKs. Accompanied by comprehensive documentation, the new PLP SDK enhancements are designed to provide developers with more freedom to consistently customise and maintain this screen. 

The improvements separate out the data layer from the presentation layer, allowing for the creation of different layouts or behaviours, while also adding extensibility to the set of data it processes. We are building the new architecture using Atomic Design principles to create more effective interface design systems and therefore will provide better design consistency across apps.

Modular Shop Categories – iOS & Android SDK

New modular shop categories
New modular shop categories

We have created a new and improved shop screen to our iOS and Android Software Development Kits (SDKs). Along with good documentation, this hopes to give more freedom for developers to customise this screen in a consistent, maintainable manner. 

It separates out the data layer from the presentation layer, allowing different layouts or behaviours to be created and adds extensibility to the set of data it processes. We are building the new architecture based on Atomic Design principles, which will therefore provide better design consistency across all of Poq’s SDK-based apps.

Category Manager Self-Service

New self-service category management development
New self-service category management development

Our last major release enhancement has been designed to improve the ease of managing product feed changes. Traditionally, categories are generated and managed in the Poq platform through the Poq Product Feed. They are generated in the order that products are received and this typically means it has not been as easy as possible to independently manage the categories. Category changes are administered by the content management system (CMS). But managing these changes, along with a regularly evolving product feed, can become challenging.

The new Category feed introduced as part of Poq’s Mercury release enables clients to now share their navigation tree and see it appear exactly as they would expect it in the app. In addition, a new self-service web tool, called Category Manager, can enable clients to view the categories themselves. The tool will allow our clients to easily make navigation tree changes, such as changing the category name and the order in which they appear, as well as adding thumbnail images so they appear in-app. We will maintain these edits going forward, and they will not be overwritten by future feed runs, simplifying the management of categories in future.

By Chris Long, Senior Product Manager, Poq

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