Commerce Core 2.37 release adds a new store dashboard

Celebrating a new release

As we approached the end of 2023, we knew we needed at least one more release of Commerce Core to update EU VAT rates for 2024. We also realized it had been several months since we packaged a core release due to client obligations, so we thought closing the year out strong with a feature packed release on New Year's Eve would help us build momentum for the new year.

When we plan a new release, we first review the backlog of open issues that we know need to be addressed. These include minor feature improvements, compatibility updates, and bug reports. We also have long term objectives related to improving store administration and engaging merchants that we saw an opportunity to advance. This December, the time was right for us to land a store dashboard. 🥳

Pictured above, the store dashboard is designed to give merchants insight into their store's performance and direction for getting more out of Drupal Commerce. It offers fast access to management interfaces, embeds sales metrics and summary reports, and displays a feed of project updates through a "Commerce inbox" modeled on the Announcements module recently added to Drupal core.

Sales metrics and reports

Out of the box, the dashboard highlights a basic set of sales metrics. These include new carts, placed orders, gross sales, and average order value within a given timeframe. You can toggle the period or compare to the prior period, and sites that are multi-store will have the ability to filter everything by store. (Those that are multi-currency will see gross sales and average order value in each supported currency.)

Some key metrics tracking store performance will require an analytics integration. For example, you can't calculate a conversion rate without knowing how many visitors you had. We'll expand the feature set over time, but we thought it better to start with meaningful metrics we could present based solely on order details in the Drupal Commerce database.

The summary reports highlight the most popular products and promotions driving sales in the store. While we have a more robust reporting module in the Drupal Commerce ecosystem, it requires much more of a site developer to setup. Other modules might eventually add summary reports, and we provide settings to disable items that don't perform well based on a store's sales volume or architecture.

Commerce inbox messaging

Inspired by Drupal core's Announcements module, we developed a simple approach to deliver timely messages to store managers through the new inbox. Messages can be created during module installation, module updates, or via a cron job fetching updates from a project feed. The screenshot above shows the messages that will be presented to every new user, while the screenshot below shows the message created by a Commerce Core 2.37 update hook:

We anticipate additional modules in our ecosystem will create messages to highlight new features or other points of note when a module is updated. Inspired by the Webform module, we also ensured messages can open video tutorials in a modal dialog or link to parts of the dashboard and external resources (properly indicated).

The message feed has basic contextual awareness to ensure store managers aren't bothered by irrelevant messages. This includes those that are time sensitive or only relevant to certain modules. We include a setting to disable the feed and the toolbar indicator, though the inbox remains present for rendering messages created during module installations and updates.

What else is inside?

In addition to the store dashboard, we resolved dozens of bug reports, feature requests, and compatibility improvements. We added payment logging to the checkout form and failure recovery for offsite payment gateways. We improved the order management interface to show when and why an order might be "locked," and we ensured coupons were visible on view pages, not just on edit forms, which may not be accessible based on store manager permissions.

This new release also updates to a new Address module version and moves some menu items into Commerce configuration sub-menus. You can view the full list of changes in the release notes. Special thanks to Jonathan, Ivan, and Roman from our team for turning my wireframes into reality in short order, with Jonathan tagging the release on the final day of the year. 👏🏼

We're also grateful for the dozens of contributors who made this release possible and for the numerous active contributors in the #commerce channel in Drupal Slack testing patches, offering feedback, and supporting each other.

We couldn't do this without you! 🙏🏼

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