Looking back at 2021 achievements and looking ahead to an exciting 2022

We're celebrating Commerce's third anniversary, and the excitement is building both within and without Zoho! This is an opportune moment to take stock of our progress in the past year. Also, we want to share a few things we've learned about the evolution of the ecommerce industry as well as to discuss our future plans for Zoho Commerce. So, without further ado, here's what 2021 looked like for Zoho Commerce!

2021: Year in review 

Though the lingering effects of COVID-19 meant last year was still challenging, Commerce worked hard to adapt and introduce new product enhancements that would help small and medium businesses keep thriving. Through last year, Commerce introduced a multitude of product updates, surpassed 1,000+ subscribers, and set foot in new regions such as the Middle East and Latin America. Today, we've assisted merchants transition to selling online in more than 30 countries. This was helped primarily by new product updates.

Product updates 

Category-specific product filters 

Merchants can now let customers filter products on their website, which allows for easy browsing and product discovery. Filters can be set up with existing category, collections, and product attributes. Website visitors can then filter products right from the product or category pages.

Mega menus 

The Zoho Commerce builder now has expanded menu items. You can choose from many options in a drop-down layout, including styled text and images, among others. Mega menus are handy to display a large number of options or for revealing lower-level site pages at a glance.

Complete set of server-side APIs 

Over the course of last year, we developed, tested, and released the complete set of server-side APIs for Commerce. This now forms the foundation for third-party applications to integrate directly with Zoho Commerce and is the first step to build extensions across the ecommerce ecosystem.

Marketing integrations 

Ecommerce stores in India and the US built on our platform can now integrate with Google Shopping. This integration increases product and brand visibility massively across all Google surfaces. Along with the Facebook Pixel integration, webstore visibility is now increasing for our patrons. At this time, we're working on expanding the Google Shopping integration globally.

Payment integrations 

We've also been working on increasing the scope of our payment gateway integrations. We have added Paytabs for the Middle East and PayU for India in the past six months. We're also testing Paygate for Africa at this time, and the public release should happen shortly. Furthermore, we're working on building a payment gateway (PG) integration platform. Our partners can use this to integrate a PG of their choice and launch it on Zoho Marketplace.

Smaller  product enhancements 

We've worked on smaller product enhancements too, some of which are worth highlighting. Automatic emails can now be set up by store owners to ask buyers to review their purchase after shipment delivery. We've also added a pick-up option that lets customers pick up their order from a store or other pre-configured locations.

Business updates  

Our business teams have also been busy (like only business teams can be 🙄), and here are a few important updates on last year:

 Zoho Commerce is now part of Zoho One!  

The addition of Zoho Commerce to Zoho One allows ecommerce businesses to operate on a unified platform. This improves efficiency, is more cost effective, and creates more value for businesses. The USP of Zoho applications is the seamless integration across the ecosystem, and the addition of Commerce to the Zoho One bundle ensures that we continue to add value to our ecommerce customers.

Partnership with Dubai Culture 

Zoho recently partnered with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Government of Dubai. This partnership allows all members of Dubai Culture to use and experience Zoho Applications for an entire year for free. With Zoho’s 50+ apps, Dubai-based businesses can transition their operations online, reduce costs, and create efficiencies in their workplace.

Partnership with Google 

Zoho and Google India launched a campaign to help small businesses in India go online without paying for software. We had quite a bit of interest in the campaign, and we helped merchants in 20+ states in India to take their websites live.

 A unique proposition and some soul-searching 

Our customers are passionate about their work. Very uniquely, our customers are also very passionate about Zoho! They identify with our work, and feel happy to be associated with us. Over the last three years, Zoho Commerce has established a beach-head in the ecommerce software industry. Recently, users have been pointing out our unique position, emphasizing that the draw of Zoho Commerce isn't the tool itself, but how it works together with products like Zoho Inventory and Zoho Books. They've remarked about how they can't think of any other brand in the industry offering such possibilities. This reciprocation from the market gives us immense hope for the coming months. 

What to expect in 2022 

We promised you a peek into what's on the anvil in our software laboratory and also on the shop floor. Throughout 2022, you'll see some of the following aspects come online:

Partnerships and commerce specialists 

Our partnership team is building the ecosystem for what we call Commerce Specialists—partners to help you build stores. Specialists are ecommerce designers, content writers, operations experts, and marketers. We're also working on enhancing our partners' ability to handle projects with complex implementations and integrations. These implementations will be able to deliver bespoke functionalities to our users.

Look out for updates and additions to the Zoho Commerce Specialist page.

Payments connector  

We've alluded to this one before, and the feature is now in the testing phase. Once the connector is released, partners and code-savvy customers will be able to connect new payment gateways to Zoho Commerce within a week. This decouples the dependency on such integrations being built by Zoho Commerce. The platform can be extended at will by our ecosystem!  

App marketplace 

Another important area of improvement is an app marketplace for Zoho Commerce, which is being launched on Zoho Marketplace. We recently soft-launched the marketplace with existing integrations. We're now working to grow the depth and breadth of apps on the platform, and you should see this come to critical mass in 2022.

Multi-warehouse operations 

We understand the relevance of multiple warehouse operations, which are particularly essential for ecommerce stores. When this feature goes live, our customers will be able to connect multiple warehouses to a single ecommerce store.

Bulk update  

Knowing how cumbersome certain operational aspects are, we've tried to simplify the management of products, orders, and customer info. In a few months, customers will be able to filter, update in bulk, and edit information under our Products, Orders, and Customers modules.

In-support service sales 

Right now, Zoho Commerce lets merchants sell digital products. With the introduction of our in-support service sales, our merchants will be able to sell support services too, such as an installation fee for an electronic gadget or appliance.

Other highlights

We're working on a ton of Commerce updates of all sizes, including a new UI. We're also adding 20+ new free webstore templates this year, which will double the existing number of available templates. 

That was our year, a challenging one but with bright spots. We enter 2022 with a little less trepidation and a lot more hope! We promise loads of smashing features and plenty of amazing integrations in the next few months. If you're an existing user, we'll hit your inbox with our newsletter to share more exclusive news.

For feedback, appreciations, product feature requests, product updates, or even product demos, please write to marketing@zohocommerce.com. Speak soon!

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