WooCommerce 4.6 Makes New Home Screen the Default for New and Existing Stores

WooCommerce 4.6 was released today. The minor release dropped during WooSesh, a global, virtual conference dedicated to WooCommerce and e-commerce topics. It features the new home screen as the default for all stores. Previously, the screen was only the default on new stores. Existing store owners had to turn the feature on in the settings.

The updated home screen, originally introduced in version 4.3, helps store admins see activity across the site at a glance and includes an inbox, quick access to store management links, and an overview of stats on sales, orders, and visitors. This redesigned virtual command center arrives not a moment too soon, as anything that makes order management more efficient is a welcome improvement, due to the sheer volume of sales increases that store owners have seen over the past eight months.

In stark contrast to industries like hospitality and entertainment that have proven to be more vulnerable during the pandemic, e-commerce has seen explosive growth. During the State of the Woo address at WooSesh 2020, the WooCommerce team shared that e-commerce is currently estimated to be a $4 trillion market that will grow to $4.5 trillion by 2021. WooCommerce accounts for a sizable chunk of that market with an estimated total payment volume for 2020 projected to reach $20.6 billion, a 74% increase compared to 2019.

The WooCommerce community is on the forefront of that growth and is deeply invested in the products that are driving stores’ success. The WooCommerce team shared that 75% of people who build extensions also build and maintain stores for merchants, and 70% of those who build stores for merchants also build and maintain extensions or plugins. In 2021, they plan to invest heavily in unlocking more features in more countries and will make WooCommerce Payments the native payment method for the global platform.

A new report from eMarketer shows that US e-commerce growth has jumped 32.4%, accelerating the online shopping shift by nearly two years. Experts also predict the top 10 e-commerce players will swallow up more of US retail spending to account for 63.2% of all online sales this year, up from 57.9% in 2019.

The increase in e-commerce spending may not be entirely tied to the pandemic, as some experts believe this historic time will mark permanent changes in consumer spending habits. This is where independent stores, powered by WooCommerce and other technologies, have the opportunity to establish a strong reputation for themselves by providing quality products and reliable service, as well as by being more nimble in the face of pandemic-driven increases in volume.

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3 responses to “WooCommerce 4.6 Makes New Home Screen the Default for New and Existing Stores”

  1. AJ says:

    I agree with the fact that if there’s anything that can make order management more efficient, then it’s a welcome improvement.

    As you mentioned, eCommerce has exploded so there’s much more activity than usual and if smaller stores see explosive growth, this will help them manage that much more effectively.

    I’m looking forward to see what other features will be integrated in the coming months that will help streamline store management.

    Brick and mortar businesses have come to realise that they need an online store in this new economy to survive and WooCommerce are making it an easy transition.

    Kudos to the coders!

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  2. Anh Tran says:

    I like the new Home screen, very clean, easy to read the data and beautiful. I think UI/UX will be the future of plugins and will play a big role in their success.

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  3. Lawrie says:

    I get how the pretty-looking features might be welcome on the surface, but this is the same as the ‘Admin’ screen introduced in 4.3 (and it wasn’t optional – as soon as we updated, all stores defaulted to it) – and I’ve had nothing but problems with it.

    It tries to compile stats for every order ever placed (even if you tell it to NOT do that…), but when you’ve got a store that’s been running since 2013 with over a million orders, all it does is crash the database over and over and over again. And I’m not talking about a small-scale shared-hosting stack: I’m talking about a dedicated RDS DB server that was scaled up to 24 cores with 256gb of memory still getting trashed by the queries created by this new WC home screen.

    The only foolproof way I found to get around it was to add this line:

    add_filter('woocommerce_admin_disabled', '__return_true');

    …which stopped the endless monster queries.

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