WooCommerce 2.6 “Zipping Zebra” is now available for download after being in development for almost 5 months and receiving 1700 commits from 25 developers. In version 2.6 there has been a major focus on the APIs, shipping and account pages, so there is a lot of stuff for you to explore.
WooCommerce 2.6 introduced a new major feature “Shipping Zones”. Shipping Zones are groups of locations to which you ship products. You can now group multiple continents, countries, states, and zip codes into a zone and then add shipping methods to each zone. Each zone can have multiple shipping methods (e.g. multiple flat rates) that can be used as many times as you need. This adds much more flexibility to the store owners, which they were unable to do in version 2.5 and earlier.
Here is a screenshot of the shipping settings in WooCommerce 2.5 and earlier.
With the introduction of shipping zones, you can now ship to a wide variety of locations with one or more shipping methods.
Customer experience on the front end can directly impact the revenue of a online store. In order to improve this experience, WooCommerce 2.6 made some improvements to the layered navigation widget. Your customers will now able to filter products by rating. This allows them to choose specific attributes and filter out the products they are not interested in.
Improved Cart Page
In order to make the checkout experience seamless, WooCommerce 2.6 implemented ajax on the cart page. Cart page operations such as updating item quantities, shipping options, removing items, adding coupons are now all dynamic. Customers won’t need to scroll to the bottom of the page every time they remove an item or update quantities.
Improved My Account Page
My Account page received some major improvements in 2.6. Now It’s much more organized with a tabbed design and sections. This allows your customers to manage their orders, downloads, saved cards easily.
New Payment Options (Stripe & PayPal)
In 2.6 both Stripe and PayPal powered by Braintree are available in the onboarding wizard.
With these added payment options, Simplify Commerce gateway is no longer built-in. It’s now available as a free plugin.
Development Related Changes
- A new payment token API has been introduced for storing and managing tokens for your payment gateways
- Some order emails will now have a on-hold status
- WP Term Meta has been implemented to replace the existing custom term meta
- A new wc_get_orders() function has been added to retrieve the order objects and ids instead of the direct get_posts() calls
- shipping methods can now save meta data to the order in the same way line items can.
- A new WooCommerce REST API has been introduced which is based on the WP REST API