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Release blog – 2018 Round-Up

Helping brands and communities to grow revenue and engagement with personalised offers and experiences is our mission here at Abacus.

Further platform developments are providing our clients with an increasingly sophisticated toolset to improve audience engagement. We continuously evolve our platforms’ development through our monthly release programme by optimising its functionality with upgrades of new features, regular bug fixing, and enhancement of existing modules. This ensures that our clients are able to deliver the best experience that drives ongoing audience engagement and loyalty, leading to improved tangible business metrics.

The last half of 2018 had the Abacus team busy, making a number of improvements to platforms to increase functionality. Upgrades to the e-commerce workflow have been made to improve the overall customer journey. The process now allows users to add both multiple products and recipients details into a single transaction. Clients can edit the ‘crumbtrail’ headings (check out steps that appear at the top of the screen) that appear to a frontend user to ones that better suit their organisation. Country selection can now be pre-populated on a frontend offer page based on the user’s IP address geographic location.

We have made upgrades to our corporate subscriptions workflow that make it easier for our clients to onboard their customers. Corporate self-service administrators have different options on how they can add company recipients to their order. One way this can be done is via the frontend concurrently during the initial transaction, which is ideal if it is known who the seats will be given to, saving set up time. On the other hand, if recipients are not known at the time of the transaction or there are changes in seat allocations, administrators can select – through the backend – the correct form needed by their staff to gain access to the site. Both options save the users set-up time as email validation and site registration are not required, as long as they sign into the site using their corporate email address.

Following on from our primary GDPR developments in the first half of 2018, we have continued to make improvements to the platforms that ensure our clients continue to remain compliant with the data protection regulation. The GDPR dashboard improvements allow for more record data activity to be pulled into the report to showcase both user engagement and compliance (ie 3rd party DPA). We have also made it easier to carry out GDPR-specific tasks, such as flagging any custom features which contain PII data and being able to easily extract all of the data related within a record upon the request of the individual in question.

A new level of navigation known as ‘Hot Topics’ has been implemented, allowing system users to highlight key site pages that may permit higher prominence due to news events, new site content, or commercial factors. And additional improvements have been made to the Media Library since the upgrade that took place earlier this year. Assets that are uploaded via a story are automatically uploaded into the Media Library and will continue to be amongst the library, even if the image is then deleted from the initial story. Now PNG images are automatically checked to see if a JPG format would be more suitable and is automatically converted (but the user can override this if a PNG is more desirable).

Newsletter management improvements have also been made, for both our clients and their customers. Our CDP already supports a sophisticated hierarchical email preference centre which ensures end users cannot blanket opt-out of all communication, so this addition gives even more control to the user without compromising the our clients’ marketing database. Clients that have multiple brands are now able to send a single newsletter which represents all brands (ie not brand specific) across their entire portfolio, saving production and delivery time. Customers can also directly update their newsletter preferences in their ‘My Account’ page, giving them the ability to pick and choose which communications they would like to receive, from an All Brand newsletter to that’s focused on a more personal niche interest.

Look out for more information on our platforms’ new releases and updates in 2019.

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