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Roadmap Insights

Store Editing Roadmap Update – Q4 2022

Continuing from the previous roadmap updates, Store Editing is the team within WooCommerce that works on bringing the no-code, blocks-based approach to the world of e-commerce.

We gave overviews of our roadmap previously (e.g., here, and here, and here). Today it’s time for an updated look at what we’ve been working on!

A few reminders:

Note: these roadmaps are intended to give directional updates without being precise about delivery dates. Plans can and do change. I’m following the Now, Next, Later format for these updates.


Now

Product Query Block

The Product Query Block (we may be changing the name) is an easy way to display a collection of products returned by a configurable query. See it in action in the video below.

This important block continues to receive significant focus as it will power a number of other planned improvements in our roadmap. With an early decision to have the Product Query block be a variation of the WordPress Query Loop block, our work has already contributed to a number of improvements to the Query Loop block that will be shipped in WordPress 6.1. 

We’re currently focusing on migrating existing product archive type product blocks to be powered by the new product query block which will provide solutions for a number of long-standing requests for these blocks including pagination, more control over layout and increased extensibility.

Blockifying Product Archive Templates

Powered by the Product Query block, this will allow for a wide variety of layout options for customizing a store plus the ability to do this at the block level as needed.

The existing classic template block on the left is compared with an early experiment of the fully blockified product catalog template on the right.

Patterns

Patterns are one of the most important entry points for merchants customizing their stores, so this is something we are also currently focusing on. We’ll be shipping patterns for both product grid/list and single product views.

NEXT

Blockifying Single Product Templates

The existing classic template block on the left is compared with an early experiment of the blockified single product on the right.

Work on blockifying the single product template will include ensuring there are the needed element blocks (Add to Cart, Product Image Gallery, and others).

Various Block Improvements

We also have a number of improvements to existing blocks lined up that come from the feedback we’ve been getting as they get used in the wild. The following blocks will be getting additional work:

  • Mini Cart
  • Product Search
  • My Account

LATER

Category Grid / List Block

A common request we’ve seen is for a block that allows for creating various layouts for product categories. We will likely be looking into powering this with patterns as well.

Blockifying Product Type Templates

This might be initially explored during our work in blockifying the single product template. The UX flow might be simpler for editors when they can refine the layouts for specific product types (variable products, subscriptions, and so on).

Reviews Element Block

Reviews tend to be one of the important factors used when choosing products to purchase. We want to make sure the Reviews Block provides the flexibility merchants need to offer a great review experience to their shoppers.


And that’s it for this roadmap! Stay tuned for the next update — and if you have any questions, please reach out here in the comments or in any of the other places mentioned earlier in this post.

By Darren Ethier

My passion is developing useful and pretty code. I also love anything to do with leadership and the wise use of words. I'm working with Automattic as a Product/Engineering lead of a team working on the intersection of WooCommerce and Gutenberg.

10 replies on “Store Editing Roadmap Update – Q4 2022”

Thanks for this update, we were patiently waiting for it
1/ How to use the Product Query Block ?
Seems it is shipped, but not activated yet (we run the woo-blocks plugin as well), right ?
2/ Product Query Block : don’t forget the grouped products as well, aside product variations (ex : display only grouped products, or top grouped products with no child elements / related products)
3/ Would be great to publish a recap post about what is being worked on and ETA included blockification (ex : HPOS)
4/ How can we help at testing or giving feedbacks ? Here we make an heavy usage of FSE…

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Hi there @mdxfr!

  1. Correct, the Product Query Block is not surfaced publicly yet. The Product Query Block is currently only available in development builds.

  2. Thanks for sharing about grouped product/variation support and filtering. Definitely, something for us to consider.

  3. I gather you are wanting to have more information about things on the WooCommerce roadmap outside of what was mentioned in this post? You referenced HPOS and this is definitely continuing and receiving dedicated effort from another team at Woo. The last post on HPOS was shared recently and you can expect to see another update soon.

  4. We definitely appreciate any help in testing and providing feedback! If you want to see the absolute bleeding edge of things, you can run setup the development build of WooCommerce blocks. Another option is to keep testing what’s released in the feature plugin (if all goes well, Product Query Block work will be surfacing there this month). You can provide feedback in any of the places listed at the beginning of this post.

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1+2+4/ ok, i will push some feedbacks as soon as i can test it (the query block, aside with the new filters). Good to here it is supposed to surface this november month !!
3/ about the global roadmap, i mean HPOS, but also the new product edit page, seems there is a lot of work about porting it to a new standard (fully React with a new UX). But we miss a global overview to anticipate what will come (and will impact our customers). Would be cool to publish it aside a recap of what was made en 2022 already.

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The WooCommerce blocks have been a terrible experience for our store, as they avoid all page caching and use the slow WordPress REST API – each REST API call takes around 1s; hacking WP REST Cache to work with WooCommerce took the response time down to ~0.5s. The classic WooCommerce widgets, on the other side, are way faster – they don’t rely on the REST API and work with page caching. Would love it if the blocks had an option to avoid using the REST API! That would combine the best of both worlds.

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Performance is definitely something that is important to us. Many factors can contribute to not only the actual but also perceived performance so whenever there are reports of issues we are very interested in knowing more specifics to help inform improvements. If you’re open to sharing more about what you encountered and how you improved things, that’d be much appreciated! You can share about it by creating an issue or starting a discussion in the repository

While a few blocks use the REST API, for the work described in this post, the blocks will be server-rendered (at least initially).

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server-rendered blocks would be awesome! The All products and Price filter blocks were what we tried and they would render after the page load + REST API response, which was surprisingly slow. Classic widgets for product filtering is what we’re using at the moment, but would love to replace them with server-rendered blocks.

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Yep, I’ve tried it! The price filter still makes a request to /wp-json/wc/store/v1/products/collection-data?min_price=&max_price=&calculate_price_range=true before rendering. The request takes around 769ms (the REST API just seems to be slow in general) and so the price filter starts rendering close to 1s after the rest of the page. If it was server-rendered, I believe it would be superior to the classic widget filter.

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