What gives you an adrenaline rush? Is it bungee jumping, skydiving, surfing or canyoning? For us, it’s bringing you world-class WordPress products and updates.
One such update is our latest Astra 3.9 release.
We are thrilled to share this latest update with you and can’t wait to tell you how this changes the entire shopping experience for our WordPress and WooCommerce users.
Our dedicated team has been working round the clock for the past 6 months and has delivered a release that we are all very proud of.
What are these updates? Let’s dive in and find out!
What we’ve done
The latest update impacts every aspect of your WooCommerce store.
From the shop and product page to the cart and checkout page, we’ve made major enhancements to just about every element of your store.
Let’s review every page individually.
You’ve probably used the two default skin layouts that the Astra shop page comes with, Grid and List. While the two work perfectly well, we now have a brand new skin called Modern.
Here’s how it looks.
The new Modern skin looks great and enhances the entire shopping experience.
The ‘add to cart’ and ‘quick view’ options become available when you mouse over the product image. This allows customers to make purchases quickly without having to navigate to individual product pages.
And the best bit is that it offers endless customization possibilities through plenty of options in the customizer.
You can easily select the shop layout and even play around with the content width from the customizer.
Want to select a particular style for your sidebar? No problem!
Simply drag and drop the various card elements to personalize your shop page.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
Do you like sticky menus? You know, the top menu links that include a logo and stick to the top of the page as you scroll down?
Our latest update now comes with a Sticky Sidebar.
The new sidebar ‘sticks’ to the side of a page as you scroll through the list of products.
Your customers can now apply the necessary filters and easily locate the products they’re looking for.
We didn’t stop there. We included a collapsible filter functionality that you can enable or disable based on your requirements.
Search for products, filter by stock status and do more using the collapsible filter.
Product pages need to speak for themselves if you want to sell more. A big part of this is to present high-resolution product images in the best way possible.
That’s why we designed three new image gallery options to help your product images stand out.
It’s one thing showcasing different views of the product using images. It’s another thing to ensure you make it easy for customers to buy your product.
To make the entire buying process as simple as possible, we introduced a new ‘Sticky Add-to-Cart’ feature.
This feature ensures you have an ‘add to cart’ button sticking to the bottom as you scroll through the product description page. You can easily enable or disable this feature from your customizer.
We’re leaving no stone unturned when it comes to improving your conversions.
We’re even adding some psychological triggers, such as payment icons and shipping text on the product page.
Do you prefer reading the product’s top highlights in an ordered list? We’ve got you covered.
You can now show the top highlights in a beautiful icon list.
We’ve also spruced up the way your product descriptions look.
We’ve worked on improving a number of elements in this Astra 3.9 release. Another area that has seen development is the product quantity selector.
The default product quantity selector isn’t particularly well designed. Neither does it look great on mobile devices.
We’ve worked on both aspects and the result is a sleek-looking quantity selector that looks amazing on every screen size.
Do you offer products with variations? Like products with different sizes or color options?
Astra 3.9 has made major improvements to product variations too.
Instead of drop-down menus, product variations can now be displayed as buttons.
Not only is this great for UX, but it is mobile-friendly as well.
Next up is the cart page. We’ve made several new enhancements here too.
From a modern new layout and real-time quantity adjustments to a sticky cart totals sidebar and an option to change the cart button text, we’ve made many new improvements to the user experience.
Real-time quantity adjustments
Sticky cart totals sidebar
Change the cart button text
Off canvas cart
Wouldn’t it be great to have a cart that slides out and keeps you informed of what you’ve purchased? Well, that’s exactly what the new Slideout Cart feature does.
Unlike having a window popup when you click on the cart, we’ve incorporated a new slideout feature that showcases all the products you’ve added to your cart.
You can update your cart, view the cart, and proceed to payment, all from the slideout cart.
This is another one of those features that’ll enhance the shopping experience.
The checkout page is probably the most important page in the entire shopping cart. It’s the make or break of a customer’s buying experience.
Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate is nearly 70% across all industries? This translates to nearly 7 out of every 10 customers not completing their purchase.
Competing platforms such as Shopify use simple, elegant checkout forms, Yet WooCommerce is often criticized for its lengthy and somewhat unintuitive checkout forms.
So we decided to tackle this in Astra 3.9. The results are stunning!
Welcome Modern Checkout
Modern Checkout is a whole new checkout experience. It surpasses the default WooCommerce checkout in every respect.
- Fresh new modern look and feel
- Faster, frictionless checkout
- Optimized for higher conversion
Modern Checkout helps you significantly enhance the customer shopping experience!
With a simple toggle, you can switch out the old checkout page for a beautiful and intuitive new page.
An experience that encourages customers to progress more fluidly through checkout.
Modern Checkout lets you design every element of your checkout page.
You can make the purchasing process faster and easier and help boost revenue by reducing distractions.
Skeleton loader video
We’ve gone the extra mile to ensure every aspect of your WooCommerce store looks awesome. One such aspect is the default loader.
Out of the box, WooCommerce uses a spinning wheel as a loader that looks outdated. In keeping with the times, we’ve redesigned this into a skeleton loader instead.
While these may be small enhancements, they all add up in the larger picture of making your checkout page look a whole lot better!
You can easily select the layout structure of your checkout page.
From selecting a default or modern checkout layout to going with a single column or a two-column one, designing your checkout page has never been easier.
We’ve made it super easy to customize your payment button as well.
Easily edit the text on the button and enable the button padlock and price by using the toggle button.
We’ve also incorporated a sticky order review on your checkout page.
As the customer fills in their billing details and scrolls down, their order details stick to the page. This helps customers review their order before making a payment.
Another amazing new inclusion is account validation. It checks if the account exists as your customer begins typing their email address.
If it does, the password field is automatically displayed. If not, customers can check a box and their checkout details can be used to create a new user account.
Pretty cool, right?
Here are a few additional features we’ve improved:
Persistent checkout form data
We are utilizing the ‘persistent storage’ technology that the latest browsers offer.
This saves the details customers type into their checkout forms if they accidentally close the browser tab or refresh the page.
Customers will find their typed data in the form and won’t have to retype it.
We’ve made improvements to the two-step checkout layout as well, making it way more customizable.
Thank you page
On successful checkout, the customer is directed to the thank you page. We’ve given this page an elegant and modern new look.
My account page
The ‘my account page’ is an important part of your online store and is where customers access all their details. From updating their billing details to tracking orders, it’s all available on the ‘my account page’.
If you sell digital products, customers can log in and download their products from their account area.
All this makes the account page an integral part of your store and one that has to be equally appealing to customers.
Astra 3.9 now introduces a totally modern-looking layout for the account page.
Here’s how it looks.
We are delivering even more!
Like we said earlier, we love delivering awesome WordPress products to help you scale your online business. We’ve built a few plugins that we feel every WooCommerce website requires to deliver an exceptional user experience.
Here are some of them.
We discussed the variation option in WooCommerce earlier. It’s especially helpful when you want to create product variations, such as t-shirt color and size, and storage options on mobile devices.
However, WooCommerce shows these variable products with a mundane dropdown menu, which is not ideal as far as UX is concerned.
We found several plugins that offer a fix for this and display product variations in the best possible way.
However, most of them were bloated, confusing, and expensive.
We saw an opportunity here and decided to come up with our own plugin that’s customizable, lightweight, and above all, 100% free.
Go ahead and give the Variation Swatches for WooCommerce plugin a shot.
Stripe payment gateway for express checkout
Want to increase the chances of increasing sales? Have a smoother checkout process!
Our team collaborated with our friends at CartFlows and built a Stripe payment gateway plugin to make the payment process faster and more intuitive.
This plugin is fully compatible with the Astra theme and provides a seamless checkout experience for your customers.
We released this plugin a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised with the traction it gathered. Over 50,000 WooCommerce store owners have taken advantage of this plugin, and this number grows every single day.
Learn more about the Stripe payment gateway plugin here.
WooCommerce Cart Abandonment plugin
Just in case you missed it, have you tried our WooCommerce Cart Abandonment plugin?
Nearly 70% of customers who reach the checkout page don’t complete their purchase. Our plugin helps you automatically recover lost revenue for free.
The plugin captures the email address of customers on the checkout page. If the customer hasn’t completed the purchase within 15 minutes, an automated series of follow-up emails are triggered by the system.
These emails can remind the customer to complete the purchase, ask for feedback, or even offer a discount to lure them into completing the purchase.
You have complete control over the interval for sending out these emails.
Helps recover lost sales and revenue? We definitely think so!
One more thing!
If you’ve been using our Astra theme, you’d know that we designed the customizer a few years ago. It’s been a while and we figured it’s about time to give the Astra customizer a new look.
We made a totally new style guide for our customizer and made numerous enhancements and improvements to it.
Needless to say, this enhances the experience while using the customizer and setting up your website!
We’ve improved the colors and typography panels as well.
The entire interface of the colors panel has been revamped to give a cleaner and more modern look. The color palettes in the Global Color Palettes section appear as a popup and are more user-friendly than our earlier version.
The reset functionality has also been enhanced by adding group and individual reset options.
In the typography section, we focused on providing better spacing, categorization, and delivering an overall enhanced user experience.
Compared to our earlier design, the typography dropdowns and pre-defined presets are much cleaner and better organized.
We didn’t just stop at the colors and typography sections. We improved the UI of other panels such as layouts, headers, and footers.
With a completely updated and enhanced customizer, the team focused more on improving the performance with a lightweight and impressive UI.
This is still work in progress and will be released over the next few updates.
3 new premium Starter Templates
We’ve got more good news for you.
We’ve added three new premium Starter Templates to our ever-growing library.
These new templates have the best of Astra and WooCommerce features built-in and can help you launch an online store almost instantly.
The new features include off canvas cart, the newly introduced Modern skin for shop page layout, easy list view, off canvas shop filters for shop pages and the quick view popup.
For the single product pages, we’ve used a vertical slider gallery layout, active payment gateways, free shipping label, product navigation, sticky add-to-cart, and sticky product summary, among other amazing features.
Additionally, our amazing new templates use the Modern skin for the rest of the pages, such as the cart, checkout, thank you, and my account.
Here’s a sneak preview of our new templates.
If you deal with electric scooters and want an online presence for your business, here’s a tailor-made website template for you. The clean and minimalistic design has everything you need to get your business up and running quickly.
With impressive background effects, and a significant hero section that incorporates an ‘add to cart’ CTA and featured product areas, this template is ideal for creating the perfect shopping experience.
Classy, elegant, and stylish. That’s the first impression you get when you see this chic website design. It’s perfect for selling all kinds of perfumes.
Promote your best products and offers on the hero section of the website, include your best sellers, and do more on the highly engaging website template.
Want to sell plants to a global audience? Use our high converting and WooCommerce-ready website template to build your online store quickly and easily.
The clean and simple design creates the perfect shopping experience for your customers. Simply import our template and easily customize it to suit your requirements.
Over to you
Our fabulous team has been working round the clock and has put a huge amount of effort into this update over the past 6 months. It’s a total game changer as far as creating the ultimate shopping experience is concerned.
If you aren’t an Astra Pro user, this is a great time to be one!
To sweeten the deal, we are offering a discount of 25% off on all our annual plans. Simply use the coupon code ASTRA39 to benefit from this limited time offer.
We’d like to hear from you now. Which particular feature of Astra 3.9 are you most excited about?
Let us know in the comments below!