Yahoo! store owners are noticing some new features this week when they sign into Store Manager, the first phase of a beta launch announced Thursday on the Yahoo! Store Blog. Yahoo! is introducing mostly buyer-facing features at this point, but the general release will include a full set of merchant features when it launches in early 2011.
This initial phase introduces registration, sign-in and account features designed to make it easier for store customers to log in and check out. Checkout Manager is now called Checkout & Registration Manager, and has a beta label beside the link. Customers will see Sign in and Register links at the top of the merchant’s store pages, and a new Checkout Options page will allow them to register, sign in to their accounts or continue placing their orders as a guest if Guest Checkout is enabled. Registered customers who are already signed in will be welcomed with My Account and Sign Out links.
The My Account link allows customers to view the status of open orders, shipping and tracking information, their order histories, place repeat orders or view and edit their personal information. OpenID allows them to do this securely without using any additional usernames or passwords. The system currently allows customers to register a store account using their existing Yahoo!, Google or AOL user IDs.
Store Owners can customize their Customer Registration settings and are encouraged to enable the new features before the general release from Yahoo! so they can start compiling their customers’ data now.