We’re back! Leaving behind the melting snowbanks in Minnesota, we made the trek back to Las Vegas for the 2018 Magento Imagine conference. The Titan crew will attempt to avoid this blog being a boring sequel with the same recycled jokes as last year. Last year I, JE Urseth wrote the entire blog...this year I get help from everyone attending. Cheers to a good read, hopefully a few fun stories, and some key takeaways from Magento’s premier event.
This year’s attendees:
Darin Lynch - Founder & CEO
Kayla Picciano - Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships
Anna Kallberg - Account Management Division Lead
Andrew Lancaster - Front End Tech Lead
JE Urseth - Irish Army Knife (my actual title)
Unlike last year, Wrestlemania was not on travel day (click here to understand that reference). That means normal flight times, no rushing, and just a tiny bit of freedom before the conference starts. We flew into Vegas in the morning, arriving at The Wynn (the conference hotel) before most visitors had even woken up from the prior night's debauchery.
Sunday was fairly low key, with Darin, Kayla and Anna attending the Magento Partner Summit while Andrew and I set up the booth area. We attended the Pre-Imagine party at the Wynn Nightclub before chowing down on some amazing sushi at SUSHISAMBA in The Palazzo. The Conference starts bright and early on Monday...so best not burn the midnight oil before it all gets started.
This is Irish Titan’s first year with a booth in the exhibit hall (exciting!). Our booth featured a raffle (partnering with our friends from Siteimprove) for a drone and a Nintendo Switch. We also had a variety of green swag items ranging from can koozies, fidget spinners, decks of cards and even the instantly popular foam sword.
The entirety of booth activities yielded some great conversations with Magento employees, solutions partners, merchants and other friends of Irish Titan. We even had a very special guest in the booth during the first evening’s happy hour!
Pictured Above: Team 47 B CEO and former Magento CEO Bob Schwartz stopped by the booth long enough to take a picture with Andrew and JE!
Exciting New Partner - Siteimprove
Imagine 2018 was a great time to showcase a new partnership that aims to provide our clients with the very best digital performance and user experience. Siteimprove is a cloud-based platform that automates website checks, performance metrics, and reporting so you gain full visibility into your website. We recently completed a case study showcasing the effectiveness of our new partnership on one of our clients, haskells.com.
Enter your email address to review the case study.
We had a lot of fun at Imagine 2018 with the Siteimprove team, and look forward to our evolving partnership in the future. For more information on Siteimprove, please visit www.siteimprove.com.
I had a lot of fun this year at Imagine 2018. I had many great conversations with merchants, partners and Magento employees, discussing the exciting future of the platform. I would like to highlight one particular session that I attended as proof of major advances coming to Magento in the coming months.
The session was entitled “Tools from Magento to Jumpstart Your Growth”. The focus of the presentation was a number of new tools coming to the Magento platform as well as new features from existing tools. They reviewed the Magento Business Intelligence tool and how it’s insights can help you increase your traffic and sales. They reviewed how using PWA (Progressive Web Applications) can increase conversions while lightening the load on servers and performance. They announced the upcoming Amazon Channel which will be built directly into Magento without a 3rd party extension. This is particularly exciting as many of our clients are using that platform in conjunction with their Magento store.
They also detailed out one of the largest leaps forward in Magento development in my opinion: Page Builder. BlueFoot CMS was acquired last year by Magento, and the rollout of this major improvement to the platform should happen in Magento 2.3, coming later this year. This CMS system will be a giant leap in the platforms capabilities but also user-friendliness, allowing merchants to control their content better than they have ever been able to in the past.
The session also detailed the addition of Instant Purchase on product pages, similar to the way Amazon does “1-touch checkout”. Making it easier for customers to checkout on your site is 1A for all merchants, and this takes the platform to the next level. Another Irish Titan partner, Dotmailer, was also featured for their “Targeted Abandoned Cart” program, which is as advanced of an email follow up process as I have seen available on Magento. Dotmailer has a full suite of wonderful tools tied into Magento, but reaching those customers that are on the brink of purchase is a highly effective strategy.
Overall, it was a whirlwind of a 3+ day conference! We met many people, had a ton of fun, learned a lot about the future of the Magento ecosystem and I still managed to survive Las Vegas with a few dollars left in my pocket. Perhaps I will go online and buy something...
The 2018 Imagine conference was another nice step forward. It was the first Imagine void of “turmoil” - no eBay acquisition/noise/separation, no Magento 2.0 challenges, etc. All of those are behind the ecosystem, and Magento continues to move upstream, as reflected by the logos, project sizes, and industry research.
Magento’s investment in both their partner and marketing programs is evident. Both organizations have become much more robust, with not just with more people, but with more consistent and sophisticated vision and strategy, plus more overall capabilities.
As Magento is moving upstream, it’s clear that partners are required to do the same. We’ll all need to improve our thought leadership, lead generation, content strategies, and commitment to overall business sophistication. It will be important for us to have the ability to be a part of their B2B future, and synthesize BI and Order Management into our strategies for the right clients.
General sessions continued to tout advancements in both Magento’s marketing/sales strategies as well as product strategies. It will also be interesting to see how Magento and Amazon continue to partner in this space. Their combined effort towards e-commerce progress can positively impact millions of merchants and consumers.
We at Irish Titan are looking forward to our continued partnership with Magento, growing alongside of them while providing merchants with Business First, Online Second solutions.
With over 3000 attendees from over 60 countries around the world, Imagine 2018 can sometimes be overwhelming. It is, however, incredibly exciting to see this many merchants, partners, and community members together in one place discovering the future of a growing platform. I had a great time in Las Vegas this year, from attending the Magento Partner Summit, keynote sessions including Jaime Foxx, to time spent in our booth discussing Irish Titan with attendees.
We did meet with a few strategic partners and discussed various ways to help our clients with their ongoing e-commerce related strategies. It is clear that Magento is focusing its efforts in upgrading their commerce platform to the betterment of all it’s users. Mobile is also a large focus as the major shift that happened in the last few years continues to put emphasis on mobile transactions and a seamless checkout process. Andrew and JE mentioned BlueFoot CMS / Magento Page Builder, which also is poised to be a giant improvement to Front End Developers and Merchants alike.
I am grateful for the opportunity to once again attend Imagine on behalf of Irish Titan. It is a wonderful experience filled with learning, networking, and of course, fun! A special thanks to our friends at Siteimprove for their partnership in booth activity and of course, to my fellow Titans for their teamwork at this conference!
As the only developer on our Imagine team as well as being a first time attendee, I definitely had a unique perspective of the conference. Here are some of my highlights (in no particular order):
Meeting the teams involved in making Magento what it is today
I was able to meet some of the movers and shakers of the platform itself as well as extension/module creators which was pretty awesome. One thing that I learned really quick (mainly thanks to the Multi-Source Inventory module session) is how much of Magento is built by the community. Even when listening to the “What’s new in 2.3” session, it seems that a huge portion of the features are created by the community. It definitely has me thinking about what I can do to contribute more.
I was lucky enough to attend the “Maverick eCommerce - Scaling for growth without technical or financial bloat” session where I learned how BluefootCMS contributed to much faster development time. This was a great precursor to the actual session about PageBuilder. One of the complex part of our training is Magento’s UI components implementation. PageBuilder takes away a lot of this struggle with its drag-n-drop functionality. Perhaps the biggest benefit is to be able to train our creative team to design pages directly within Magento which frees up development time for the more complicated features or even other projects.
Networking with fellow developers around the world
It seemed that I couldn’t walk ten feet in any direction or in any part of the Wynn without meeting somebody that was attending the Imagine conference. This lead to some great conversations about what other teams were expecting from the conference and Magento as a whole. Even better, they were anywhere from Minnesota to Denmark to China. It was great to hear how much our ideas aligned across the globe.
If you made it this far down the page 1) Kudos! 2) you already know that we took a lot away from this years Magento Imagine conference. We look forward to the shenanigans during Imagine 2019!