Earlier this week, 1500 developers and merchants from 45 countries descended upon the M Resort in Las Vegas for the 2013 Imagine eCommerce conference to network and share their ecommerce ideas, innovations and best practices around the Magento Platform. Here’s a recap of the most memorable moments and takeaways.
Day One focused on how Magento is driving quality in the marketplace and how developers and technology partners can achieve further ecosystem success. The day concluded with sessions on best practice search engine optimization techniques and a networking “BarCamp” event for developers to learn about a myriad of Magento topics in short, rapid-fire presentations. Among the most popular topic “tracks” were “Developing Magento Apps using the Mobile SDK,” “Previewing Extensibility in Magento 2” and an “Open Forum” with Magento Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Mengerink.
Day Two kicked events into high gear, with keynotes from eBay Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe, Magento Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Roy Rubin, Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz and Magento Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Mengerink.
Roy Rubin was the day’s first main speaker. He addressed Magento’s amazing year of growth for both the platform, as well as for the customers and ecosystem worldwide. He also spoke to the conference theme — “The Art of Commerce” — and inspired the audience by conveying to them that they are the artists, and with the Magento tools available, they have the continued ability to create something powerful and unique.
Rubin was followed by John Donahoe, whose keynote focused on how technology is “obliterating” the lines between online and offline, calling it all “connected commerce.” In this commerce revolution, he said, the individual is at the center and the consumer is in charge. Jeff Jordan, meanwhile, spoke to existing trends in the ecommerce market, like the physical retailer disadvantage and show-rooming 2.0, and Matthew Mengerink closed out the morning keynotes with a discussion on how to push the boundaries of how we think about things and how the commerce of today no longer marries yesterday’s principles.
Afternoon breakout sessions from the technology and business tracks were standing room only, and included topics ranging from “Creating Successful Magento ERP Integrations,” “SEO/SEM Trends for 2013” and “Where, Why, and How of Responsive Web Design.” In particular, Roy Rubin highlighted how Magento is leveraging the power of eBay Inc. to create an even brighter future and that moving forward, “this will translate into more benefits for merchants.”
Day Two concluded with a keynote by Sharon Meers, Magento’s Head of Enterprise Strategy, who took to the stage to share Magento’s tremendous success within the fashion industry. She kicked off the segment with a discussion of how Magento Enterprise Edition has become the platform of choice for many of the world’s most prestigious brands and concluded with a live, fashion runway showdown with 14 models showcasing the latest looks from Magento customers Custo Barcelona, Erin Fetherston, Missguided, Nanette Lepore, Paul Smith, Rebecca Minkoff and Zadig & Voltaire.
Jimmy Duvall, Head of Product for Magento, introduced the Magento Enterprise 1.13 release and spoke to how the release was designed to enable large and growing merchants to scale more effectively and support even greater numbers of visitors and buyers to their core eCommerce sites, while streamlining their back-end operations.
PayPal Chief Technology Officer James Barrese also addressed the crowd on Day Three and announced that two new PayPal extensions – “order ahead” and “in-aisle selling” – would immediately be available on Magento Connect.
Closing out the morning session was “Freakanomics” co-author Steven Levitt, who captivated the audience with his anecdotes and stories. His most poignant messages were that people don’t spend enough time thinking about ideas, and that we often overlook even the most obvious ones. Further, he exclaimed that we can make up for the low quantity of ideas by the high quality of ideas. Even one or two breakthrough ideas per year from each of us can help bring about great change, he said.