A Recap of Magento's Imagine Conference, Part 1
I attended the Magento Imagine Conference in Las Vegas last week as a speaker and attendee. This was the third year of Imagine and, as promised, it was an exciting and energizing event consisting of workshops, networking, self-promotion and a lot of Vegas-style glam. What's obvious is that Magento, owned by eBay, is on a roll. It launched over 900 websites on its Enterprise platform last year, accounting for 80 percent growth. Magento has over 150,000 merchants on its platforms, including Community, Professional and Enterprise editions.
The conference's general sessions were dynamic, multimedia presentations served up by top management at eBay, PayPal (also owned by eBay) and Magento. The breakout sessions were more roll-up-your-sleeves, practical and actionable programs. Some were specific to Magento, but surprisingly many were general e-commerce marketing and strategy sessions.
It was crystal clear in both the general and breakout sessions that there are some powerful trends driving the e-commerce industry, which is evolving far beyond e-commerce. The single most obvious and overwhelming dynamic is that consumers are quickly becoming device agnostic, shuttering traditional marketing channels and presenting brands with huge challenges and opportunities.
The customer is in charge and expects to be catered to with personalized, curated content presented to them in a seamless omnichannel experience. Responsive designneeds to be a priority to answer this demand for a uniform screen experience.
Some obvious signals? Consider the following:
- The iPad is only three years old, but has already seamlessly integrated itself into our daily lives. iPad shoppers have a four to five times greater value to retailers than customers using other devices.
- Ninety percent of mobile device owners keep their smartphones or iPads within a three-foot span the entire day. They're never out of touch.
- Two billion people have internet access today across the globe. Within 5 years, that number will double.
- Forty-five percent of ALL shoppers do some kind of research on a mobile device before purchasing hard goods and 25 percent buy on their phone and never go into a retail store.
- Eighty percent of consumers shopping in stores use their phones for some type of intelligence gathering.
- Nine percent of all retail sales are now transacted online.