Welcome to the latest edition of Vaimo’s ‘Introducing’ series where we’ll be catching up with Guido Jansen, the newest member of our Strategy and Consulting Team. Read on to hear more about Guido’s role in the Magento community, how he combines psychology and eCommerce and his achievements in the pool...It’s good to talk to you, Guido! To kick things off, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your career, experience, and what led you to this role at Vaimo?
My background is in applied cognitive psychology, which I initially studied at Utrecht University. In conjunction with psychology, I’ve also been working in the eCommerce and Magento ecosystems since 2008. I began with Magento project management on the agency side before moving into eCommerce optimisation (think usability testing/research, A/B testing/experiments and usually a lot of Google Analytics). Then in 2014, I switched to the merchant side of things, building and leading several CRO/optimisation teams in the floral/gift and then the HR industry.
For me, Vaimo represented the perfect combination of things I love working on and in an environment I’d like to work in: Magento, UX optimisation, a fast-growing international organisation, interesting clients and an amazingly skilled group of people are some of the stand-out reasons I joined Vaimo. It feels like all the different competencies I've built up until now come together perfectly at Vaimo. I'm really looking forward to working with Vaimo’s clients and helping them to succeed!
Can you tell us more about your CXO approach to helping clients navigate the often challenging and unpredictable eCommerce environment?
I have a hands-on approach and enjoy showing clients how customers actually use and experience their website/product and view their brand (which is usually quite different from what they think it is). I then look to offer appropriate strategies to help them re-connect with their actual customers (something that is often quickly lost when working in digital) and teach their teams how to do this in a structural, data-driven way.
As a psychologist, eCommerce is an amazing space to work in—you can analyse customer behaviour, run experiments to change that behaviour and then analyse again, at scale (many researchers at universities are jealous of this). I use this data-driven approach when working with clients so that they can see the real impact of optimising the customer experience.
Quite simply, I love testing hypotheses about human behaviour and my analytical background is always searching for reasons and causes and how we can affect these factors.
You were recently named a ‘Magento Master’ at Magento Imagine in Las Vegas (a huge congratulations on this achievement!). When did you first get involved with the Magento community and how has this progressed since?
In 2008, I founded Dutchento (a Dutch Magento community) and then from 2009 began running Meet Magento events in The Netherlands for which we just hosted our 11th edition of the event. I co-ran the Dutchento Podcast while also helping other Magento communities abroad to set up and run their own events. In recognition, I was awarded the Community Builder Award by the then CEO of eBay, John Donahoe in 2011.
In 2018, I was appointed as a Founding Task Force Member for the Magento Association (MA), a community for and by Magento ambassadors. Our job was to help shape the strategy and vision of the MA. As of February this year I’m also part of the inaugural board of directors for the Association, helping to advance and empower the global community and commerce ecosystem through open collaboration, education and thought leadership. And then most recently as you say, I picked up my Magento Master Award at Imagine for all my community work in 2018 which was a real honour.
Now at Vaimo, I’ll be able to keep up my work with Magento—helping our clients to maximise their performance on the platform.
What’s your greatest achievement—be it personal or professional?
It’s hard to rank them, but one would definitely be working towards my participation in the European Swimming Championships during the last decade. I was part of the national team and became national champion many times. Taking it to the next level, being in the pool training for over 20 hours a week for a couple of years, preparing myself for the highest possible fitness level and making that happen was definitely a big milestone.
On the professional side, it would have to be sustaining an event series for the local Magento community for over a decade. Building an online community around a certain topic or cause always felt very natural and fun to me, but I never expected it to be such a success. Being able to take that offline to events with over 500 people attending with a team of volunteers without any previous event organising experience has been a challenge for sure. But we made it happen — the event has often been quoted as an inspiration for (Meet Magento) events in other countries and has played a big role in why The Netherlands is one of the countries with the highest number of Magento web shops and Magento certified individuals.
And to bring this chat to a close, can you describe Vaimo in just three words?
Three? I thought it was four: Open, Excellence, Teamwork and Fun!
A huge thanks to Guido for joining us in our latest instalment of ‘Introducing’. Stay tuned to hear more stories from new Vaimoers across our offices!