As the evening sun sets on The Strip and Imagine’s Legendary Party at the Encore Beach Club, it’s time to reflect on what was another inspiring day at Imagine. The day was jam-packed full with knowledge, news, insights and laughs—let’s take a look at some key highlights from the day.
First up for day 2 at Imagine was the morning’s General Session. A key theme to resonate throughout was the shifting nature of commerce from products to experiences. And a move away from purely transactional customer/merchant interactions to long-term personal relationships. This is what modern-day customers are craving.
Elsewhere, a couple of key announcements right off the bat:
-Page Builder has been launched and has passed the early adopters programme. The aim of Page Builder is for merchants to create best-in-class shopping experiences without creative limits or the need for developer support.
-Introduction of both Amazon Sales Channel and Google Ads shopping for maximum customer engagement.
-PWA Studio is now live and will reinvent and accelerate the future of mobile commerce!
Steve Krebsbach, Sr. Director, Global Cloud Operations, then took to the stage noting that 2019 will see the rollout of its two-tier architecture for scaling horizontally in the frontend and vertically in the backend. And then, 2020 will see the introduction of Magento’s Native Cloud Services. And if you’re wondering what all that might mean, then fear not—free training will soon be launching for commerce cloud for developers on Magento U.
Now time for some more bling and time to honour Magento’s Masters for 2019! The Magento Masters Program empowers the most engaged contributors to help others learn more about the Magento platform and to succeed in the ecosystem. Magento Masters are individuals who are selected for their immense contributions and involvement in the community. Now in its 4th year, the programme is a true testament to the strength and vibrancy of the Magento community.
Guido with his shiny Magento Master award
And now onto the keynotes…
Jenny Cheng, VP of global professional services at PayPal, reflected on the rapid rate of change in the commerce world. She looked ahead to a future full of technologies that we’re not able to comprehend yet and one in which the whole commerce process will be automated. From a commerce perspective, PayPal is committed to making checkout experiences as seamless as possible. As part of this initiative, the brand will be enabling Instagram shopping/powered by Paypal for partners. It will also be releasing smart payment buttons available with the Magento 2.3.1. release.
The packed crowd then heard from Gillian Campbell, head of omnichannel enablement at HP, about how HP is embracing digital disruption. She noted 6 roles that an HP online store needs to perform: reflection of the brand, customer experience, customer lifetime value, profitability, agility and Transformation enablement. And that 3 commerce lessons applicable for all merchants are:
1 - Put your customer in the core
2 - Get the platform strategy in place
3 - Leverage data and tech to drive consistent experiences!
Aubrey Bergauer, executive director at the California Symphony, took on the topic of customer loyalty in showing how the Symphony has grown its audience through greater retention. So the key lesson here from Bergauer was in carrying out extensive UX research—what hurdles are there on the site and what can be done to fix this? In her example, one problem area was jargon on the website which was turning away the younger demographics. California Symphony’s success is a result of placing a huge emphasis on the dynamics of the customer journey and then doing something about it with the right technologies.
Fast forward a few hours to the evening session, which began with the Excellence and Commerce Ace Awards. A huge congratulations to the awardees! And to top off an action-packed day, the moment everyone had been waiting for—Gary Vaynerchuk. An entrepreneur, author, speaker, podcaster and more, he is CEO OF Vaynermedia & Chairman of VaynerX. With the theme of entrepreneurship at the forefront, Vaynerchuk banged the drum for organic marketing, audio marketing (podcasts) and the role of content—
”You need to be educated to produce content and not outsource it to someone else or you are vulnerable.”
And on that note, it’s high time to draw this content to a close and get prepared for another day at Imagine. See you all out there!
Well, that’s all from day 2 at Imagine. But as always, remember you can follow us on Twitter for live updates, browse our blog and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news straight to your inbox.