This year Demac Media travelled for the 7th year in a row to Las Vegas for Magento’s annual Imagine Conference. For three days we connected with partners and merchants, learned about the challenges and successes the ecosystem has faced in 2017, and what to expect in the year ahead.
One discussion that was present in many talks was the challenges of Migrating from M1 to M2 and sharing ways in which the community was able to turn challenges into opportunities for their clients and customers. I spent most of the day attending talks and a few of my favourites were learning about the Innovation Labs winners, the release updates for 2.3, and PWA Studio.
All of The Buzz from Magento Imagine 2018
On the showfloor of the Imagine conference we interviewed fellow Magento Partners and retailers to get their take on what they were excited to see, hear, and do at Imagine 2018. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“We’re really excited about the growth we’ve seen in the Magento Ecosystem and the overall operational execution has really impressed us” – Chris Nuget, Head of Partnerships for North America and Cam McQueen, Head of Business Development
“It is great to see the whole ecosystem come together, not only to solve their own problems but solve the entire customer experience. What Magento has done really well is build a platform that allows for customer experience improvements.” – Ohad Hecht, CEO
Bronto + Oracle
“This is my first time at Imagine, so being on the partnership side it’s really exciting to meet all our partners face to face.” – Greg Bowman, Channel Manager
“I’m at Imagine because we’re looking at upgrading to Magento 2.2 in the next couple of months” – John Williamson, Vice President
“I’m excited about reconnecting with people and the community at Imagine. It’s always a lot of fun to come back and see everyone we work with, especially the Magento family. It’s so much more fun to meet with everyone in person” – Aaron Sheehan, Consulting and Solutions Architect
“As a B2B company I’m at Imagine to try and figure out how we can best utilize Magento 2.2, we’re launching soon so we’re making sure we have all the features in order” Justin Aronstein, Director of eCommerce
“We’re looking into the Magento 2 platform and wanted to meet with others to get background from other brands on the migration journey.”
Olivia Williamson, Director of eCommerce and Danit Zmora, eCommerce Manager
“We’re excited about the Magento ecosystem and how dynamic it is. I feel like consolidation for retailers is a big pain point, so having the ability to tie everything together into a cohesive roadmap and having these technologies connect together on Magento is great”– John David Klausner, Head of Partnerships and Alliances
What we learned at Magento Imagine 2018
Magento and the developer community are listening and responding to the current challenges of the platform and working towards a number of exciting improvements to the developer, customer and merchant experience.
Improving Developer Experience
Working with the front end of Magento requires you to be familiar with a number of languages and formats including layout, templates, requireJS, knockout JS and less.
One solution to the developer experience is the upcoming release of PWA Studio (Magento Progressive Web Applications Studio). The alpha version is on GitHub the beta version was released at Imagine and the full version will be released with 2.3. PWA studio is a Suite of highly valuable tools for building online stores as Progressive Web Apps.
PWA Studio aims to improve the developer experience by replacing the frontend layout with React for rendering components.
Here’s what distinguishes PWA from other websites:
- Minimizes network traffic
- Uses non-blocking techniques to keep UI responsiveness at 60fps
- Installs a ServiceWorker to expand the capabilities of the client-side single page app
- Registers itself as an app that could live on your homescreen alongside native apps
You can read more about Magento PWA Studio by clicking here.
Enhancing Customer Checkout Experience
Amazon’s patent for the one-click checkout has expired and Magento 2.3 will ship with the Instant Purchase module that allows customers with an account the ability to checkout from the product page.
With one click and a confirmation of your account information the checkout process for returning customers will be dramatically shortened.
Delivering a Modern Merchant Experience
The current merchant experience for updating CMS content in Magento requires a team member to be familiar with HTML. With the release of Page Builder, merchants will now be able to create responsive layouts through a user-friendly interface in the admin.
The module comes with components such as columns, buttons, images, accordions and tabs and will allow developers the opportunity to customize components for additional functionality. This release is not only going to put the power of content creation and management into the customers’ hands but also gives the opportunity to speed up development time if designers take direction from the modules layout capabilities and restrictions.
A full list of Magento 2.3 release notes can be found by clicking here and downloads to all of the talks can be found here. At Imagine we heard they are hoping for a Fall release but no dates have been confirmed.
Here’s a quick overview of the new features for Magento 2.3:
- GraphQL for fast PWA
- Two Factor Authentication
- Instant Purchase
- Google reCAPTCHA
- Cache Management ACL
- Import/Export improvements
- Page Builder
- Package Versioning
- WYSIWYG Update
- Multi Source Inventory (MSI)
- PHP 7.2 Support
- Message queue moved to Open Source
- Elasticsearch Updates
- Upgrade Patches
- Asynchronous Web API
As a first time Imagine attendee I can say this conference left me really excited for the future of this platform and the possibilities of what we can build with our clients.
Want to learn how Demac help brands and retailers plan, build, and grow on the Magento platform? Click here to contact us.