[Recap] Magento Imagine 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since our team touched down in Las Vegas for Magento Imagine 2013! And what an experience it was! This year 1,500 attendants from over 45 countries took over the M resort for 3 amazing days of learning, networking and the opportunity to share knowledge with the international Magento community. Our team set up shop in the marketplace along with 85 other sponsors, and had the opportunity to meet with people from all over the world. Surprisingly this year we saw a huge influx of Canadian merchants attending the show! Much Canuck love at Imagine!

Weren’t able to attend or just want to relive the glory? We’ve got the recap blog post you’ve been looking for!

“Magento is nothing without our community. Our community makes our company”
– Roy Rubin, Co-Founder and COO of Magento

Magento has established itself as the leader in eCommerce with a 26% share of the market, making it the No.1 eCommerce platform in the world, and guess what, it’s still growing! So what does this mean? Well, as of 2013, there were over 150,000 merchants transacting billions of dollars with Magento. BILLIONS. Whoa.

So what did Magento have to release or share with us this year? Lots! And not only from Magento, but eBay and PayPal had their own exciting announcements too. Find out what they were below:

Major Magento Updates

Roy Rubin took the stage multiple times during the course of Imagine to announce key milestones, major updates, and exciting developments for Magento. The following are four key highlights:

1. Magento Enterprise 1.13

Obviously one of the biggest announcements at Imagine this year was the latest update for Magento Enterprise, 1.13. Performance and scalability were the key focus areas for the Magento team. In fact there was a 65% improvement in page load times alone! Other key updates include:

– Optimized Indexing
– Improved Caching
– Faster Checkout Flow
– Enhanced Tax Calculation Algorithms
– Functional Improvements

2. Magento 2 Announcement

The entire Magento community has been in a buzz since the very first mention of Magento 2 about a year ago, and is still very excited to see what Magento has up its sleeve. Magento 2 is the largest project in the history of Magento. With everyone so keen to see its release, Magento announced that the beta is scheduled for Q4 of this year!

3. Magento Connect

Magento will be putting new processes in place to make it easier for merchants and developers to find the best extensions that suit their needs. With over 6,000 extensions in the marketplace currently, Magento needed to ensure that they stay focused on improving Connect to provide the best experience for their merchants, partners and developers. The following were key changes for 2013:

– Extension De-Listing
– New Rating & Review Systems
– New Theme Subcategories
– New Editorial Content Secontion

To learn more about the updates on Magento Connect click here.

4. New Certification Program

The Magento U team unveiled the latest certification program for Front-End Developers. The first Magento certification program was created in 2011, since then the Magento U team has seen a huge influx in demand to certify other skill sets. The Front-End Developer Certification Program will validate that HTML developers have the skills and experience to implement user interface-related changes on the Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Editions.

Interested in getting yourself certified? Hop on over to the Magento U page to get started!

Key Theme: Offline vs Online

A key topic at Imagine this year was Offline vs Online and how the two are coming together:

“Gone are the days of online and offline. We’re in a ‘commerce revolution'”
– John Donahoe, CEO of eBay

The best of offline is coming online. Merchants are being given the opportunity to provide an experience that is the best of both worlds, one that is changing the game of retail. This was definitely apparent when eBay and PayPal took the stage to announce their major updates and latest releases. Check them out:

eBay Updates

“The media world has been completely transformed. Consumers are in charge. The same thing is happening in retail”
– eBay

eBay is projected to do $300 billion by 2015, with their biggest battlegrounds being: mobile, local, global and data. This year alone eBay will do $20 billion in Mobile. Wowza, that is one big number. Did you know that 21% of eBay users are now multi-screen when they buy something? Engaged consumers are buying twice as much, making them twice as valuable! eBay focused a lot on eCommerce 2.0 during their talks and how it’s now all about suggestive discovery. This lead eBay to change the way they think about their homepage and develop the Social Feed.

Social Feed

eBay wanted to create a more personalized, social, engaged experience with the Social Feed. Think of it as curated eCommerce, mirroring that of Pinterest and Fab.com. It’s enabling customers to finding things they are interested in faster by providing a visual search for your favourite keywords that show up on your homepage each time you visit eBay.

PayPal Updates

Did you know that $300,000 is processed by PayPal each minute?! Crazy right? With over 123 million active users, PayPal has become a serious player in the payments market and is working hard to solve real customer problems. For example one of their major focuses is for there to be no need for consumers to carry multiple cards or clip coupons. PayPal is working hard to create a “wow experience” each time a customer checks out with their shopping cart. This collection of “wow experiences” will quickly turn into expectations and help drive the eCommerce/payments market forward.

Here are a few awesome initiatives PayPal announced at Imagine:

Order Ahead
A way for customers to order ahead and pay with PayPal on their mobile device

In-Aisle Selling
An extension that gives merchants a new way to connect their Magento store to PayPal Here to complete the transaction anywhere in store

PayPal Here
PayPal Here is a Magento powered POS that brings your commerce data into Magento. It will help to breakdown the eCommerce/Brick & Mortar silos.

Personal Thoughts on Imagine 2013

As a first time “Imagineer” I was blown away by the sense of community that exists within the Magento ecosystem. You hear people talk about it all the time, but it’s another thing completely to experience it first hand. Just sitting in pavilion where the keynotes were held with 1,500 other attendees you really get a sense of the excitement for what we’re building and changing together.

The production of the entire conference was impressive, everything from the speakers to the sessions, the venue to the food, and of course the parties, were spectacular. It was an awesome environment to meet up with people who I’ve connected with over Twitter, email, Linkedin etc and then have the chance to meet them in person. I also had the amazing opportunity to meet new faces and learn about the different ways companies and merchants around the world are utilizing and connecting Magento.

It was inspiring to see how far Magento has come in just a short amount of time, and even more mind blowing on where the company is going for the future. I would recommend strapping on your seat belts ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

For a full look at the conference and even more pictures, check out our album on our Facebook Page.