For merchants, agencies and technology partners, the Imagine Conference is one of the most highly anticipated events in e-commerce. With the excitement of the “next big thing” in the air, attendees witness announcements about new technologies and learn about what agencies are the best of the best. The Imagine Conference is the place to be, and the theme this year was “Unbound”: the idea that change is no longer something to be afraid of. Embracing change, not stopping it, is essential for the movement and discovery that drive the industry forward. Merchants, agencies and technology partners alike need to be unbound in whatever they do in order to see the benefits that come from risking change.
Here are five key points to take away from the conference this year.
Beta is Good Enough – Even Perfect: We all are timid when releasing a beta version of whatever it is we are putting out there. That needs to stop. In order to speed up innovation and creativity, we need to put our beta versions out there without hesitation and embrace feedback; the answers we get to the questions we didn’t even know we should ask are crucial to improving our products.
Examine the Shopping Experience: Understand your customer even better. Understand how they shop when they are not online, and bring that experience to your website. Data-driven personalization from on-site optimization to digital strategy when the customer has left your website will build brand loyalty and result in more sales. Show your customer that you know who they are and understand what they want.
Buzzword of the Week: “Omnichannel” It was only a few years back when the buzzword was “responsive.” Everywhere you went, every keynote speaker used the word responsive and we all went back and sold it to our clients. This year it was “Omnichannel.” It means shrinking the distance between your customer and your product, and optimizing the buying journey. Make your product available in every marketplace and every channel possible so that your customer can connect with your products and brands wherever they may be.
eBay Enterprise is the #1 E-commerce Platform Provider in the IR Top 500: This was announced and celebrated – it’s a huge deal! Everyone at this conference has been a part of the e-commerce ecosystem that is now eBay Enterprise. We all have succeeded in making Magento the most scalable and supportive platform on the market, allowing merchants to process hundreds of millions of dollars in annual online sales. That’s something to be proud of!
What About the Party? It wouldn’t be Imagine without a good party! The Legendary event was held at XS and was a big hit. Live music, aerial performers pouring us champagne from the ceiling and an open bar let us all become unbound!
The marketplace was full of some familiar agencies and new technology partners. The biggest take away is that while there are many changes taking place, Magento and eBay are still growing, still innovative and still an exciting group to be a part of. Just Imagine what it will look like next year!