The keynote started straight after a quick hello from Jamie Huskisson, Meet Magento UK organiser, and CEO at JH, as well as Thomas Goletz, President of Meet Magento Association.

Keynote was presented by Peter Sheldon, VP of Strategy at Magento Commerce. The subject of user experience role in e-commerce heavily featured in Peter’s talk, which reassured us in our approach to clients’ brands. He painted the picture of how online experiences are reshaping the world of e-commerce, starting with Tesla as an example of outstanding online purchase. In addition, he talked about millennials being less and less inclined to actually buy stuff in person, and constantly looking for an easy way out; now, they even purchase their cars through their smartphones.

A quite familiar purchase journey was also outlined showing various steps and considerations. From initial product discovery, through purchase, all the way to support and re-engagement after the initial transaction. A typical transaction now is usually conducted on mobile, and users are expecting that to be a super-fast and frictionless experience. As well as having certain post-purchase expectations.

A very interesting trend on the rise is the conversational commerce and the fact that it’s becoming more and more real.  We’ve always seen Voice as one of the next big things. However, for the time being, the major beneficiary being Amazon, brands need to at least have a strategy to engage their customers on Alexa or Google Assistant. Simple experiences around support, delivery and possibly even purchase can be created.  Just having the mindset and thinking about conversational commerce is of great benefit. Especially with a lot of retailers struggling to keep up with Amazon, even in matching the prime delivery model.

From there, we went straight over to the technical track which was dominated by PWA talks.  Starting with Shane Osbourne’s, Lead Frontend Developer at JH. Shane talked about how developers can transform current Magento sites into speed demons in preparation for a full-blown TWA experience. He showed practical approach to rendering Magento pages in a way that gains speed and performance without necessarily implementing at full PWA setup.

Next up was the PWA panel from leading specialists that offer platform agnostic PWA storefronts that integrate into Magento as well as Magento’s own solution.  It was interesting to see the leaders and various approaches as well as predictions of what PWA could actually mean for e-commerce.

Another extremely important topic was how to make PWA profitable and worth the investment in time. This was presented by Rowan Merewood, Developer Advocate at Google, who has been seen before at Google HQ in London talking about PWA. 

Apparently, the key to successfully implementing PWA is finding small use cases such as using the notifications in the right way not necessarily buying a plug-in and implementing a blanket-me-too approach.

Once again, we’ve seen lighthouse testing and learnt some valuable lessons on how to approach website performance testing and monitoring and some easy wins around the subject.

The day finished with a promising keynote from Brian Green, Head of EMEA Sales at Magento Commerce. He talked about how Magento is expanding its Pan European operations as well as the Middle East, partly driven by investment from a debate. Brian presented an accelerated merchant grove picture on Magento commerce platform as well as the power of innovation pointing out how open and extensible the Magento core is, which in turn promotes innovation. And with unparalleled support of around 4000 businesses globally, this makes Magento one of the most popular e-commerce platform on the planet .The UK Magento market and community has grown even stronger with healthy number of Tec Partners and third in the world number of certified professionals.

Magento roadmap looks very promising with its superior shopping experience, its omni-channel selling and fulfilment as well as emergent intelligence on the map. This provides a very vibrant ecosystem on the open platform.

An interesting fact around the pace of innovation in the open source community run by Magento was the speed of implementation.  For example, soon after Amazon patent expiry on the one-touch ordering, Magento community submitted and released exactly that feature on the day.

In conclusion, the year ahead is looking very promising with Magento being the leader in B2B and B2C e-commerce pointing forwards a shift in its position in the e-commerce platform market.  With technologies like TWA Voice, business intelligence is ever-changing and customer experience is being improved. In addition, with the possibility of collaboration and investment from Adobe, we yet again see Magento as the platform for the future.