Magento Imagine eCommerce Conference

Last week I had the opportunity to attend and speak (“With Friends Like These, Who Needs Revenue?“) at the inagural Magento Imagine eCommerce conference in LA. It was a great show, with way too much going on for a simple summary, but I’ll try my best here to capture some of the highlights and point to recaps by others.

First, some of the highlights from keynotes by those outside the Magento team:

  • Blake Nordstrom, talking about being customer-driven, not just customer focused. Make sure you’re actually delivering something she wants, not just what technology makes possible. He also discussed Nordstrom’s much vaunted customer service, saying “if you’re talking about customer service, you’re not doing it.” Lastly, he touched on mobile-in-store and the fixed cash register as one of the worst parts of the whole customer (and associate) experience – something Nordstrom is actively working on
  • Naveed Anwar (@nanwar) from PayPal (with the envious email address geek -at- talking about mobile commerce, and the extent to which it will be transformative, not just additive to the customer experience.
  • Marten Mickos of Eucalyptus (and formerly MySQL AB) talking about the importance of Open Source and new versions of “Open” to the overal eCommerce ecosystem – lack of proprietary lock-in may be the ultimate lock-in, because knowing you can leave at anytime has a way of eliminating the desire to leave – forces competition on service and value.
  • Brian Walker of Forrester (blog, @bkwalker) talking about “Agile Commerce.” It’s time to drop the “e” from eCommerce, “but since we’re in L.A., we can’t just drop the ‘e.’ We need to blow it the hell up.” Walker noted that by 2013, “51% of total US retail sales will be influenced by or made online.”
  • Warren Adelman from GoDaddy (blog, @asocialcontract), sharing the history of their infamous SuperBowl commercials, and revealing that the first SuperBowl ad very nearly starred William Hung rather than the “GoDaddy Girl” – how the world might have been different had that happened!
  • Alfred Lin from Sequoia Capital (@Alfred_lin) (and ex-Zappos) describing the history of PayPal and how it grew to success in “Growing a Billion Dollar Online Commerce Company.” (Slideshare link)

Magento themselves announced a number of exciting updates during the conference:

Related links:

The Magento Go video:

Photos from the official Flickr feed:


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