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Imagine Commerce 2015 Show Highlights, and the Road Ahead

Karthik Chidambaram
April 24, 2015 |

Imagine Commerce 2015 started in great style with one of the best resorts in the world – Wynn Resort and Casino.  

Although the conference officially kick-started on Monday Apr 20, 2015, there were two pre-imagine parties that started on Sunday, April 19. Thanks to the Sponsors for putting all this together. Pre-Imagine was a great way to start the conference by networking with many key people with a drink in hand.  It definitely created the mood for the rest of the conference, which of course is in fabulous Las Vegas!

Day 1:

We had written a blog covering the Day 1 highlights. The day started with the Payments session at 8:00 AM with breakfast.

Key takeaways: Ensure payment renders on mobile devices, reduce the number of clicks during the payment process and certainly an efficient payment process with ease to improve the bottom line.

Customer Driven Innovation:

This was a good three hour workshop on Design Thinking and Customer Driven Innovation. How do you approach a problem? A Case study on re-design of the eBay Enterprise website was showcased. Empathize (Divergent thinking, Interviews, and look for surprises), Define  (the problem statement), Ideate (What ideas we have to solve the problem), Prototype and Test.

Market Place Opening Reception:

This was our first time as a marketplace sponsor at Imagine Commerce and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet with customers, new prospects, and other solution partners. Booth traffic made it interesting. Magento being a strong ecosystem, market-place provided a great place for merchants to find solutions to their problems through different partners and products. It was nice to see merchants actively visiting the show-floor.

Client ShowCase – Sunset Pool

eBay Enterprise/Magento had selected 8 clients to be featured as showcases at the Cabanas at Wynn Sunset Pool. It was a great feeling and a proud moment for DCKAP to be recognized at this event as 2 (GIRO and Charming Charlie) of the 8 merchants showcased were clients DCKAP is working with closely. Pro-Deal, a promotions program we built for GIRO, was the highlight of the show-case event and it was great to be co-branded with our client.

I want to thank our client Ezra Shaffer and Nick Thelen from GIRO for making this happen and providing all the support we needed. It is a great partnership for us. Thanks Ezra and Nick!

Thanks to Elizabeth Van-Dyke from Magento/eBay Enterprise for coordinating and doing all the leg-work on this event.  Thank to Ves Buie and team as well for putting together a great client show-case event. It was a great branding exercise for the merchants and partners. This was a nice learning opportunity for all the attendees to learn from the merchant best practices and success.

Day 2:

Pitchfest: The day started with pitchfest at 8:00 AM on both Tuesday (4/21) and Wednesday (4/22). It was a great opportunity for merchants to learn about entrepreneurs and companies pitching in 90 seconds regarding their products/services.

Opening Keynote:

Jamie Clarke was the MC of the event and he was at his usual best.  We had Craig Hayman, President of eBay Enterprise kick off the Opening Keynote and it is always great to listen from the President. We had three customer show-cases Rebecaa Minkoff, ToysRus, and Shoe Carnival.  Craig asked some intriguing questions about the merchant and the role of magento in their success.

Steve Wynn Speech:

This was the highlight of the conference, – man behind Las Vegas success.  Key Takeaways:

1. Enhanced Self Esteem is what employees want, treat them exceptionally well.

2. The Wynn Properties focuses only on Hotel Guest experience. Ensure they have the best guest experience ever.

3. Make a hero of your employees and Celebrate their success. Ask employees to self nominate them on different customer experiences.

4. Reward Positive Behavior which makes the guest experience the best.

5. People make people happy.

6. Leadership is about making ordinary people perform in an extraordinary way to achieve a goal.

Everyone enjoyed this experience and it was nice to see Steve tease Craig on stage with laughter and applaud from the audience. Two leaders, different businesses, however both focusing on Customer Experience.

Legendary Imagine Commerce Party:

Needless to say, this was one of the best parties we have ever been to in one of the best resorts in the world. Great Food, Great Drinks and and a wonderful time.

Day 3:

The Day 3 keynote was important for the Magento ecosystem looking for important announcements. Mark Lavelle Sr. VP and GM, Commerce Technologies had important things to say. It was good he mentioned about the promises of 2014.

It builds credibility as eBay Enterprise team were able to stick to the commitment. The best of them all, Revamp of Magento Connect. Magento 2 on track. Magento 2 Merchant Beta and Release Candidate on track. Magento – eBay Enterprise is #1 eCommerce Platform Provider In the IR Top 500. Thanks Mark.

The Opening keynote had two great customer showcases. Large book retailer, Saraiva in Brazil and a small antique retailer, International Military Antiques. Magento is committed to its roots and helping merchants along the way. World’s leading brands using Magento.

Paul Boisvert shared the Magento 2 timeline and the merchant beta is expected in Q3 of 2015. Merchant General Availability, Q4, 2015. The migration effort on 1.x to 2.x was also briefed up and more information to follow on the effort after the merchant beta. Magento 2 contributors were recognized. Thanks Paul.

Forrester Report:

Peter Sheldon, VP and Principal Analyst from Forrester shared great information on Trends and Insights for Commerce Service Providers at the Partners Summit on the last day of the conference.

Online Consumer Spending in the US will reach $414 billion by 2018.

US B2B online spend will dwarf consumer spend reaching $1 trillion by 2018.

Currently mobile and tablet transactions account to 28% of online revenues.

International growth is a top priority for most businesses.

Personalization, Mobile and replatforming are top priorities for retailers with 75% retailers interested in Personalization technology.

Magento moved from a contender in 2012 to a leader in 2014 (eBay Enterprise).
Imagine Commerce gets better every year and the ecosystem is clearly one of the best in the world. Congratulations Magento, ebay Enterprise on moving from a contender to a leader. Congratulations for putting together a world class show and providing us a world class conference experience .  See you next year!!
Karthik Chidambaram

Karthik Chidambaram is the Founder & CEO of DCKAP. He bootstrapped the company from his small apartment in Chicago, Illinois. DCKAP simplifies commerce for distributors. DCKAP was started with 2 people, 2 computers and 2 desks and is now a global and distributed team. Karthik reckons industry setbacks and renders solid & practical solutions to organizations. He holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. You can read more about him on his personal blog here.

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