Magento Imagine 2016: Day 4

The last day of Imagine 2016 began with the #RoadToImagine crew bursting into the hall and being greeted by Jamie Clarke. The crew was composed of four friends that share a common passion for Magento that took on a 3,000 mile journey to celebrate the destination - Imagine Commerce 2016. Then Magento CEO, Mark Lavelle, and Jamie handed out the Magento Trailblazer Awards to two outstanding leaders who have driven teams, established brazen goals, and innovative technology to chart the course to eCommerce success. The B2C award was given to Vandy Santos of Global Omnichannel Solutions Leader for Nestle, and the B2B award went to A.J. Nahmad, President of Watsco, Inc.

Mark then spoke a bit about Magento and its benefits, and soon handed the mike over to Michael Sonier, the Senior Director of Omnichannel Products at Magento Commerce. Michael introduced Kai Schmidhuber, SVP of Multichannel at Fraport, and Kian Gould, Founder and CEO of AOE. Frankfurt Airport, winner of the Magento Best Omnichannel Experience 2016, is one of Europe's biggest airport hubs and houses the largest shopping centre in Germany. AOE helped the behemoth travel hub create a unique omnichannel commerce experience for travelers. The solution offers travelers the possibility to effortlessly shop at the airport or on an airplane and arrange for home or gate-side delivery. We will cover this topic more deeply in an upcoming blog post.

Magento Commerce Order Management was discussed once more, and again, Vaimo was highlighted as the solution provider for four out of the seven companies using it.

Next, Paul Boisvert, VP of Product Management at Magento Commerce, talked about the upcoming release and benefits of Magento 2.1 that is set for release in June 2016. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Magento 2 provides faster response times in Browsing and Checkout.
  • Improved site conversion features built-in responsive themes, optimised checkout, improved merchandising with video, and integrated payment gateways.
  • Core technology upgrades mean modern technology, modular, automated testing, and integration-ready.
  • Faster time to value means easier maintenance, easier customisations, and easier upgrades.
  • Staging & Preview allows future updates to be easy to manage, verify, and schedule.
  • The Magento Enterprise Edition B2B Module includes account management with permissions, custom catalogs, custom pricing, quoting, and repeat ordering functionalities out-of-the-box.
  • The new Innovation Model features an enhanced content management system, new promotion types, and expanded reporting and analytics.

Again, we will cover just a few of the sessions. For a full agenda of Day 3, click here

The session entitled Mastering Omnichannel Retailing featured two separate talks. First, Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst of eBusiness & Channel Strategy at Forrester, talked about mastering omnichannel retailing, and, as expected from a representative from Forrester, supported his claims with ample statistical analysis. He stated that many customers are unlikely to visit a store without online visibility to its inventory. He provided Starbucks, the international coffee chain, as an example, as they are now offering a successful app that allows customers to order their Starbucks products ahead. 

So offering omnichannel is a given; but what do customers expect from omnichannel retailers? Brendan pointed out that consumers expect a "ready for pickup" notification in two hours or less. And while overall cost is the number one issue when shopping online, the second reason is the cost of shipping. Customers also expect endless aisle capabilities when confronted with an out-of-stock item, such as reserving the item at another location. Brendan then discussed how omnichannel benefits both the customer and the retailer, such as the "shipping from store" feature, which offers the customer quicker delivery times, and access to all local items, while the retailer gets increased inventory turns and lowers the markdown pressure.

Next, Kai Schmidhuber, SVP of Multichannel at Fraport, and Kian Gould, Founder and CEO of AOE, discussed in more detail the groundbreaking omnichannel experience they created together for travelers at Frankfurt Airport in Germany, which provides shoppers the option to order online from Fraport while on an aircraft or at the airport, and schedule delivery for home or at their airport gate. First, they briefly discussed the need and demand for omnichannel and shopping habits of the past and present. According to the duo, the customer is at the centre of the digital transformation, with the average German home housing over nine digital devices. Then, they pointed out that airport shopping is an integral element of travel and this was the main inspiration point for the project. The multichannel strategy of the Frankfurt Airport project was composed of three essential components:

  • Connection: The solution includes shopping and rewards at the forefront, with personalised communication and initiatives.
  • Integration: The establishment and integration of information and interaction channels along all points of contact.
  • Marketing: The solution includes integrated offline and online marketing.

Kian outlined just what went into this massive project:
  • 120 servers in 2 data centres 
  • 10,000 developer days
  • 12 months from start to deployment
  • 35 services/integrations
  • 70+ people in 8 SCRUM teams

Kian went on to discuss the overall solution architecture, which we will cover in a later post. Needless to say, this project was massive and exciting in the sense that it is completely one-of-a-kind, and revolutionises shopping at the airport.

The end of the day featured the exclusive Partner Summit, during which Magento presented the 2016 Magento Partner Awards. For the full list of the awards and winners, click here. Vaimo was honoured with the EMEA Magento Omnichannel Partner of the Year Award, which was awarded to solutions partners who have contributed in the most noteworthy ways to the Magento Commerce Order Management (MCOM) business and the Magento Enterprise Edition business in their core region. Corra was the winner for the same award in North America.

Imagine 2016 wasn't just a journey and a ride for the Road to Imagine crew, but for all of us who participated in Magento's amazing annual event. As Jamie Clarke pointed out on the first day, it's a real treat to come together with over 2,500 people who are all interested in participating and improving the global Magento ecosystem, and the world of eCommerce in general. Vaimo is proud to have had the chance to take part in Imagine 2016!



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