Imagine eCommerce Conference - Highlights From Day 1’s Afternoon Keynotes

Greetings from the afternoon keynote sessions here at the Imagine Conference.  Yet another standing-room only crowd, it’s amazing to see the interest from the Magento Community.

Starting us off is Naveed Anwar, Senior Director, Paypal X Developer Network.  He’s a great choice to kick off the afternoon, given his passion in building communities.  Obviously this is something that we at Magento believe in and want to continue to foster – and we absolutely share Naveed’s view that developers will shape the next wave of ecommerce.  (One interesting note – PayPal reserves 30% of their roadmap for community input).  Naveed is speaking today about the growth in mobile commerce.  It’s hard to believe how much of retail is still an untapped market for ecommerce (at only 4% of total retail), but expect mobile phones to significantly help bridge this gap.  Partly by shopping, but also significantly by paying – with a virtual wallet on your phone.  Paypal seeing tremendous growth in mobile payments over past few years, and you should too!

Next up is Martin Mickos, CEO Eucalyptus and former CEO of MySQL – who I’ve seen present a number of times over the past 10 years and always provides some though provoking content.  As Bob noted in his introduction, “Martin knows Open Source”.  Here are some of Martin’s highlights from today on open source and openness in general.  The internet is finally reaching everyone, especially through mobile devices breaking down the final barriers.  This entire online world and ecommerce world runs on open source – these companies are at the leading edge of technology and they have decided on open source.  Openness creates it’s own “lock-in” though loyalty and the investment of the community in the success of the project.  Amazing to see open source moved all the way from operating system (linux) to online commerce.  Open source provides immediate trust – because it’s open.

Closing up the afternoon is Brian Walker, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research with his freshly minted presentation “Welcome to the Age of Agile Commerce” (it’s always great to get a first look at new analyst research).  At this point, it’s not longer about “e”commerce, it’s just commerce, multi-channel commerce including (of course) mobile.  Smartphones are so new still (many have owned for less than a year), still starting to see beginnings of mobile shopping and mobile payments.  Online stores / online sales are mainstream, but still see strong influence of physical store presence.  And very few people are getting multi-channel right, because it’s actually quite difficult.  There’s a need to focus on the “customer lifecycle” rather than channels.  It’s now the era of Agile Commerce – looking at how you optimize customer touch-points, not channels.  Put the customer at the center, and go from there (and call Brian if you need some help!)

Now it’s off for some “Food Trucks & Fun” at Magento Headquarters.  It’s been great to meet so many interesting people and exciting companies here at Imagine.  Thanks to everyone for attending and sharing with us.