General Session

This years general session kicked off with a dramatic musical intro featuring live drums, guitar, trumpet and saxophone. After which Jamie Clarke – co-owner of bounded out on to stage, bringing his unique blend of humour and energy. He is always good to get things started after a party the night before!

The theme for this years conference is ‘We are Magento’. The theme coming from the split with eBay, and becoming an independent entity again.

Magento Masters

The Magento Masters program was announced a couple of months ago, and was set-up to acknowledge the sterling work of community members.

The Masters program is split into the following categories:

  • Mentors these are top contributors to the Magento Community who are highly active educating others and developing resources for them.
  • Makers are frequent contributors valued by Magento and other community members. They actively engage with others in the Magento Community, sharing ideas, insights, and constructive feedback.
  • Movers are Magento’s top advocates and ecosystem thought leaders who have demonstrated their expertise in driving innovation through Magento solutions. They are influencers in the industry in delivering best-of-class Magento implementations and advocate for Magento at industry events.

The 20 Mentors, Makers and Movers were announced and brought on stage to receive an award and a hearty round of applause from everyone in the room.

Cloud Hosting

The big announcement from the general session was a cloud based hosting platform for Magento Enterprise.

Following this, a special session was put on to discuss the architecture of this new platform.

Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition Technical Overview

Doug McIver, Director of product management for Magento Commerce ran this session explaining the new platform announced earlier.

The Platform as a Service (PaaS) is run by

The stack consists of:

  • AWS hosting environment – with 99.99% Availability SLA
  • CDN provided by Fastly
  • Performance management tools provided by New Relic and Blackfire.

The platform has been designed with developers in mind, enabling them to deploy staging environments without traditional system administrators involvement.

New environments can be created based on Git branches, so features and functionality can be quickly demonstrated.

The platform will be fully released in May this year, with no word on pricing at this stage.

What really works in Google shopping: proven strategies for top line growth:

Denis Coombes lead this session about how you can stay ahead of the competition by creating smarter Google Shopping campaigns.

Important factors:

  • Tracking conversions
  • Structure your feed
  • Structure your campaigns
  • Leverage the data

Denis discussed how data quality is key to your campaigns success. Poor quality data will result in fewer clicks and conversions.

It is important to do keyword research to understand how are customers searching, so you can structure your data to create the highest performing campaigns.

Reviews site search reports. How are customers finding the products they want? You can use this data to further enhance your campaigns.

Customer voices

Ryan Leffel, Senior director of retail strategy for Corra spoke about how you can make informed design decisions, to help craft the buying and shopping experience of your store.

“A user interface is like a joke, if you have to explain it, it’s not that good”

Whilst I was at the afternoon sessions, Hedds was busy taking his Solution Specialist exam, which he passed with flying colours!

Then he received an email to say he had one a drone from Nosto. Double bonus!

Security Owasp Top 10

Talesh Seeparsan from Bit79 lead this talk about the OWASP top 10.

The OWASP top ten lists the most commonly exploited software flaws.

Talesh spoke about how Magento 2 addresses some of these issues natively.

Quick wins : using Mailchimp and Magento to make more money

This short session demonstrated three quick wins for users of Mailchimp and Magento.

  1. Automation can be used to enhance your customers experience with your brand. Use automation to send your customers a series of welcome emails, to help recover abandoned cart and re-engage inactive subscribers.
  2. Personalisation can be used in conjunction with segmentation to target your customers. Leverage this functionality to reach out to VIP customers, buyers of a certain product or category, or target customers with a certain geographical location.
  3. Optimise. Always be testing and enhancing your email campaigns by leveraging A/B testing built into Mailchimp.

This brought the talks for day two to a close. After this we had a fascinating talk from Basketball legend Earvin Magic Johnson!

Then we rounded the night off at the Encore Beach Club for the legendary Magento party!