I was genuinely impressed with the quality of execution by the Magento Events Team and the quality of the conversation available amongst the attendees.
1. It provided genuine insights for developers
Active Magento developers are familiar with the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to the platform. They seemed interested in the details and I witnessed many getting the detail they wanted in some of the most active Q&A sessions I have seen at events. A few companies got the, "How did you get that part for work?" questions post-presentation and seized the opportunity to tackle things head-on and build personal relationships with their users.
2. The Magento product team know their audience and treat them like peers
Magento's head of product chaired the morning developer's session and took to the stage to talk reliability, scalability, benchmarking and performance.
He outlined the definitions of each of these and what they mean to Magento and the community. As a non-techie, I was blown away by the difficulty of testing speed and performance on an eCommerce platform and the variables that can spoil a seemingly fair comparison.
The conversations I shared with those in the know suggested that their methods of testing may be a little more sophisticated than all this suggested.
The simple premise is that Magento want to help the Magento community towards standardised testing and relative benchmarking to enable the community to reference their work when conducting tests.
What does this mean for you as a retailer? Less time testing, faster identification of issues and a faster, more responsive website.
(The cheap seats)
3. In-site search is critical to conversion and can be supercharged for Magento
The guys at Apache Solr introduced me to a world of star wars lego figurines and some of the the behind the scenes science of in-site search. Worthwhile when we consider that 85% don't know what they want to buy when they land on your website.
Enterprise Apache search enables your visitors to search your text, PDF's and virtually any other data source on your website to help them find what they are looking for. Content is king and making it searchable is a logical next step.
They also have tools for increasing the speed of search, "Rapid search should respond in under 500m/s to avoid being sluggish to the end user".
Get your development team on it.
4. Magento Enterprise 1.13 will be....faster.
> Faster browsing
> Refactoring the indexing
> Reduce impact on front-end from back-end activity
> 30% improvement on performance than 1.12 with same hardware support
> 2,500+ Enterprise Clients live
5. Mothercare going-live across 30+ countries
Mothercare operate franchises across over 30 countries and have chosen Magento Enterprise to roll-out and give them the scalability they need.
Magento are genuinely excited to be making a footprint on leading UK retailers and we are delighted to be supporting the Mothercare roll-out behind the scenes.
This was a nice surprise for me to end the day on. I met Ignacio the CEO & co-founder of ebizmarts, the company behind a Magento ePOS.
This great looking ePOS app links directly into the back-end of Magento and utlises Sage Pay.
+ The massive plus for this is that it gives you a consolidated reporting tool in Magento for POS and website sales.
+ Also, there is functionality for managing stock levels between the stores and the warehouse.
+ They've been rolling out across over 50 stores for one retailer in California.
Ignacio was a pleasure to speak with and I look forward to working together in the not too distant future.
Roll on next year
A great format, mix of developer content and retail, informed people and a genuine buzz around the Magento ecosystem.
Author: Oliver Rhodes