After Magento shifted their attention to the Continent to run Magento Live Europe 2018 in Barcelona, Jamie Huskisson and his team at JH gamely jumped in and made sure that there was a UK specific Magento event this year. And what a fantastic job they did of organising and running the show – congratulations to them!

From Mobile First to Mobile Only

Peter Sheldon of Magento kicked off the day with a keynote address that set the scene and espoused the benefits of omni-channel, and mobile first whether your market is B2B or B2C. In fact it’s not ‘mobile first’, but it’s actually ‘mobile only’, especially in emerging markets like Asia, and India. This perfectly prefaced the key theme of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) that ran throughout a packed agenda.

PWA is basically a set of open web standards that take advantage of the capabilities of modern web browsers to support ‘service workers’, which in turn allow background processing of tasks to give a more ‘app like’ experience for end users, including push notifications. Important resources can be pre-cached, and this allows for faster page load and a seamless and continuous customer experience even when mobile coverage is patchy. PWA is by no means the end of of native apps on iOS or Android, but is simply the next iteration of ‘mobile-ising’ web technologies.

Testing Your Web Developments

Away from the technical track Danielle was reminding us all that good UX needs rigour, idea validation, and plenty of research, (including testing the performance of your web developments against those of your competitors!). Underpinning all of this is a need to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), not only for internal team performance, but to turn these KPIs into testable hypotheses – the results of which need to be fed back to customers and teammates alike.

Key tip: just because part of your web page isn’t clickable doesn’t mean no one is clicking there, so use Google Analytics to set up hotspots and track any and all activity.

The Might of Magento

Brian Green gave an enthusiastically received closing keynote in which he highlighted the continuing growth of Magento, and signalled that this is due to continue apace with Adobe. Magento has acquired a further 270+ Enterprise customers in EMEA alone in the last 12 months, while growing the Magento Marketplace and increasing the developer community by the thousands. This is great news for systems integrators like Other Media as an active and vibrant community pushes all participants to do better work, and clearly highlights the benefits of a rock solid ecosystem to current and prospect merchants.

The next stop for Other Media will be at Magento Live Europe 2018 in Barcelona, and we expect that the $1.7bn deal with Adobe will have been closed by then, and there will be some exciting initial announcements to come out of the acquisition.