The highly anticipated Meet Magento UK 2018 event took place last week and it was the perfect opportunity for Big Eye Deers to connect with global eCommerce experts at the forefront of the digital industry.  

The event in London was Big Eye Deers’ first outing to an official Magento event, and it didn’t disappoint. The organisers put on a first-class conference with top talks from industry leaders, sponsors, and lots of great incentives! The opening keynote by Peter Sheldon (VP of strategy at Magento) highlighted the key trends and changes we are seeing in the e-commerce industry.

Key focus areas to look at to meet customer demands and adhere to new expectations:

  • People buy experiences, not products – Content and company/product story is key.
  • Customer experience – Many big brands are focussing on providing customers with a memorable experience in order to capture and retain their loyalty.
  • Post purchase experience – Order follow ups, shipping expectations and post delivery follow ups. Again, content is king here. When done right the customer feels a personal association with the brand.
  • Mobile only, not mobile first – With so many customers using the web through mobile and tablets we really should be thinking about creating stores that work primarily well on these kinds of devices.  Desktop still plays a role now but the user stats are decreasing all the time.

With a lot of recent announcements from Magento regarding its future with Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), it was good to have a large portion of the developer’s track dedicated to various aspects of PWAs. While there was some discussion of Magento’s PWA studio, the details of the final implementation still remain pretty vague. The talks actually focussed on what we can do now to prepare our applications for a PWA future.  

Shane Osbourne from JH started off the developer track with some really helpful tips on optimising the performance of the current Magento 2 frontend, specifically focussing on how the requireJs implementation can be improved.  We’re definitely going to follow this up and work on similar optimisations to roll out to our clients’ Magento 2 stores.

There were also some great nuggets of wisdom from Rowan Merewood, a Google developer advocate. His talk focussed on some really nice, and mostly simple, ways we can incorporate PWA functionality into our applications to enhance user engagement.

For example:

  • Create an engaging offline page to keep a user’s attention until a connection is reestablished. Trivago is a really great example of this, using a simple tilt maze game.  At first, it seems a bit gimmicky but little things like this can lead a to a 67% increase in user retention during periods of patchy mobile coverage.
  • Using the save to home screen functionality for a specific function, not just to save the entire site to a user’s device. The example given by Rowan would be to present a user with a ‘track my order’ button once they’ve placed an order.  The home screen icon would link directly to a page containing order updates for that specific order. Push notifications could also be used to directly notify a user as soon as their order ships. Once the order lifecycle is complete, the link can also be used to upsell to the customer.
  • Push notifications are a great way to communicate with users directly through their device.  Rowan stressed the importance of being restrained with such notifications, making sure notifications are personal, self-contained and timely.

We were also treated to a demo on Magento Page Builder, which is scheduled for release soon. Magento has done an amazing job in creating something that will work well for merchants and can be easily extendible by developers.

To round off the event a discussion panel was held on how to manage developer teams. It was interesting to hear that some of the things discussed, reflected what we at Big Eye Deers pride ourselves on:

  • Promoting and maintaining a positive workplace culture (that’s not completely focussed around work)
  • Always celebrate project launches and successes.
  • Provide a platform for employees to progress and develop their skills.

By Gethin

Web Designer

20 / 06 / 2018


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