In the following article, we analyze everything that happened at Magento Imagine 2019 and gather thoughts posted by other prominent members of the ecosystem regarding its present state and future. Vitaly Verbitsky, our Head of Sales and Partnership, represented the Firebear team at the conference. He learned a lot from the event, so we’ve finally decided to summarize his thoughts and combine them with what others think about the meeting. Let’s begin the Magento Imagine 2019 recap by Firebear!
Vitaly spent some good time at Imagine 2019 meeting other members of the Magento community, discussing what happens with the ecosystem, describing the benefits of our Improved Import & Export extension and just hanging out. What did he tell us when he arrived back from the conference?
Although it wasn’t the main topic of Imagine 2019, we’ve decided to mention it first. The Magento community is more than a group of technical specialists from various areas combined by the e-commerce platform they work with. It is one big family of people willing to change their industry. You can compare the ecosystem to a community around underground music: always open for new members and incredibly friendly and helpful to everyone who joins it. The spirit of Imagine is based on these values where everyone feels like home with the family.
And people behind Adobe are very knowledgeable about this order of things. Magento is nothing without its community and ecosystem but a sophisticated e-commerce tool. With all its developers, marketers, and agencies, the e-commerce platform becomes alive. And people are continually working on improvements. Let’s take a look at some facts illustrated at Imagine 2019. The number of created pull requests for Q1 2018 was 1303, but in Q1 2019, it has an incredible bump up to 2861. The same is about processed requests: 1497 in Q1 2018 and 3052 in Q1 2019. As you can see, the involvement of the community is rising! And its importance was highlighted multiple times during the event.
It’s a great honor to stay in the same boat with all of you!
As for the key topic of Imagine 2019, it was customer experience. Although it is already based on many high standards, your customers want to interact with a better e-commerce environment. Adobe thinks that they deserve it, and we cannot disagree, continually improving the limited import and export functionality of Magento. Developers and agencies should enhance a customer journey at every touchpoint!
This topic was broadly discussed during the conference, and Adobe introduced several new features that make the life of customers and merchants better.
PWA as the way of creating a better customer experience got its prominent place at the conference. Magento introduced PWA Studio – a set of tools that enables developers to create an app-like experience with e-commerce websites. And it is the easiest way to achieve this goal.
The PWA approach is the future of e-commerce. It enables much wider opportunities when it comes to user experience, and nobody argues with that. The ecosystem is continually evolving, and we witness the new stage. You can read more about PWA in this article: PWA & Headless Magento 2.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning were really new, but quite obvious topics. Their usage in e-commerce was only a matter of time, and this time has come! Adobe presented the Sensei integration with Magento. The new functionality will help personalize and simplify the interaction of store visitors with the e-commerce platform.
If you are not familiar with the tool, here is a brief exploration. Adobe Sensei powers intelligent features across all Adobe products. Now, it is also a part of the company’s e-commerce offer. Sensei is used to improve the design and delivery of digital experiences. It means that the new feature will positively affect your customers. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are combined in a common framework to deliver the best experience.
Integrations & Improvements
Numerous integrations were introduced as well. The desire to improve not only the actual user experience but the way merchants interact with the product was backed by several notable features. Firstly, Google Shopping Ads Channel represented the Magento integration with Google Merchant Centre and Google Ads. It should dramatically improve various marketing processes and automate some daily tasks.
With the Amazon Sales Channel feature, Adobe introduced seamless Magento 2 Amazon integration. Thus, you can interact with the popular online marketplace more efficiently.
The Magento 2 integration with Adobe Analytics was represented with the Adobe Experience Platform extension. Get ready to get the most in-depth insights regarding your e-commerce website!
As for buyer-oriented improvements, they include advanced payments and shipping options on the basis of Amazon Pay, Klarna, and Vertex. And the Omnichannel Order Management feature now enables buyers to order online and purchase in store.
Migration to Magento 2
As for the migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2, it was also a reason for discussions at Imagine 2019. The Magento 1 End of Life is planned for 2020, so merchants are faced with three possible solutions:
Migrate to Magento 2;
Stay on Magento 1;
Move to another e-commerce platform.
All scenarios have their pros and cons, but you can choose one that suits your needs the best. We discuss all of them in the following guide: Magento 1 End of Life & Support.
For those merchants, who have already decided to migrate to Magento 2, we’ve prepared a tool that dramatically simplifies this process. Meet the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension and the Magento 1 Migration Add-On
The add-on supports all entities of both Commerce and Open Source editions and transfers a bunch of customizations so that you can quickly move products, orders (include invoices & shipping), customers (with saved passwords!), taxes, shipping rates, CMS and static blocks, settings, and custom attributes for products, orders, and customers.
Besides, it fixes numerous downsides of the Magento 2 Data Migration Tool:
Both Improved Import & Export and Magento 1 Migration Add-On are easy to install while the official tool requires technical skills even at this stage.
The extension offers a user-friendly interface right in the admin section of your Magento 2 website. The official tool can be controlled via CLI only.
No coding skills are required to run the migration from 1.x to 2.x with the add-on! You have to be an experienced coder to do the same things with the official migration solution.
The extension imports all entities and related customizations unsupported by the official Magento 2 Data Migration Tool.
Our Add-on is much faster than it comes to large data assets.
You can move between all Magento editions: the official tool doesn’t let you move from Magento 1.x Enterprise Edition to Magento 2.x Open Source.
Besides, you can dramatically reduce the Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration cost using this tool. And you also get the assistance of your team! Looking for the Magento 1 to Magento 2 code migration tool? Contact us, and we will provide answers to all your questions regarding the migration.
Gary Specter’s announcement about Imagine 2020 wasn’t shocking set on the alert for someone. The speaker informed the audience that the conference would be continued in parallel to Adobe Summit. What does it mean?
There will be two conferences combined. Nothing criminal. The whole community won’t disappear, so we will reunite in 2020 to have more good time and lots of new discussions.
According to the worst case scenario, we will no longer see the conference (do you believe in that?). A more optimistic one is about the decreasing role of the Magento brand replaced by Adobe (looks more real, but we don’t see any problems here: despite the branding, the people will be the same). You will find different thought in the articles gathered below.
Magento Imagine 2019 Recaps by Other Community Members
Below, we’ve gathered different thoughts regarding Imagine 2019 and its future. The articles highlight various aspects of the conference and provide unique views on the next year event.
Founded in 2008 Osijek, Croatia as a full-service eCommerce development agency, Inchoo has become one of the most visible community members over the past ten years. The company’s blog is full of helpful materials that describe lots of current problems and shed light on the future of e-commerce in the role of Magento in it. What is the chosen article about?
Aron Stanic, Head of Marketing, draws parallels between Imagine 2015 and the next year conference. While the old event was mostly dedicated to the eBay brand, the other meetings were Magento-themed. But things end and Imagine 2019 predicts that the gathering of 2020 will no longer be like the one all of us got used to.
Aron thinks that the current transition from Magento to Adobe is more like evolution – not the rapid jump from one state to another, and we can’t but agree. The blend of the service and product offerings between Magento and Adobe is very smooth but unstoppable.
As for Imagine 2019, it illustrated how good cooperation between Magento (Adobe) and partners could be. The system needs fresh ideas and new thoughts to make its e-commerce products suitable for the continuously rising needs of merchants, and the ecosystem contributes a lot to make the final product better.
The PWA approach was another prominent topic of Imagine 2019 Aron drives readers attention to. It is already entirely usable and illustrates notable results. Don’t forget that Inchoo is among the frontrunners in the progressive web apps game!
There is also a small chapter about Magento Association. The beacon of the Magento community in the Adobe realm advances and empowers the global e-commerce movement through open collaboration, education, and thought leadership.
Also, you will find out what Adobe Commerce Cloud is from the article. We think that it is one of the most important signs of the transition from the Magento-themed Imagine to the one dedicated mostly to Adobe.
But there is no reason to worry: If you’re a Magento partner, there is still room for you and your clients since Magento is keeping its focus on the mid-market for their commercial offer. You can still leverage a plethora of options. The entire e-commerce ecosystem just became bigger and now includes several more options aimed at more significant market players. At the same time, you can still use the good old tool even if it is Magento 1.x. We describe how to survive after the Magento 1 End of Life staying on 1.x here: Magento 1 EOL. As for the full Arons article, it is available here:It’s the end of Magento Imagine as we know it.
What are the official thoughts about the future of the ecosystem? Of course, Adobe highlights lots of bright perspectives related to the new state of Magento. The acquisition of our favorite e-commerce platform didn’t ruin the ecosystem. Indeed, it provided additional investments, made community contributions more valuable and begot a series of new tools and products aimed at big market players. As for small and mid-size businesses, they can still use the old-shoe platform without any doubts.
Magento has brought many strengths to the Adobe family. In its turn, Adobe has also implemented lots of crucial improvements forever changing the platform. Expanded B2B commerce opportunities, PWA studio with fascinating frontends, and more robust integration options with Amazon are just the top of the iceberg. However, everything is not so bright. For instance, the native import and export instruments of the platform are still very limited, while our solution is a cut above it. Read more official thoughts regarding Image 2019 here: Expanding the Experience at Imagine 2019.
The End Of Imagine As We Know It
Mark William Lewis, a web developer for Magento and Shopify, also thinks that Imagine will never be the same. He also points to the hesitations regarding the bright future of Magento as a flexible and community-oriented platform. According to Mark, large Magento partners are pretty optimistic about the future. As for the smaller agencies and partners at Imagine 2019, it seemed that they weren’t sure whether they would be pushed out of the ecosystem or not. Here at Firebear, we are much more optimistic: everyone will have enough space!
Mark also writes about hesitations concerning the existence of further Imagine conferences. While it is highly probable that the next-year event won’t be the same, highlighting the Adobe brand instead of Magento, we don’t think that the idea to keep such a cool event will be abandoned.
Progressive Web Apps, Magento Cloud, Magento Association, the Adobe acquisition, and the migration from Magento 1 are other topics highlighted in the article. You can discover all of them here: Magento Imagine 2019 Recap.
Miguel Balparda’s Imagine
If you want to get a better understanding of what Imagine really is, check the article by Miguel Balparda from Nexcess. He not only describes the technical aspects of Magento and e-commerce but also sheds light on yoga, clubs, and other aspects of the conference, which are usually ignored in other materials. Miguel helps readers understand that Imagine is not a plain flow of information, but an entertaining event that gathers e-commerce specialists all over the world, who are also people. Your journey to another side of Imagine starts here: Miguel Balparda’s Magento Imagine 2019 Recap.
3 Ways To “Expand the Experience”
An article by Liz Van Hoose in the ShipperHQ blog highlights the following critical aspects of Imagine 2019:
Community members should identify new ways to work together to meet the evolving needs of merchants and their customers;
It is essential to connect with customers throughout their shopping journey to improve their experience;
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are new cool trends that should be leveraged to improve the shopping experience;
Progressive Web Apps are a unique way onward much better e-commerce websites.
Other articles also share the idea that the community is still an integral part of the Magento ecosystem, so are the customers. As for AI, it is not very popular among other Image recap authors, but we agree that you shouldn’t miss this trend. And only the dead don’t talk about PWAs as the future of e-commerce.
Sonja Riesterer, Marketing Manager of integer_net, sheds light on side-events related to Imagine 2019. In addition to e-commerce and Magento, she describes different aspects of the conference. Let’s sum up the main points of the article:
Contribution Days were the event to meet people, work together on issues and to get in pull requests;
Magento Association opened up for new members, but there are still too many unclear details;
Big Dam Run was a community run for Magento partners, specialists, and enthusiasts;
Magento Partner Summit offered insights into the perspective of Magento’s sales team and the competition between Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce within the company;
PreImagine was that ‘cool and underground’ event in comparison to ‘mainstream’ Imagine that gets bigger every year;
ExtDN expanded its presence at Magento events and Imagine was not an exception;
Monday, Tuesday (Magento Master awards), Wednesday at Imagine.
Piers McEwan is a content writer at Vaimo who describes the first day of Imagine in the closest details. He also talks about Big Dam Run and sheds light on Magento Partner Awards – two side-events of Imagine. As for Monday at Imagine, Piers sheds light on what speakers were talking about: the expansion of opportunity, the exceptional contribution of Mark Lavelle, Magento community, rising customer experience, Adobe’s positive impact, etc. For further information, read this article: VAIMO AT MAGENTO IMAGINE 2019 — DAY 1 RECAP.
Magento Imagine 2019 Recap by Yotpo
Raj Nijjer, VP Marketing @ Yotpo, mostly writes about Yotpo’s role in the Magento ecosystem and at the conference. Besides, the article highlights some winners of a Magento Partner Award. 2019 Partner Award Winners among Magento Technology Partners are PayPal, dotdigital, Aheadworks, ShipperHQ, Yotpo, and Akeneo.
An interview with the Strix team also describes some nuances of the meeting. Imagine 2019 was all about innovation, user experience, and the importance of the Magento community. Specialists who provide consulting and implementation services in the area of omnichannel, e-commerce, and digital transformation for B2B and B2C companies won’t lie. Check the interview here: How was Imagine 2019 by Paulina Jóźwik.
Magento Imagine 2019 Recap by Ziffity
Magento Imagine 2019 Recap by Ziffity attracted our attention due to its coverage. The article describes key aspects of the conference and then provides highlights of sessions and keynotes. What are the main aspects of Imagine, according to Ziffity?
PWA Studio – building PWA websites on top of Magento is much easier now;
Page Builder – merchants can create more engaging websites without technical specialists;
Adobe Sensei – AI and machine learning are used to enhance customer experiences;
Google Shopping Ads Channel – Magento integration with Google Merchant Centre and Google Ads;
Aleksandra Kwiecień, Content Manager at Divante eCommerce Software House, describes Magento Imagine in three words: Adobe, PWA, and Community. As you can see from other articles, PWA was the key topic of the conference. Of course, post-acquisition improvements and features also got the necessary attention at Imagine 2019. For instance, a lot has been said about Adobe Sensei and the use of AI in the improved customer experience. Integration with other Adobe services and external systems is also mentioned in the article. Besides, Aleksandra writes about the strength of the Magento community, which was emphasized at the conference. You can find all these and other thoughts here: MAGENTO IMAGINE 2019 (RECAP): ADOBE, PWA AND COMMUNITY.
Shivbhadrasinh Gohil, Meetanshi Co-Founder, describes the key highlights from what each Imagine’s speaker was talking about. Magento opportunities, Magento community, PWA, better customer experience – you’ve already heard about all these topics from the other recaps. What really makes this article unique is its structure: you will not only get the key ideas of Imagine but discover its speakers and their keynotes. Follow this link for further information: Magento Imagine 2019 – Recap & Insights.
Ray Bogman about Imagine 2019
Ray Bogman is an IT professional and Magento evangelist from the Netherlands. In his Imagine 2019 recap, he highlights the following key moments:
Excellence Awards – for outstanding achievements in e-commerce;
PWA – the easiest way to build e-commerce websites with app-like experience;
Advanced payments and shipping options based on Amazon Pay, Klarna, and Vertex integrations;
DHL Premier – for more flexible shipping options;
2.2.4 with all its improvements and fixes;
The community of over 315k developers and 4k agencies.
Thomas Gaydos, CMO & Marketing Practice Lead at McFadyen Digital, highlights the online marketplace model as the future of e-commerce and an important topic of Imagine 2019 paired with various improvements to the actual customer experience. The author doesn’t provide any thoughts on how to ensure a proper balance of sellers and buyers as you get started or something like that but explores the topic from the perspective of the event and the participation of McFadyen Digital in it. You can find more information here: Magento Imagine 2019 Recap.
Imagine 2019 was inspiring and motivating, like a conference where you meet good old friends and make new acquaintances should be. This year, the event was all about new opportunities, a better experience for both merchants, customers, and developers, as well as the outstanding community around the platform. Even if Imagine 2020 is held under the brand of Adobe instead of Magento, all of us will be there bringing the spirit of past events! Don’t forget that we are the force that makes the e-commerce instrument so vivid!