Magento’s entire ecosystem is a global network of more than 250,000 merchants and 350-plus solution partners that support these merchants. This impressive community powers more than $155 billion in global gross merchandise value (GMV) sold annually, boosting economies and employment across the world.
With the recent marriage of Magento and Adobe, the ecosystem is stronger than ever. More than 2,000 attendees gathered last week at MagentoLive Europe 2019 in Amsterdam to hear from Magento and Adobe leaders, soak in education from more than 80 different sessions, and eat a stroopwafel or two.
I was excited to join the Klaviyo team and head to Amsterdam for this event. Here are seven highlights from my time at MagentoLive Europe 2019, including everything from interacting with fellow solution partners, customers, merchants, and speakers at this incredible event.
1 | A preview of Magento’s roadmap at Partner Summit
We kicked off our time at MagentoLive Europe with 300 of our fellow Klaviyos, systems integrators, developers, technology solutions, and growth agencies at Magento’s Partner Summit. This part of the event helps to connect Magento’s partner ecosystem with its leadership team to discuss Magento’s product roadmap, answer questions, and celebrate partner wins.
Leaders from Magento and Adobe took the stage to give thanks to everyone in the ecosystem and set the tone for 2020.
As they spoke about the powerful tools Adobe offers the Magento ecosystem, they described Magento’s merge with Adobe in 2018 as a marriage since each party perfectly complements the other. This theme was evident throughout the conference as merchants and solution partners shared how they’ve experienced success using Adobe and Magento integrated products.
They also discussed the company’s commitment to better serve small and medium-sized business (SMB) merchants through investments in new product features like Page Builder and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). These tools help deliver faster, better experiences for solution partners, merchants, and end customers.
Leaders from these two organizations also acknowledged and thanked the 350-plus members of their collective ecosystem before addressing how they plan to support the ecosystem through some major changes coming soon—specifically, the impending migration of platform versions (M1 to M2) that will impact all 250,000 Magento merchants.
Immediately after, the excitement spilled into a networking reception with wine, appetizers, and refreshing Klaviyo Grow-jitos.
2 | Sweeping views of Amsterdam at the Pre-MagentoLive Party
From the Partner Summit to the official Pre-MagentoLive Party at A’DAM Tower, more than 600 solution partners and merchants took in sweeping views of the city at this brand-new 18-story venue with floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass swing on the top floor. Everyone enjoyed fun things like a photo booth, EDM music spun by a local DJ, and hosted brand activation lounges by Adyen, JMango360, and Klaviyo.
Adyen served up a special selection of craft cocktails inspired by their brand, JMango360 bedazzled guests’ faces with rhinestones and glitter, and we hosted digital caricature artists who sent guests home with hilarious cartoon-like versions of themselves. Thanks to our friends at MediaCT and Dutch Standard Events for organizing an incredible party!
3 | A customer-focused presence with a retail-inspired design
Klaviyo exists to help brands grow, so having our customers’ brands take center stage in our booth was the perfect way to showcase the power of the tools that brands use to grow fast.
We transformed our space into a retail-inspired environment complete with shelves and clothing racks with merchandise from customers like Case·Mate, ColourPop, HYLETE, Never Fully Dressed, Pretavoir, The Tie Bar, and Troubadour.
These brands make some seriously covetable products, so we sent guests home with a soft Klaviyo t-shirt made by another customer, Custom Ink, a pocket square from The Tie Bar, or a lip product from ColourPop.
4 | Talking all things personalization in commerce conversations
One of the best parts of any conference is meeting your colleagues and hearing their points of view. I attended a commerce conversation—45-minute long roundtable conversations led by Adobe Product Managers. My table included a mix of merchants and solution partners, and we talked about all things personalization.
Advanced personalization is on everyone’s mind since it can significantly improve conversion rates. We shared best practices, current struggles, and recommended solutions for better marketing personalization. Our conversation flowed from product recommendations to data science to successful M2 migrations.
Mark William Lewis from Netalico Commerce shared tips on how to avoid a slump in organic search traffic, a result that’s common for platform migrations.
5 | Learning how to marry content and commerce
One particular presentation title caught my eye—“Engaging Millennial Mum with the Content and Commerce Mix.”
As a first-time expectant mother and marketer, I couldn’t wait to hear the ways I was being commercially targeted as I entered this new, highly lucrative customer demographic (file that under: things a marketer would say).
I was met with a refreshing take on lifecycle marketing by Aidan Connor, the Global Digital Platform Manager at Mayborn Group, home of Tommee Tippee and the Gro Company, a direct to consumer brand for bottle feeding, breastfeeding, diapering products, and more.
Aidan shared lots of tactical tips on how to think about targeting your customers with highly relevant content and intertwine them with opportunities to buy using Adobe and Magento products.
He guided us through examples of product pages with relevant content woven into the page based on the age of the baby. Each product page incorporated two call-to-action (CTA) buttons: one to “Learn More” and the other to “Purchase.”
The Learn More path gave visitors more educational content related to the product’s use case and the Purchase button led to a simple path to purchase.
Aidan also spoke about customer empathy and ensuring that a mother could checkout using one hand since her other hand is likely securing a wiggly child. He cleverly coined it, “Single Handed Commerce.”
The main point? Empathy will take a brand far and when it comes to content, but data will take it even farther.
Tommee Tippee let data lead and leveraged this top search query into their content and commerce flow with a question like, “What color should my baby’s poop be?”
I have a lot to look forward to and I’ll be glad for helpful content and commerce sites like Tommee Tippee!
6 | Hearing how Case·Mate uses owned marketing to grow
It might sound cliché, but seeing how successful our customers are is one of the things that gets me up in the morning and excited to head to work.
It was an honor to have one of our customers, Case·Mate, join us in Amsterdam to share the story of how they’re successfully growing their brand with a room of fellow Magento merchants.
Keith Neely, Case·Mate’s vice president of ecommerce, digital, IT, and customer support spoke about the company’s evolution from being heavily dependent on retail to building direct relationships with customers through the brand’s owned marketing channels like their website, email, and mobile. He spoke about how they use the data they get from those channels to influence marketing strategies across social media, brand ambassador programs, and customer review initiatives, as well.
In today’s landscape, it’s not enough to speak directly to customers in generic terms, and Keith talked about how Case·Mate turned to Klaviyo to help them reach customers with highly personalized messages at scale.
Keith, a proud Samsung phone owner, recounted a comical but poignant story of the time he made his first Case·Mate purchase, just ahead of his job interview. He purchased a shiny new case for his beloved device and days later he received email content featuring cases for an iPhone—the horror!
Upon joining Case·Mate, Keith said one of his first orders of business was to overhaul the brand’s personalization strategy and review it’s tech stack to ensure it properly enabled their new acquisition and retention strategies. Since then, Case·Mate has seen revenue grow 35 percent year over year and sales for Samsung accessories have grown 75 percent, as well. It pays to know your audience!
7 | Major inspiration from Dame Stephanie Shirley’s keynote
Dame Stephanie Shirley stepped on to the stage donning a colorful and chic ensemble, and with an undeniable swagger that filled the auditorium.
She was a technologist, wildly successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, immigrant, grandmother, and a feminist before it was popular.
Her keynote was an abbreviated glimpse into a fascinating life that could’ve kept the audience captivated for hours. She started by telling the story of how she fled from Nazi-occupied Germany at the age of five and talked about how she came of age in London in the 50s.
Despite a talent for math and science, she was ushered into studying botany since it was the only socially acceptable science for a woman to study at the time. She persevered and pushed forward into a career in mathematics and technology while becoming a wife and mother in the process.
Unable to gain employment as a young mother, she launched what we now know as an IT and software development agency, Freelance Programmers Limited, and bootstrapped the entire operation because no bank would give her a loan. She hired women and pioneered the concept of returners—mothers who returned to work after full-time child-rearing.
Through grit, leadership and inventive means (like signing business letters as “Steven” instead of her own first name “Stephanie”), she grew the business into a 600-person team listed on the London Stock Exchange and eventually sold it to Sopra Steria, enabling 70 employees to become millionaires.
Dame Shirley was the embodiment of a boss lady decades before it was fashionable, and a boss before it was socially tolerated. She broke glass ceilings, but her keynote wasn’t about breaking gender roles.
She spoke to executives in the room as a founder and CEO, successful by any measure, and cautioned against CEO burnout, sacred cows, and resistance to innovation.
In closing, she shared the three best pieces of advice she gives when asked about achieving success:
- Don’t network with people you know. Build a network based on respect over likeability.
- It’s always about the team. Lead strategy, delegate, and leave the execution to your team.
- Choose your partner wisely. It’s the single most important decision you can make.
Dame Shirley may have been referring to life partners, but considering the room, the same could ring true for business partnerships, too. As Keith from Case·Mate advised in his session, “choose partners that feel like an extension of your internal team.”
On that note, I left MagentoLive Europe 2019 feeling like we accomplished what we set out to do. We broadened our network with solution partners we’ve watched and respected from afar, divided and conquered between a team of 14 Klaviyos, and spent quality time with our strategic solution partners and merchants. I think Dame Shirley would’ve been proud!
Learn more about how Klaviyo works with agencies and technology partners to help brands grow.
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