Magento Live Europe (MLEU 2019) this year took place in Amsterdam at the RAI Conference Centre on Oct 22nd-23rd. Our Strategic Partnership Manager Andre de Gaye and myself, Senior PHP developer Gareth James attended along with many other innovators, agencies and merchants from the Magento community.
There was a lot to take in and here are the key takeaways for us from this event:
There is a big push from the Magento Marketplace team to try and improve the quality of all extensions provided on the marketplace. On this front Magento are looking at adding various initiatives to make it easier to submit extensions and also easier for merchants to be able to identify good quality modules by adding more information to marketplace listings:
- Improvements to the submissions process to allow submission via a deploy process, rather than manual upload.
- Giving more detail on the quality of a module in the listing on the marketplace including test coverage stats and compatibility with extended features of Magento.
- Introducing “Advanced Quality” extensions, that have passed a higher bar than the standard level extensions.
- They’ve reduced the lead time for submissions down to 2-3 weeks, though we’ve seen much faster lead times in our most recent submissions.
There is already a certain level of quality required to be able to list an extension on the marketplace and Magento will be pushing the bar higher as they strive to drive up quality in the marketplace. We’re always looking at ways to improve our extension and will be doing so with these upcoming changes in mind.
Coupled with the push form the Magento Marketplace, there was a great talk by Max Chadwick from Something Digital, who went through some simple tips for extension providers to help ensure ease of use and integration when using an extension. An overview of the talking points were:
These are great rules for all extension developers!
Focus on AI
There’s increasing focus on the usage of AI in commerce and this is going to be a big part of the future of Magento. The topic was discussed during the keynotes at MLEU and a separate talk. It’s already driving some major growth for companies both outside and inside the Magento community as these stats show:
This is where my attention was really focused. PureClarity are specialists in AI driven Ecommerce Personalization and as a Magento Approved Technology Partner, my role is to ensure that our clients who are using Magento get the best out of PureClarity’s AI to achieve their online sales targets.
The Magento community is going strong as shown by the high level of attendance at the Contribution day on the 21st. This allowed developers to contribute to the core of Magento and also integrations into Adobe stock image library and AWS event bridge.
I myself, contributed to the Adobe stock image project, by adding some unit tests to improve the test coverage of the integration.
The Magento Association is going to be a big part of the future of the Magento community as it continues to grow. You can learn more about it here: https://www.magentoassociation.org/
Whilst attending MLEU 2019, I also took part in the Dev Exchange at the end of the event, discussing PWA and mental health, two very important and hot topics in the community at the moment.
(image credit: https://twitter.com/sherrierohde/status/1187035624789991431)
PWA (Progressive Web Apps)
While still in a relatively early adopter phase, PWA is another area that will be in sharp focus in the Magento Community in the years ahead as it becomes the standard frontend for Magento stores. Currently, there are a few competing platforms that are offering a PWA experience for Magento 2 stores:
- PWA studio
- Vue Storefront
- Deity PWA
We’ll be keeping an eye on these platforms as they pioneer the future of the Magento frontend.
The keynotes included a section of commerce “Sneaks”, which is a new part of Magento events that showcase cool innovations from within the Magento community as part of their Innovations Lab program. There were 4 sneaks on display:
1. PWA Scan & Go by Webkul
This allowed users to search for a product on a Magento store by taking a picture of the physical item, then buying the product online.
2. Pepper the robot by SNOW.DOG
Pepper is a robot designed to help understand human emotions and can help customers in-store, guiding them through the process of finding what they need using an integrated tablet display.
3. Head-on commerce by CedCommerce
The “ Head-on commerce” innovation allowed a user to interact with a Magento store using head movements only, it’s going to have great application for users with limited mobility.
4. Payment Request API by Imagination Media
This innovation makes the Magento checkout faster, by allowing the browser or operating system to take over the payment part of the checkout. This will be great for making checkouts even easier to help increase conversion.
“PWA Scan & Go” won the online vote, but our favorite was the “head-on commerce” by CedCommerce.
No Magento event would be complete without great keynote speeches. This years MLEU inspirational keynotes were by Dame Shirley and Joost Rigter:
Dame Shirley took us through her story from being a child refugee to the challenges she faced up to leading a major software company, whose work included software for Concorde’s black box flight recorder, then to her philanthropy and charity work for people with Autism.
Joost Rigter lost most of his sight at the age of 26, he talked about how he came to accept this and cope with change to inspire us to embrace the changes in our own lives. We were given an insight into his world as we were blindfolded for the duration!
Both talks were very inspiring in different ways.
Overall we had a great conference from the inspirational and informative talks, to the great conversations we had with others in the community.
We’d like to thank the many partners, agencies, developers, and merchants we met for helping to make the MLEU 2019 event a great one! We’re looking forward to the next one in London next year already!