Overview of Magento Imagine 2013 – Las Vegas
Since being back over a month now from such an influential event, every now and then I remember a great piece of information that amazed me and announce the details in the office or send an email to everyone. Staff responded by saying “JUST send ONE email with everything please!” Stop spamming us!! So instead I thought it was necessary to write a blog. Here we go… For those of you that have stumbled across this blog and are not sure what I’m on about, Magento is e-commerce software we use for our clients and Imagine 2013 is the conference that took place in Las Vegas, USA run by Magento. The conference was attended by 1,500 developers and merchants from across the globe.
The event took place over 3 days 8th April to 10th April 2013 and was divided up into different breakout sessions you could attended according to what you wanted to learn. As well as this there were main talks that took place in the Pavilion. See images below of the awesome room and stage design. Well done Magento!!
The Pavilion at the M Resort
The event was attended by agencies and also merchants that owned their own e-commerce websites and were looking for suggestions to improve their online businesses. So for e-commerce business owners make sure you checkout next year’s event!! You won’t be disappointed (date and location has not been announced yet).
Here is a summary of how the days went for me. I won’t go into detail on the talks given by each speaker, but more about the sessions I attended:
On the first day after registration I had a walk around the Marketplace in the Milan Ballroom and met some great companies. The companies that exhibited in the Marketplace were mainly developers and development companies that have created great extensions for Magento. These ranged from email marketing companies that can integrate with Magento, great social feedback plugins, to automatic cross sell and upsell extensions and so many more that take away the responsibility from the website owner, all very cool. There are so many others that I really thought were VERY good.
Below are the breakout sessions I enjoyed and the key things that stood out:
Responsive Design: Where, Why and How?
In this session the speakers emphasised the increase of mobile shopping and how we need to be geared up for this. With this in mind it is important to make sure magento e-commerce sites are easy to use on these devices. Ignoring the fact that you have an audience surfing your site with these devices and not catering for them reduces conversions and the probability of them returning! They explained and I agree fully, that clients should NOT see it as an expense but as an investment that will pay itself off over 3-4 months based on the increased conversions you will gain by making those steps to cater for this.
The speakers explained that responsive design is far better than having a mobile version. There are a number of issues with having a mobile version such as duplicate content on different urls, limited experience that does not engage the customer to buy amongst other points. However, I am not sure I fully agree with some of them. I have witnessed a massive difference in conversions with having a responsive site versus a mobile version with limited content. The steps towards proceeding to change your site to be responsive should not be done on an existing site. The best and most productive way would be to start from scratch.
Careful planning needs to be completed when preparing for a responsive site and wire frames are definitely required to define all functional elements, especially when introducing certain functions. They need to work across the board on all devices and desktops. The overall benefits are:
- Single design/development instance
- Single content set
- Present “intentional experiences” across devices and platforms
- Numerous SEO and Social Sharing benefits
- Lower lifetime maintenance costs
This was an eye opener and a great session. If you have an e-commerce or even a business site get going with your responsive site now! Below is an example of a responsive site we recently completed – Shisha Sticks
The Search Continues: SEO / SEM Trends for 2013
In this session we were brought up to speed with SEO for 2013. I’m sure a lot of you know about the major changes Google have made with its algorithm. The main emphasis was on the content of the site; products should have unique content. Business owners should not just use the product descriptions provided by their supplier they should create unique and original content. Content should be written for people to enjoy! Not for Google bot to pick up endless repetitions of keywords.
Enabling reviews was a good feature to investigate as they do get indexed and people do read them! This helps with the overall efforts of SEO. They also talked about Google Authorship and binding all content written by the authors back to their Google Plus page. Social Signals are very important as it adds value to the site and also helps towards the SEO. So you have to be active on all the major social media sites.
Act Now: 10 Tips for Boosting Revenues
In this session I noticed a lot of e-commerce business owners sitting on the edge of their seats, pen and paper, Dictaphones, Cameras and many other devices at the ready to record everything mentioned. Here are my notes of the 10 key tips:
Top of the list is speed up your website! Increasing your website speed will ultimately increase your conversions. All our clients Magento sites are hosted on our dedicated servers located at PEER1 Magento’s industry partner for hosting.
- Focus on revenue per visitor
- Use Video – Adding videos to your site will convey to your customers what the products do and how they will benefit from buying them.
- Add Pay & Ship Options, for example use PayPal which has proven to increase website conversions by 30%!
- Go Mobile!! Making your site mobile or responsive will increase conversions. According to some stats mobile conversions went up for one site by 54% on mobile devices since making their site mobile friendly.
- Improved search – people hate it when they get dead pages with NO results or at least suggestions of what they may be after. This is something that needs to be improved to increase conversions.
- Use heat maps to analyse your traffic and promote products and offers in key areas of your site, do A / B testing to see what works!
- Do not forget the Cross Selling and Upselling. These are great opportunities to sell that little extra product to the customer before they checkout.
- Improve pages such as, My Account, Checkout Success, Forgot Basket and also Your Basket is Empty, why not put offers and promotions on these pages.
- Include products in order confirmation emails. It is the one email that will be looked at more than once so why not push more product in this email? We are developing a magento module for this get in touch for more information.
These are great tips and do work! so either get going with the suggestions or contact us for help on how to put these in place.
Hope you enjoyed the blog, contact me if you want any further information about the event.