The very first MagentoLive conference took place today in London and I went along to find out more about them. Pretty much all I knew about Magento was that they’ve been fully owned by eBay for the last year and they do webshops.
I was in for a surprise when the CEO, Roy Rubin stood up and announced that they’re not a technology focused company after all, they’re primarily about innovation. He had very little to say about the platform, at least in the early part of the day, it was all about what Magento’s customers need and how the Magento partner community can and are delivering it.
Despite having 125,000 webshops and fully supported Magento Enterprise editions (From $14,420 or $49,990 annual licence) and hosted version in Magento Go ($15 – $125 / month), they also give the software away as a Magento Community Edition for those with time on their hands to implement it without help.
Magento have a Community Edition as they’re primarily an Open Source company, and that’s a position Roy Rubin reiterated today. A young company, founded in 2007, they’re still on Magento Version 1, although Version 2 is being worked on there’s no current release date. However the level of support from the community have propelled them to the upper echelons of ecommerce with over 76,000 third party extensions available to add additional functionality to the core product.
Roy Rubin set out the key drivers which are changing ecommerce, and there’s little surprise that they’re Social, Mobile, Local and Global. Touching on just mobile as an example, he points out that there are 25 million smartphone users in the UK and mobile commerce is predicted to grow by 53% in the UK over the next 12 months (eBay today confirmed at the conference that 30% of eBay UK sales now take place on a mobile device). Magento’s drive for innovation means that they offer full HTML5 native mobile websites as well as mobile app offerings.
Paul Sheehy, founder of Folk Digital gave several examples of mobile sites including Heckfield Place, which opens in 2013. Their new site looks fabulous across any platform from a widescreen monitor to the smallest mobile smartphone. I’d encourage you to check it out on your smartphone as well as a tablet and PC to see just what the latest in mobile design can do for a website as it’s a stunning example.
Mobile is just one of the ways Magento are innovating but what’s really exciting is how their developer community are extending the core product and the sites they’re producing. We’re going to be inviting some of the conference speakers to guest post on Tamebay in the future and we’ve some more interesting stories to share from the first MagentoLive conference.
In the mean time if you’re considering a platform for your next website we’d suggest taking a serious look at Magento and the capabilities both of the core product and the thousands of extensions which give extra functionality.
Congratulations to all the guys at Magento for a fantastic first MagentoLive, definitely one of the best conferences of 2012.