Wednesday Afternoon General Session Magento Imagine 2014

Well, it's that time again - time to say goodbye to Magento Imagine. With a lot of excitement in the air, the attendees of Imagine have gathered again in The Joint at the Hard Rock for the final general session of Magento Imagine. Announcing winners of the giveaways, etc.

Showing a customer success story of Terracycle, a Magento customer, and the CEO of Terracycle is now on stage.

Garbage doesn't exist in nature. Everything around us will become garbage one day. Consumption + complex materials creates garbage - we each consume 10 times more stuff than people did 100 years ago. What we buy today is what gives us pleasure, not what we need to survive. Garbage is a major issue - 5 billion tons per year. There are 5 floating garbage balls in the Pacific Ocean, each the size of Texas. 25% of our garbage ends up in the ocean, 5% is recycled.

The answer to the garbage problem is changing how we consume - buy consciously. Buy refill pouches, reusable containers, durable and not disposable items. Terracycle took an interesting path - started out selling 'worm poop liquid' in reused Pepsi and Coke bottles. Went beyond that, though, to transform the entire industry by looking at how to apply the lessons learned on that product to the entire recycling industry and the problem of garbage. Tom challenges merchants that are here to also look at the waste stream their products create and engage consumers on what happens when the product is used - collect, recycle and reuse your used products.

Now we're seeing another customer success video, this time on The Athlete's Foot in Australia, another large-scale multichannel retailer using Magento.

Now Michael Dart, author of the New Rules of Retail, is on stage. There have been 4 waves in retail - Producer Power in 1850, Marketing Power in 1950, Consumer Power in 1980 and Technology Power in 2011. Power of total accessibility - more and cheaper access, quicker and easier access, much smarter access. 80% of consumers that own smartphones are using them when shopping for major items, and it's changing their decisions.

Consumers have gone from needing stuff to demanding experiences.

Consumers have gone from conformity to customization.

Consumers have gone from plutocracy to democracy.

Consumers have gone from wanting new stuff to wanting new and now.

Consumers have gone from self to community.

Consumers have gone from technology for work to technology for life.

In this world, to be successful, there are 3 principals to think about: create a neurological connection, preemptive distribution, superior value chain collaboration.

There's 3 steps to creating a neurological connection - Pre-shopping anticipation -> actual shopping experience -> consumption or using product or service.

Preemptive distribution - reach the consumers in the most effective and compelling way before the consumer even knows they want it.

Increase collaboration among your value chain. Embed technology throughout your business and value chain.

3 retail competitive segments - commodity (driving price down), omni-channel to consumer (engagement between the brand and the consumer), extreme value.  Retailers should move towards the omni-channel to consumer and engage with their consumers.

Every retailer needs to think like they're Silicon Valley - analytics, mobility/tech, social marketing need to be core competencies.

Virtual Reality for eCommerce will the final frontier for the new rules of retail.

Now we're watching a highlight video of Magento Imagine.

Roy is back on stage thanking everyone - sponsors, the Magento team, and his final note was that even though he's leaving Magento, he's confident the eBay/PayPal/Magento team, working with the community, will continue to carry Magento forward to great things even after he's no longer involved.

Magento Imagine 2015 date has been announced - it will be April 20th thru 22nd in Las Vegas at the Wynn. Great to see the event moving to an even larger venue, and on the strip!

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Jamie Larson