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November 1, 2018

A MagentoLive EU 2018 Digest

An autumnal Magento Live in Barcelona brought us the latest announcements from the newly acquired Adobe company. There’s a lot of positives to close the year out on; the 2.3 release, Adobe, Amazon and Google Shopping integrations as well as a new Payments products.
Let me run you through the highlights.
The Adobe Vision
Before we get to any of the Magento announcements, the first thing on everyone’s mind is listening to the messaging from Adobe to try and predict what to expect in 2019 for Magento.
We were fortunate to hear the Adobe CEO be interviewed on stage. If there’s one thing that Adobe have been great at it’s not being left behind from a technology point of view.  To me that suggests that we’re going to continue to see a technology revolution within Magento.
Naturally, we’re also seeing the Adobe product catalogue integrated with Magento and offered to merchants.  New Magento Commerce Cloud customers can now benefit from Adobe products such as Experience Manager, Target and Analytics.
Magento 2.3
We’ve been (sort of) patiently waiting for the 2.3 release and for good reason – there’s a bucket load of stuff in it! We’re told it’s going to land in November, so plan those upgrades for the new year.
In terms of functionality, take your pick between:
  • Ability to manage multiple inventory locations and allocate to different websites.
  • PWA Studio progress update with further GraphQL functionality
  • Page Builder – Enhanced CMS, in beta initially and bundled with Magento in a release coming in Q1 next year.
  • A truckload of smaller features, bug fixes and performance improvements, including: 2 factor authentication to admin, import/export improvements, elasticsearch support in the open-source edition and support for PHP 7.2
For comprehensive info, read the release notes.
Developers note that there are quite a few backwards incompatible changes so check the docs.
Magento Payments
In a similar vein to Magento Shipping this brings together some long-stranding partners in the payment space – PayPal and Braintree, along with fraud protection services from Signifyd into a single service for merchants. No need to sign up for separate accounts, just create one Magento Payments account and get set up quickly. Reconciliation and reporting can then all be done within the Magento admin.
The early access progress is now open and we expect the official release to be early in 2019.
Find out more about Magento Payments.
Magento Association
Announced earlier this year at Magento Imagine, the Magento Association is an independent organisation with a mission to advance and empower the commerce ecosystem through collaboration, education and thought leadership. Find out more about the vision and goals on the Magento forums.
The announcement at Magento Live was the formation of a Task Force with cross-disciplined team members to guide the formation and strategic plan for the Magento Association.
In the immediate term, the association has become the new home for all Meet Magento events.
Magento Sales Channel
When Magento surveyed merchants, they found that one of their biggest frustrations was the lack of a reliable integration with marketplaces. With this knowledge, Magento took to building out a Sales Channel product which will be available in early 2019.  It will launch with support for Amazon Marketplace and Google Shopping (through Google Merchant Center).
It will enable merchants to list on Amazon, including handling re-pricing to maintain the buy box. Merchants will also be able to manage inventory, fulfilment and process orders from within the Magento admin. It also has support for FBA.
It’s a similar story with the Google Shopping integration. Merchants can manage their adverts from within the Magento admin and the product synchronisation and ad management is communicated to Google in the background. What’s more, you can also make use of Google’s Smart Shopping campaigns which uses machine learning to choose which products to advertise, how much to bid and who to target to make your budget go further.
Find out more about Magento Sales Channels.
New Partners
There was a brief announcement for two technology partners that have been elevated to premier level: Yotpo and Akeneo. Yotpo started out as a product reviews tool but now has grown to help manage many forms of user-generated content as well loyalty programmes. Akeneo is a product information management tool and is another long-standing member of the Magento community. 
Mobile Optimisation initiative
To help retailers tackle the mCommerce gap, Magento and the community, led by technology partners PayPal and HiConversion, launched the Mobile Optimization Initiative. To date, the participating system integration partners have conducted over 250 experiments resulting in three million data points from merchants worldwide.
Merchants that take part can benefit from a complimentary mobile funnel assessment and report along with suggested experiments.
All in all, Magento Live was a great event, especially as the first big Magento event since the acquisition and there was a lot of excitement around. We certainly didn’t let the battering Barcelona storms rain on our parade.