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Introducing our new Ecommerce Evangelist Tom Robertshaw

Towards to end of 2017, we were excited to announce the acquisition of the ecommerce agency Meanbee. Not only did we acquire a great business, but the move also meant some extremely talented people joining our organisation, who can help us continue to grow. One of these individuals was Tom Robertshaw.

In this blog, Space 48's Marketing & Events Manager, Natasha Wright, introduces our new Ecommerce Evangelist, Tom Robertshaw, exploring his new role, his vision for the future and outlining the key ecommerce events year he'll be involved with this year!

Who is Tom Robertshaw?

So, who is Tom Robertshaw and what is an "Ecommerce Evangelist"?

Tom was a co-founder of Meanbee, an ecommerce agency that specialised in Magento. Started up in 2011, the business went from strength to strength, gaining great experience and growing a fantastic team. In acquiring Meanbee last year, we believe we are stronger together. Tom explains his role in his own words:

"There are two main elements to my role at Space 48. The first is working with clients on their ecommerce strategy to identify key opportunities for improvement and helping them to prioritise these opportunities. The second part is all about researching and monitoring ecommerce trends and best practices, sharing my insights and experiences with the community."

As a firm advocate of machine learning and how it helps businesses improve their customer experience, Tom's strengths lie in experimenting with new technologies and exploring their potential impact for retailers and ecommerce businesses.

Space 48's acquisition of Meanbee

Stronger together Space 48's acquisition of Meanbee

Space 48 MD Jon Woodall knew the Meanbee team for a few years, through the Magento community and from Mage Titans, so we were excited to join forces with some really talented people from the industry, who could help transform our organisation.

Tom echoes these sentiments and talks of his excitement about joining Space 48:

"At Meanbee, we really respected what Jon and Tony (Brown) created with Space 48. Mage Titans has grown from a Magento Manchester community event to a globally-renowned conference for Magento developers. Space 48's values of learning, leadership and innovation were an inspiration and it's exciting to join a progressive ecommerce consultancy who create award-winning ecommerce websites for top retail brands."

Read more about the acquisition of Meanbee here: Stronger together: Space 48 acquires leading ecommerce agency Meanbee

Ecommerce events: where can you catch Tom this year?

Tom is very active in the ecommerce and Magento communities, and a regular speaker at events (both offline and online). Tom was actually one of the speakers at the inaugural Mage Titans event, in Manchester, back in 2014. Since then, Mage Titans has quickly evolved and this year has conferences in no less than 6 cities around the globe, including Texas, Mexico City, Milan, Valencia, Groningen and, obviously, Manchester!

Tom recently spoke at Magento Meetup London, discussing PWAs (progressive web apps) and their impact on the ecommerce industry this year. His presentation is available to download on Speaker Deck and he's also provided a PDF of recommended reading to Get Up to Speed with PWAs.

In April, Tom has been invited to be on the panel for a session called "Getting ahead with the Progressive Web" at the largest Magento event, Magento Imagine, in Las Vegas.

While further events are still to be confirmed, he's hoping to attend Magento Live Europe in Barcelona as well as more of the MageTitans events such as Valencia, Austin, and the home-turf Manchester event!

He'll also be a guest on a number of upcoming online events, including Kissmetrics' webinar on 22nd March and WorkCast's webinar a week later, on 29th March. See details below:

"Achieve high growth by keeping customers coming back to your eCommerce website" - Kissmetrics webinar (22nd March - 10am PT). Register for Kissmetrics webinar here.

"How to create a rock-solid customer retention strategy" - WorkCast webinar (29th March - 4pm GMT). Register Tom's webinar here.

As a certified Magento Master, Tom will also appear as a guest on one of our future "Ask the Masters" live webinars. If you missed the first #AskTheMasters webinar, you can get the recording here >> #AskTheMasters webinar - February 2018

Tom's vision of growth for Space 48 in 2018

One of Space 48's key growth strategies is mergers and acquisitions, as we work towards our goal of becoming the UK's leading ecommerce consultancy. We hope to announce more exciting news soon!

Our ambitious journey is built around culture. We have a fairly unique culture at Space 48 and a focused brand DNA, that embodies everything we do. We seek to recruit and work with the brightest and most dynamic people in the industry.

Tom offers his vision for Space 48 this year and his role in our growth and success:

"I believe that Space 48 are going to continue going from strength to strength, not just through mergers and acquisitions but through the shared journey of growth with our customers. In my short time with the company already, I can already see that there's a wealth of knowledge and passion in providing the high quality consultancy, design and development work. Ultimately this is focused on creating measurable business impact and value for our customers. My part in this is small, but I hope to be able to uncover opportunities for our clients, some may be novel uses of technology, while others may be process changes that free up more time for merchants. 

Quick-fire Q&A with our new Ecommerce Evangelist

What 3 words best describe you?

Intelligent, funny, modest.    

What is your biggest challenge this year?

I'm looking forward to getting to know the wider Space 48 team and our clients. There's such a wealth of knowledge in the company, I'm looking forward to being able to learn from others and hopefully share that with the wider ecommerce and Magento community. While sharing and learning at events is an enjoyable part of my work, I think the biggest challenges this year are going to be working alongside customers, helping them to define their ecommerce strategy definition and prioritisation. 

What do see as the biggest challenge for retailers and ecommerce businesses in 2018?

The overall feeling is nothing new to 2018: The competition is getting fiercer and the customer expectations higher. For the merchants that are on aging platforms, like Magento 1, 2018 will be the year to be planning the migration to a modern platform. This is always a difficult task that requires not only significant financial investment, but also a lot of inter-and-intra-team collaboration and planning.  Merchants may choose this opportunity to reassess their objectives, partners, products and entire ecommerce stack, taking into account the historic as well as developing needs of the business and its customers. A successful project will provide a foundation and a springboard to the business growth, whilst an unsuccessful one will lead to costly wastage and distractions. 

Who or what inspires you most within the ecommerce community?

Commerce is complex, with lots of components and systems, and yet there's relatively few metrics that really matter at the end of the day. What this means is that there's plenty of opportunity to do things better, make things simpler, create more enjoyable customer experiences and be able to measure the results. I personally find this a fascinating area to work in. It also draws together a lot of other bright, innovative and open-minded people, which makes it all the more fun to see what others have been able to create.

When you’re not working on ecommerce, what do you do relax?

I assume beer drinking doesn't count as a hobby? Most weeks I play football with friends, watch a Bath Rugby match, play xbox, or code! When I don't feel like relaxing any more, I go to Ikea!

If you want to get up to speed with our #AskTheMasters webinar series and get some great insights from the Magento Masters, download the video of the first webinar in our new monthly Magento series!

Get the #AskTheMasters webinar recording

Space 48 is a leading UK ecommerce consultancy and website development agency, based in Manchester. Our experienced ecommerce experts help retailers to create award-winning ecommerce websites and successful omnichannel strategies. Why not get in touch or book a free consultation with our ecommerce strategists and see how we can help?

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