Magento Imagine 2017 Conference - Day 1 Highlights

April 3, 2017 by Paul Byrne

Magento Imagine Overview

The Magento Imagine 2017 conference is the 6th installment of Magento's annual conference. Systems Integrators (developers), Merchants, Magento employees, ecommerce technical service providers, and ecommerce enthusiasts gather for 3 to 5 days (depending on what you participate in) to learn from each other, support each other, commiserate and carouse together.

It’s a great place for:

  • Understanding what Magento’s plans are for their software platform and additional services
  • Getting new ideas from vendors, agencies and other members of the Magento ecosystem


Razoyo was proud to sponsor the PreImagine event along with about 25 other companies this year. It’s a great event, good time to mingle and reconnect socially before the conference. Magento’s dedication to PreImagine, which is sponsored by the community and ecosystem rather than Magento corporate, is evidenced by their presence. I spoke to Mark Lavelle (CEO), Ben Marks (Chief Evangelist) and other key figures that are the face of Magento.  In addition, some of the key players from the ecosystem like Brendan Falkowski and Karen Baker were there, ready to talk Magento, or, motorcycles, or beer.

Sure, a cocktail party seems like a small thing, but, PreImagine is a coalescing event and shows everyone’s commitment to the platform. The even books up fast, so, if you’re planning on going next year, sign up early!

Day 1 Take

There are several tracks, so, you could come to the conference and probably get a very different take on the conference.

Like the Shoptalk conference, everyone is commenting on the explosion of mobile and the seeming contradiction between more mobile commerce and decreasing mobile conversion rates.

That being said, PayPal and BrainTree offered some great insights on how to reduce payment friction (which is the main source of conversion friction) in the mobile space.

  • PayPal is very common and reduces the amount of effort for a mobile transaction for the user. Most merchants should probably take another look at making PayPal a more prominent option in their mobile experience.
  • Apple Pay, while extremely convenient for those who use it, isn’t widely used. Now that you can use Apple Pay on the web and on mobile websites, I expect adoption to increase significantly.
  • A lot of progress has been made and a ton of focus is being brought to bear by payment system providers to reduce friction on mobile transactions. The goal? Get rid of checkout completely a la AmazonGo.

Note: Braintree’s Magento extensions include PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.

Upgrading from Magento 1 to Magento 2

After talking to many systems integrators and merchants and attending several sessions, a few things are clear:

  • Merchants should start on their upgrades soon. Magento 2 has stabilized sufficiently, extensions are more and more available, and, the tools for migrating data from 1 to 2 are very mature.
  • Razoyo is ahead of the game. We’ve migrated or built as many Magento 2 sites as any SI of our size and more than the vast majority. Additionally, none of the deep dives contained either business or technical practices we hadn’t figured out on our own and applied to our process already.

Magento Security Scan

Magento announced a service that is free for devs and merchants. They are still in beta rollout, but, the demo and the thought behind it shows the type of thought leadership we expect from Magento! This service will scan your site for Magento-specific threats. Thanks, Magento, for giving us a new and standardized tool.

Cost of Upgrading to Magento 2

Magento took to heart the heartbrake of merchants on 1.x and researched the cost of upgrading. It’s not cheap, but, can be worth it. Of the 30 sites they researched, the average project cost was about $130,000 with the highest coming in at over $400,000.

Fortunately, I can affirm that Razoyo’s upgrades have been coming in at much less than that ever for fairly complex upgrades.  As usual, the more integrations and extensions you have, the higher the cost will be. That being said, some typical customizations are integrated into Magento 2.

Magento also reported a big uptick in conversion rate which we can attest to. Many merchants take advantage of the upgrade time to do a facelift and implement best practices and learnings throughout their site. So, I’m not too clear on how much of the lift is replatforming and how much is from redesign. As usual, it’s probably a combination of both. In any case, Razoyo merchants who have upgraded have also benefitted from a substantial lift in conversion.

Razoyo stands ahead of the pack as one of the agencies/systems integrators that has launched the most Magento 2 sites. Magento reported that there are 200 EE sites in operation and M2 CE has been downloaded only about 10,000 times. We’ve been developing on Magento 2 exclusively for over 12 months now and it has been paying off for our clients… it was good to see that this trend is general for merchants.

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