Five key highlights from Meet Magento UK 2023

21st July 2023

Each summer, the Magento community comes together to meet in London for Meet Magento UK. Our team at Unified were excited to be in attendance this last Tuesday, to bear witness to the amazing community spirit Meet Magento UK forges each year.

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend this year, we have pulled five of the key learnings from the both the business and technical talk tracks that were on offer throughout the day;

1. Consumers are still spending online, but online profit growth should be balanced alongside caring for your people and the planet.

Georgia Scott, Head of Solutions Marketing at Adobe kick-started the merchant track with a talk centering around what the future of ecommerce has in store for online brands. The biggest take-aways were the following UK based stats surrounding the current ecommerce climate, and what that means for the future of online brands;

  • There’s been a 1.2% rise in sales for essential items

  • UK consumers spent £7.8 billion online in May 2023, down 1.3% Year on Year

  • Buy now pater later debt increased to £1.3 billion, which accounted for 16% of total online spending

  • In May 2023, Tik Tok reported a 164% growth in sales

  • 60% of all online sales within the UK came from mobile

Georgia also shared her opinion that a balance now needs to be struck by brands in considering their people and the planet alongside online growth. There were some fantastic examples of big brands who are beginning to make great strides with their sustainability measures. Examples included H&M and their new marketplace for secondhand goods, and Nike who have set-up cleaning stations for old Nike trainers as a way to keep older trainers fresher for longer.

The sentiment of balancing people and profit was also echoed by Alison Hutchinson from Pennie’s, a non-for-profit that allows retailers to offer charitable giving from customers both in-store and online. Alison shared that Pennie’s recently reported upwards of £180 million in micro-donations made by customers, a promising glimpse into why it certainly is 'good to do good'.

2.  Embracing Change

ME+EM’s CTO Paul Younghusband and Akoova took to the stage to talk about the importance of the CTO role within online brands and how they enable businesses to embrace change and implement the technologies of tomorrow. This was echoed by Janis Thomas, who was recently promoted to Look Fabulous Forever’s Managing Director. Janis talked about how you can create a culture of continuous improvement within your team, through regular communication with both your team and your customers about their constantly evolving values.

3.  Navigating the tough economic climate

Andy MulCahy from IMRG hosted a great talk which looked at what results retailers should be looking for in the current economic climate. Since the pandemic boom in online sales, the market has been on a gradual decline, but retailers can lessen the impact and still realize online growth by honing in on metrics such as conversion, acquisition and retention. He also gave some solid advice on what tactics retailers should be focusing on, such as offering free delivery, free returns, urgency messaging and looking more closely into customer reviews and Q&A to better understand the pressure points of your customers.

4. Exciting updates from Hyvä

For those of you who aren’t too sure what Hyvä do; they first started out as a storefront to replace Magento’s Luma. Hyvä has since expanded to cover 65 countries powering over 1800 stores. 3500 developers contributed to Hyvä Themes through using the framework to create exceptional ecommerce sites for online brands.

Hyvä have now expanded their product offerings further, having recently launched Hyvä Checkout, an optimised checkout solution providing the amazing performance their customers and developers have come to expect. One case study saw a 61% increase in conversion rate simply by enabling the Hyvä checkout. We were told that as this new product develops further, we can expect more integrations and advancements in its evolvement.

As well as the new checkout experience, Hyvä also announced the launch of Hyvä UI; a component library that will enable faster time-to-market for the deployment of Hyvä themes. The UI library is pre-set to integrate with Magento, meaning savings on development time and therefore budgets.

5.  Diversity in tech

We heard from a diversity panel about their experiences in the tech industry and how we can improve support for minority groups in tech companies. Some of the key pointers that were shared were as follows;

  • Support for minority groups needs to be continuous and evolving, it’s not just for Pride month

  • Companies need to do more to support the transgender community, a recent example was an ad campaign by Bud Light where a trans model was used and then not supported when there was backlash from right-wing consumers

  • Companies should not only consider the number of people in minority groups but which positions they hold within the company

  • Allyship should be embedded in company values

Keep your eyes out on the Meet Magento UK site, where talk recordings will be released so you can play them back on any topic you’d like to dig deeper into.

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