The 2011 Demandware XChange conference was hosted by Demandware late last month in the Boston, MA area. With over 300 attendees including Demandware clients, partners, and employees it sparked great discussion and innovation among eCommerce professionals.
As I was unable to attend the conference this year, I asked Reagan Morgan from our business development team his thoughts on the show…
What was one of the key things you learned at the Demandware XChange conference?
I’ve always heard about the flexibility of the Demandware platform, but it doesn’t truly sink in until you meet and talk to the people that are using it in so many ways. Whether they are plugging in new cartridges, or adding their own mobile applications, or taking advantage of the plug-n-play third party features available through the Demandware LINK program, there is a huge amount of creativity being built with the platform.
The extent of their LINK program was also on full display. Most of the vendors were LINK partners and it was encouraging to see so many companies partnering with Demandware in a variety of ways. The biggest advantage of the LINK program is the pre-integrations all these companies have with Demandware and how utilizing these relationships can help to enhance a brand online.
What were some of the commonly discussed topics and themes at the conference?
The really big topic at the conference was the introduction to the new Commerce Center, which is replacing the Business Manager back-end piece. Demandware has taken all of the feedback from clients and partners and is in the development stage of creating a new “Business Manager” called Commerce Center. It is more user-friendly with more visual modifications, a dashboard with custom-built analytics, international / personal preferences, and much more. There was a whole session dedicated to introducing the new commerce center as well which should be released in the next few months.
Social and mobile commerce were also really big topics, as expected. Brian Walker from Forrester Research (above) talked about details in his new report “Welcome to the Era of Agile Commerce” and how the true multi-channel retailers are changing their strategies (and if they aren’t they should). Our President, Mike Willoughby, also presented with Kemper Seay, who is the Director of eCommerce for Carter’s about their site and the success they have seen using the Demandware platform and their multi-site universal shopping cart feature.
Finally, two Demandware engineers presented the “next wave” of online shopping called “OPEN Commerce” which combines mobile devices, tablets, TV, brick & mortar and online into one rich shopping experience. While a lot of it was still in prototype stage, it was really neat to see the future of shopping that the Demandware software engineers are working on.
What about the conference would make you want to go back next year?
I really enjoyed meeting fellow Demandware clients and partners. Conferences are usually so broad in partners and providers, but this one was unique because we all had one thing in common. Collaboration was easier and you didn’t have to explain the basics of Demandware at all because we all live them day-in and day-out. We were able to stay focused and dig deeper into topics instead of having to stay at a “high-level” of conversation like other conferences.
Thanks Reagan for taking the time to answer a few questions about the conference and we’re already looking forward to the next Demandware XChange conference in 2012!