JHawk Takes On Imagine Commerce 2015

Now that I am back from Vegas and caught up on sleep and emails, I wanted to take a few minutes to highlight my time at the Imagine Commerce event at the Wynn in Las Vegas this past week. First of all, a HUGE thank you to eBay for the invite to the event. If you don’t know Tara DeGiusto and Blake Hawkins from eBay, you are missing out. They are beyond helpful with my clients on the eBay Enterprise Affiliate Network and, equally as important, pretty rad people as well.

The Imagine Commerce Conference was definitely a top notch event. The first day we had over 6 hours of strictly affiliate focused content during the Affiliate Exchange that was incredibly educational and a great snapshot of the industry. They had many experts on a number of panels speaking to us about everything from key benchmarks within the network to International expansion to tips on driving incremental value through the channel. The star of the Affiliate Exchange was Michael Jones, Sr. Director, Affiliate and Search, EEAN, rolling out the dynamic commissioning now available through the network. Along with the ability to create a new tracking type that will allow partners to choose and create modules to support incrementality-based actions, there will also be more detailed reporting, improved international support and flexible billing options. This will be an invaluable asset for clients on EEAN and provides remedies to many issues we hear about every day, including cart-sniping and multi-touch influencers. Day 2, while not focused on Affiliate specific content (which is my bread and butter here at JEBCommerce), was filled with some strong examples of retailers that are really kicking butt in the eComm world. I sat in on a couple of talks regarding OmniChannel tactics, including a Customer Success story on Rebecca Minkoff. They have built their company in a technology world and have recognized huge success in their journey. Using Magento’s open-source platform, they created a business from mobile out, capturing the audience they are going after exactly where they shop and creating physical stores after they had been established. Plus, a favorite detail for me, they have digital dressing rooms. Push a button and punch in the size of jeans you want and someone brings them to you. Yes, please! Another highlight from Day 2 sessions was hearing from Jake Bronstein, Founder of Flint and Tinder in regards to customer experience. This is a Kickstarter company that originally raised funds to support designing and creating premium underwear completely manufactured in the US. The campaign produced 10 times what he was asking, put them in quite the pickle, and he chose to blaze through and do everything he could to nurture his clients and investors rather than give up. This guy has one of the most interesting paths in the history of men’s-underwear-site-launchers (not sure how long that list is, but he wins) and his success is really a great example of just continuing to blaze forward through life and go after what you believe in. They strive to revitalize the cut-and-sew industry in the US and are working through every path possible with their customers and investors supporting their every move because of the attention and care they provide. They do an incredible job of keeping their customers happy above everything else that they do. Seems simple, but when done right it can completely change the trajectory of a company and that is what they have done at Flint and Tinder. Day 2…was filled with some strong examples of retailers that are really kicking butt in the eComm world. Tuesday night was a Keynote address by Casino Developer Steve Wynn. Steve has created a multi-billion dollar empire in Las Vegas and his two biggest points of the evening centered on leadership and customer experience. Steve shared his beliefs that leadership is best when people are championed and when they share in successes together. This seems like a no-brainer, but is something that I want to focus on incorporating more purposefully to my team. He also talked heavily about making sure that, in any business, you are working from the customer out. In other words, focus all of your biggest priorities on making sure that whomever your customer is, you are learning what that person/client/business wants or needs most and working every detail of your organization out around that one thing. I mean, the man isn’t doing too bad, so I think his advice is probably worth looking into. We consistently focus on the “one thing” that can make us better for each of our clients at JEB and I feel that it places our focus on the most important tasks first at all times. He definitely spoke his mind regarding everything from our government to how he feels about layoffs and I appreciate people that speak truth how they see it, whether you agree or not. Plus, when I’m 73 I plan on saying whatever I want, especially if I’m a multi-billion dollar Casino mogul. The Legendary event at the Wynn was spectacular, including synchronized swimmers, fire throwers and more food than one could possibly eat. I even had a chance to speak with Steve Denton, Vice President of Marketing Solutions for eBay and Michael Jones, Creator of Pepperjam and current Sr. Director of Affiliate and Search for eBay. Always good to spend time with pioneers of the affiliate industry and learn more about the growth and trends they have seen throughout the years. Magento, eBay and Wynn Hotels definitely know how to put on a great event for everyone to get together and talk shop in a fun atmosphere. I missed Day 3, but I imagine that everyone in attendance was fed even more incredible information to help them into 2015 and beyond with Magento and eBay.

Thanks Magento + eBay Enterprise for an incredibly informative and fun event. We will definitely be making this an annual event. Until next year, Las Vegas.