Yes, that’s right! For the first time ever, Serbia is hosting the international Meet Magento conference, organized by Younify. Scheduled for June 10th, the conference happens in Niš, thus spreading the Magento spirit to our beautiful country.
I am pleased to announce MageClass as one of the media partners. It was fun to chat with truly amazing Younifiers about the conference, their expectations and thoughts on the hot subject of Magento 2.
[Q1] Tell us a few words about you and your team.
Younify is a team of 19 Magento specialists. The company exists in Serbia for 6 years, although we operate mainly on Dutch market (in the last 9 years). We are a team of mostly young people, with great atmosphere in the office. Although we have a lot of work to do (more than 250+ Magento webshops developed so far), we always make room for fun. Our people are always ready to learn, jump in for their colleagues and make one step more when developing or designing a Magento project. Our clients speak the best, and we can say that we’re very satisfied so far. Of course, we will continue with great Magento projects, now more on Magento 2 platform.
[Q2] I am so happy to finally have Magento-oriented event in Serbia. But at the same time, organizing a conference isn’t the simplest of things. How did you decide to do it?
This was a very spontaneous idea at the beginning. Our CEO suggested us to take a look at the Meet Magento Association website and see what we need in case we decide to organize such an event. And we decided in couple of minutes – we’ll do it. This will be the first Meet Magento conference in Serbia, and we are so proud of it. On the other hand, we are facing everyday issues when it comes to organizational part – but that’s normal when you decide to organize some event, right? One more thing: this is the biggest Magento conference and it happens in Niš. Younify’s development center is in Niš, and we want to show people that this part of the country also has a lot to offer.
[Q3] What are some of the topics you are trying to cover this year?
The biggest topic we will cover this year is surely Magento 2. This is a hot thing in Magento world, especially for developers since you (developers) are now faced with many changes and adaptations. Some of the other topics we will cover this year will be: e-commerce marketing and big data, payment and hosting solutions, mobile usage and experience in e-commerce, etc.
[Q4] How is MeetMagento Serbia different from the others in the rest of the world? Are the talks tailored for Serbian audience? How do you tackle potential language barrier issues?
We still don’t know since this is the first year we are organizing Meet Magento conference. One thing is certain, Serbian e-commerce is in its early stage compared to other countries where Meet Magento is organized. This means that it is more difficult to attract merchants; in other countries, there are many merchants coming to the conference since they’ve already experienced e-commerce business and want to learn more about it. Since our audience will be mostly from Serbia (and the region), the talks will be divided into English and Serbian/Croatian. Developers surely can speak both English and Serbian, so they will understand the presentations. Our speakers come from Serbia, Croatia, but there are also international people coming to speak (for example, Ben Marks). For merchants, we expect more talks in Serbo-Croatian, so we think there will be no serious language barriers.
[Q5] How do you see ECommerce in Serbia and in the region? Do you think it’s moving forward?
As always, Serbia adopts trends that are moving from the Western countries, but later than usual. The same situation is for e-commerce. This “culture” is still developing and, as we said in the previous question, e-commerce in Serbia is in its early stage. However, according to news and statistics, more than 1,2 million people bought something on the Internet in 2015, which is 5% more than in 2014 and even more than 30% compared to 2013. These numbers speak positively about the development of e-commerce in Serbia and in the region, too. It’s certainly moving forward. Moreover, we will hear more about the current situation from this year’s Meet Magento Serbia speaker, PoS and e-commerce specialist, Marko Rizovski from UniCredit Bank.
[Q6] Do you think Magento is the answer to common ECommerce problems? What would be your advice to businesses thinking about using the Magento platform (in Serbia and generally speaking)?
Magento, as a platform, has a lot to offer to serious businesses and merchants. It’s not a simple e-commerce platform, because if allows many system integrations (such as, for example, ERP integration) and has a very powerful order management system that provides a seamless shopping experience. So, we will always advice business that want to make a serious e-commerce story to use Magento and take all its advantages and possibilities.
[Q7] How do you see the future of Magento? Do you have any predictions on its development for this year?
In today’s highly competitive environment, it is difficult to tell what will happen in the future. But, it is very clear that Magento 2 is already causing a big “wave” and there are many projects developing in this new version. According to some statistics, there is a separate section counting Magento 2 projects, while Magento as a platform currently holds 21,8% of entire e-commerce market. In Serbia, for example, Magento shops are on the third place (11,5% market share), but we surely want to raise this number after the conference From SEO perspective, it’s undoubtedly the best e-commerce platform with total score 100. So, the predictions are very positive according to statistics, but also the possibilities Magento offers to its users.
[Q8] What are your first impressions about Magento2? Did you start consuming it in production?
We currently have 3 projects in development. We have to say that this is a challenging process, since we are still adapting to new coding practices and changes Magento 2 has brought with its release.
But, we know that, once you understand it, it offers great benefits not only to us as Magento specialists’ company, but also to our clients and merchants working in Magento environment.
[Q9] Do you consider organizing similar Magento/ECommerce events or smaller meetups in the near future?
Of course. We will organize Meet Magento Serbia in the next three years for sure. This is our first year and, as you know, the first time Meet Magento comes to Serbia. And we are really happy for that. Hope the conference will go on well, so we will know what to do for the next year. Besides Meet Magento Serbia, we regularly participate in organized meetups such as HackersNest meetup that usually happens once per month. Or, we recently presented the conference and our company to UpWork community members in Niš and used the chance to promote Magento platform. These meetups usually take place at the local co-working space, which is well-known and attractive among developers and IT experts.