2018 – WHAT A RIDE!
The end of the year is a perfect time to reflect on all the great things that have happened over the past 365 days. For VL, 2018 came and went with break-neck speeds! From traveling the globe across 3 continents for merchant events to creating new and strategic partnerships. Today we look back on 2018 — and look towards all the excitement 2019 has in store!
Spring 2018 – VL OMNI UK Roadshow, Prospershow
Our year kicked off with a bang, heading across the pond for VL OMNI’s first ever UK Roadshow – a series of educational workshop events held across several UK cities such as London, Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester. At each event, Shopify Plus Partner companies, current customers of Shopify Plus joined VL for a day of learning and networking centered on a variety of topics important to today’s sophisticated ecommerce and multichannel retailer. We were thrilled to be joined with some of the best UK Shopify partners including Statement Agency, Nosto, Klevu, RyanFosterDesign, Dotmailer, Loyalty Lion, and PeopleVox.
We quickly jetted off to Las Vegas’s PROSPER Show. Designed to be education and thought-leadership-first conference for established Amazon sellers. VL was joined on the exhibition floor by 50+ partners and solution providers, while VL’s resident thought leader Robin H. Smith took to the stage to give a truly insightful presentation: “The Right Questions to Ask When Shopping for Software for Long-Term Profits“. The presentation provided attendees with targeted strategic insight on building a technology stack with strategy at its heart, while also maximizing technology and partner capabilities.
Summer 2018 – Atlanta, Shopify Unite, IRCE
Soon after, VL had the amazing opportunity to continue our roadshow stateside! Joined by fellow Shopify Plus Partners as a part of an awesome panel session, Klevu, Bronto, LoyaltyLion, Gauge and Nicely Built, and the VL OMNI team headed down South for the inaugural Shopify Plus Meetup in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia! This first-of-its-kind event was ideal for both merchants and partners. As a part of the panel, VL spoke at length on eCommerce Automation & Growth.
VL was happy to stay in our own backyard for Shopify Unite’s Partner and Developer Conference in our backyard of Toronto, Canada. It was an exciting three non-stop days of ecommerce and multi-channel excellence. We started with a ended with a bang on King St W at Portland Variety for VL OMN’s Happy Hour, co-sponsored with Swell Rewards. Had tons of peripheral action that made it into three non-stop days of ecommerce and multi-channel excellence. With cocktails and tapas flowing, our happy hour was packed with industry experts from all over the world! Unite as a whole took a deeper dive with breakout streams and panels with lots of opportunities to ask questions and network. For VL OMNI, it was a rare chance to have many of our increasingly international partners in the same place at the same time!
As trade show season ends just before summer, VL OMNI took off to Chicago for the tradeshow of the year – IRCE. While the exhibition floor was more condensed than it’s been in previous years, you’d be mistaken to assume that IRCE 2018 was any less than it’s been in the past. In fact, many people we talked to — exhibitors and show attendees, alike — were astounded by the show this year.
Fall 2018 – Los Angeles, Dubai UAE
VL OMNI worked hard over the summer and took Los Angeles by storm with a merchant-only event for high-growth fashion and lifestyle brands. Hosted at the newly-minted ROW DTLA Shopify brick-and-mortar space, our event “Beyond Fashion: Building a Multi-Million Dollar Brand” saw scaling merchants from fashion, beauty, and cosmetics brands alongside fellow merchants, VL OMNI, and our event co-sponsors BVAccel, Oracle Bronto, Dynamic Yield, and Shopify Plus. The night continued with an AMA conversation with our panel with high-growth Shopify Plus merchants Thrive Causemetics, MVMT Watches, and Varley. Speaking candidly and openly about their experiences as rapidly growing merchants on Shopify Plus, they shared their successes with Shopify Plus and its Partner Community, as well as the very real challenges they’ve experienced as they scaled.
From left to right: Brendan Gardner-Young of Thrive Causemetics, Alicia Radabaugh of MVMT Watches, and J.R. Weinberg of Varley share their stories of growth and answer candid questions from the audience of fellow merchants.
VL finished off the year jetting off to Dubai for an invite-only event tailored to elite and luxury Middle Eastern brands interested in learning more about Shopify Plus and cutting-edge ecommerce for MEMA. In partnership with Creative 971 and the Canadian Consulate in the UAE, invitees heard first-hand from Shopify Plus Partners and scaling MEMA merchants about both opportunities and challenges that come with brand growth under the theme of “Retail Enterprise Ecommerce Success with Shopify Plus”. Supported by and unified under the Shopify Plus and Shopify Plus Partner community, VL and Creative971 were delighted to be able to help bring top-tier technologies and industry experts to the growing retail ecommerce market in the Middle East, including helping to bring together in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates through hosting this education and thought leadership-forward gathering.
2018: Building Our Neighbourhood of Trusted Partners.
The VL team hit the road literally worldwide in 2018, working with partners to provide the right thought leadership, education for our joint customers and really set the bar to be a leader in the community. Our partner ecosystem grew tremendously this year, adding great new partners that cover several key areas on ecommerce solutions for our customers.
Our Oracle Bronto partnership opens the door for merchants seeking that complete customer experience. By providing a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform and integration through VL OMNI, Mid-Market and Enterprise business can leverage this connector with their back office solutions.
Partnering with Shipstation opened the door to working with scaling merchants that are taking their eCommerce business to the next level. Order Fulfillment is a key part of the customer experience, being able to manage all of your ecommerce shipments helps to save time and money.
In 2018, Tradegecko launched the VL OMNI partnership with a dedicated webpage. Merchants seeking EDI integration or connections to other applications such as Vend POS will be able to work with VL OMNI to connect with their back-end systems. Look for more to come with this relationship in 2019.
One of Shopify Plus amazing agencies. We kicked off our relationship with a joint client and will be working on additional projects throughout 2019.
An excellent agency with a focus on fashion brands in the Shopify Plus community, We worked with them on an excellent fashion and apparel company to provide integration to their back-end ERP.
One of our partners from 2017 had some exciting news this year, InRiver which is a Product Information Management System or (PIM) joined the Shopify Plus Program (Press Release) and will be a big part of VL OMNI’s customer focus heading into 2019.
While these are just some of the highlights of several partners that joined our community in 2018, there are several others that are already close to being announced as we head into 2019. Stay tuned for what we have in store for our partners as next year! It will be an impactful adventure to look forward to!
There were many, many other exciting developments from 2018! There’s still lots that’s still under development for 2019, so you can stay tuned!