Archive for June, 2014

IRCE 2014 Roundup

Posted by: Daniel Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Last week 10,000 of the best and brightest eCommerce minds in the world gathered in Chicago for the Internet Retail Conference & Exhibition. Karen and Daniel from WebShopApps attended and spent time connecting with partners, friends, and customers as well as keeping our finger on the pulse of eCommerce. Here are some highlights:

  1. Endicia‘s event on Tuesday evening at Ignite Glass Studios was a unique take on a partner event as we gathered around the glass kilns enjoying appetizers and drinks while watching the craftsmen mold molten glass into a unique sculpture.
  2. Magento‘s Tuesday night event brought everyone to Public House, one of Chicago’s finest gastropubs. Over a delicious buffet and some great local beers, we reconnected with many partners and friends (and perhaps snuck a peek at the NBA game every once in a while).
  3. I had the opportunity to attend the comScore 2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper presentation on Thursday afternoon. Full of great information for merchants on what online shoppers are looking for and the popularity growth of non-traditional, cross-channel shopping in offerings like In-Store Pickup.
  4. Our friends from Classy Llama had a great booth with a beautiful hardwood floor and were promoting their new Llama Commerce Magento platform. One to keep an eye on!
  5. We introduced our new eCommerce shipping platform, ShipperHQ, to many of our friends and partners who weren’t able to attend Magento’s Imagine eCommerce 2014 conference and, again, were thrilled by the response! Get in touch if you want to see the future of eCommerce shipping.

Throughout the exhibit hall, the number of new services available to eCommerce companies was amazing. From search engines, to live support platforms, to monitoring and analytics, the eCommerce market is coming into its own. IRCE was another confirmation that frequent innovation is key to success and WebShopApps is proud to be one of the companies driving eCommerce into the future.

A Week with WebShoppApps

Posted by: Josh Monday, June 9th, 2014

After meeting Karen at an engineering conference held by my school I asked if I’d be able to undertake work experience with her company. It seemed the perfect opportunity – an impressive company, an industry suited to my interest and based near to where I live. I’m so glad Karen agreed to take me on for a week as having completed it I can say it was honestly an invaluable experience.

When I arrived on my first day I was a bit worried I’d be sat around with nothing to do as I’d often heard about friends being given boring jobs that no one else wanted or given the role of tea-maker. However, on my arrival I was given a project and a laptop that was to be mine for the week as well as a temporary email account with the company. This made me feel really welcome to begin with but it was the staff’s friendly and helpful nature that made me feel at ease and made the week so much more enjoyable.

Most of my independent work centred on web page design, doing my own research and producing reports to suggest updated designs for the company site. I also spent a lot of time shadowing the different staff members to learn about their different roles in the company as well as more in-depth information behind how the apps work. I learnt a lot of technical information too such as getting much more familiar with Linux, how to use servers and debugging computer code. It was so interesting to see how different members of the team would work together to solve particularly challenging problems, especially as I was often clueless as to possible solutions. The fact everyone was so happy to explain fully what they were doing and answer my questions meant I learnt so much more than I would have just from observing. Occasionally we’d go off topic, talking about things that I didn’t understand, outside of what was currently necessary of the task, answering some questions I’d had for a long time.

On top of this I learnt a lot about the work environment, colleagues and working life. Being treated like another member of staff made me feel independent and mature while the jokes and conversations kept it from feeling too serious. Given that I hope to move into this industry it was especially helpful to learn how a relevant company operates, for example the hours and what it’s like to work at a computer for long periods of time. I also learnt more about PHP and code, especially the debugging process, which should be really helpful in my future studies.

Overall I had a brilliant week, really fun and exceptionally useful. I feel a lot better prepared for my plans to study computer science at university and more confident that I will enjoy the subject. I had such a great time I was a little sad to be leaving after what felt like such a short week. However with some WebShopApp goodies and possible opportunities to return next year I couldn’t be upset for long.