2019 – A Year in Review; VL OMNI Around The World, Partnerships and Growth

2019 – WOW, what a whirlwind! 

The end of the year is a perfect time to reflect on all the great things that have happened over the past year. For VL OMNI, the year flew by at a break-neck speed! From traveling to 3 continents for Merchant events and tradeshows, to developing new partnerships and discovering new edgecases. Today we look back on 2019 — and towards all the excitement 2020 and the new decade has in store!

Spring of 2019  – ShopTalk, Headless Commerce and LS Retail ConneXion

At the start of the year, Robin H. Smith, VL OMNI’s stellar CEO, found his way down to his favorite city in the whole wide world: Las Vegas. ShopTalk is known to be a prime event for everything ecommerce and a hotspot for burgeoning ideas in the retail space. It became very clear after ShopTalk that Headless Commerce would be a running theme throughout the year.

More than just conference theme, headless commerce has attracted the attention of the large ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce as the coming second generation of ecommerce. From an integration standpoint, there are many different ways to approach headless commerce. Our Complete Headless Commerce Guide gives readers a true technical understanding of what it takes to become headless — or even just headless ready.

Shortly after ShopTalk, VL OMNI  jetted off to join our partners LS Retail for LS Retail’s ConneXion Conference and Expo in Munich, Germany. ConneXion brings together key experts, state-of-the-art software solutions, ideas and more to continue to push and reimagine the retail and hospitality sectors. VL OMNI was both a show sponsor and exhibitor, and launched our new LS Retail-Shopify Plus Connector, which brings even more customer touchpoints into the LS Retail fold. Through the highly agile and scalable VL OMNI platform, we were immensely proud to bring Shopify Plus to the LS Retail community through our Connector, fulfilling a need that had been increasingly on ask from merchants using LS Retail.

“We have teamed up with VL OMNI, a Canadian company specializing in integrations to create an integration to Shopify. This will add support for Shopify and Shopify Plus, their enterprise portal, potentially in all the regions where Shopify is supported. Now, VL OMNI is present here at the conference and they have a booth at the Expo, I really encourage you to pay them a visit and learn about their integrations.” – Petur Thor Sigurdsson, Product Director of LS Retail

Summer 2019 – Shopify Unite, IRCE, Webinars

Summer saw a whirlwind of activity. It seemed like every week VL OMNI was in a new city shaking hands and helping Merchants scale. We kicked off the Summer with one of our favourite events: Shopify Unite’s Partner and Developer Conference in our own backyard of Toronto, Canada. As always, Unite is full of exiting networking opportunties and annoucements. This year’s most prominent annoucement at Unite had to be the creation of Shopify Fulfillment Network -something we can expect to see continue to develop in the months to come.

With Unite in the rear view mirror, it was time to head down to Chicago for the largest online retail show: IRCE. With our amazing new booth design, we had a many opportunities to meet amazing merchants with strategy-first mindsets.

We also co-produced and hosted an amazing webinar with Lineten. Lineten is a last mile delivery app and service that solves a challenging question with on-time, on-demand delivery. Our CEO sat down with David Lynch at Linten to discuss the power of last mile delivery, the importance of integration and how we’re actualizing on some amazing ecommerce dreams.

Fall 2019 – UK Roadshow, Tech Festival, GITEX, Partnership Annocuments, Dubai

And just like that, the leaves started to turn, the snow started to fly, and the whole industry focused on preparing for BFCM. Even with the major sale season upon us, the VL OMNI team was still on the move creating wonderful and lasting connections.

Flying into the United Kingdom for an almost full two weeks of meetings and more (Sept. 23-Oct. 4), VL OMNI participated in a number of public and private events, attended conferences and exhibitions, and met with partners and Merchants alike to continue to help build robust and unified ecommerce and multichannel projects.

TechUK was one big highlight of our last visit to the UK. Robin Smith, CEO of VL OMNI was joined on stage by Carrie Gofron, Partnerships at Shopify Plus to co-present the session, “Data Beyond the Transaction: Articulating strategy into a customer journey”.  Together, Robin and Carrie gave an amazing presentation on the future of ecommerce. We could not have been happier to have Carrie along for this trip, and we’re always impressed with all the Shopifolks’ depth of knowledge and talent in the ecommerce space. The talk was extremely well received!

After the UK, VL OMNI quickly hopped onto a plane and was off to stunning Dubai. We started this trip off with exhibiting at GITEX Technology Week — the biggest tech show in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. VL OMNI, as a part of the Canada Pavilion, had the opportunity to meet with many top-tier merchants and speak to them about the benefits of agile and scalable point-to-multipoint data automation.

After GITEX, VL OMNI hosted the second consecutive closed-door, invite-only event for ecommerce and mutlichannel MEMA Merchants. Held again under the Shopify Plus banner, this event was 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 971Shopify PlusLS Retail, and the Canadian Consulate in the UAE, invitees heard from Shopify Plus Partners about both opportunities and challenges that come with brand growth.

It was great to meet up with our good friends over at Creative971 as we bring top-tier ecommerce and mutlichannel services to the GCC market. Creative971’s class-leading website development and design is highly trusted by merchants for their ecommerce development expertise in Shopify and Shopify Plus. They are the go-to agency for UAE and GCC top brands to deliver their online retail and omni-channel solutions.  After more than a year of cultivating our professional relationship,  VL OMNI and Creative971 formerly annouced our partnership, and we both look forward to a bright future of creating stunning fully integrated ecommerce projects for quite a number of GCC Merchants.

“Where there is a will, there is a way! Working with top industry partners is the key.”
– Julia Jackle, CEO & Co-Founder, Creative971

On top of a jam-packed travel schedule, we managed to launch a brand new website! VL OMNI also celebrated our 25th Anniversary in the data integration and EDI business – AND we doubled our square footage by moving into a stunning new office to allow for VL’s continued growth. We all couldn’t be happier!

As we round out 2019, we’re already in full planning mode for 2020. It’s going to be an exciting year, and we have so many amazing announcements on new connectors, partnernships and Merchant events coming up.

Stay tuned, because the VL OMNI rocketship is going to continue to fly higher and higher.
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