100% Cross-Border and International Ecommerce

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Encore Encore! On February 13th, the Global eCommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community returns to West Hollywood for our 11th Forum. Grab your popcorn and join us in Los Angeles at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) for another full day of cross-border and international ecommerce!

After successfully celebrating our 10th GELF at GELF NYC ’18 on September 27th 2018, we look forward to kicking off 2019 with our second February in Los Angeles.

GELF LA ’19 will bring together leaders from retail brands of all shapes and sizes.  Global manufacturers and consumer brands selling direct-to-consumer will join digital native start-ups and some of the world’s most iconic brands for a full day of education and sharing. GELF LA ’19 will showcase digital commerce innovators and cross-border ecommerce experts from the fashion and apparel world, health and beauty, consumer electronics and many other product categories.

Get a jump on 2019 sales by joining the fast-growing GELF community as we learn together, meet new friends and network throughout the day.

We’re thrilled to be returning to GELF LA’s new home in West Hollywood at the Director’s Guild of America Theater, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046!

Start making your plans now to join us as we explore how cross-border and international digital commerce innovation is disrupting the world of retail.

Are you a retail ecommerce leader interested in speaking at GELF LA ’19? If so please contact speak@globalecommerce.co

If you are a marketplace operator or a solution provider that would like to sponsor and attend GELF, please contact sponsor@globalecommerce.co 

As always, GELF speakers will deliver an energetic and engaging combination of global ecommerce strategy and cross-border tactics and best practices. Spend the day exploring how the latest digital commerce innovation can accelerate your market entry plans or help you grow sales in global markets where you already have a presence.  Share with other leaders which global growth models work best where – and what new ideas can help you jumpstart your international journey.

Together we’ll explore:

  • Prioritizing Market Entry. Whether you’re pursuing hot markets like India and China or emerging mega-opportunities in SE Asia, GELF will help you connect with leaders that have been there and done that. If you’re looking to ramp up sales in Canada or maturing markets in Europe and Asia, GELF has you covered there too.
  • Branded Manufacturers Go Global. Direct-to-consumer brands of all shapes and sizes are coming to GELF to learn how to balance traditional B2B retail distribution with emerging direct-to-consumer ecommerce opportunities around the world.
  • International Marketplaces. We open the day diving into why and how international marketplaces are driving the future of retail growth! Amazon sets the pace globally and the smart leaders closely follow.  But Amazon isn’t the only game in town.  Global brands, merchants and marketplace sellers increasingly see international marketplaces as the hub of global distribution and the place to be to connect with the next generation of online shoppers.
  • Social media and influencer sites are proven ways to acquire and engage consumers around the world. Our GELF September Forums looked at how influencers are driving ecommerce sales in China. In LA, we’ll learn how marketers are working with cross-border innovators in China and other hot markets to connect with global millennials and others in the rising global middle class.
  • Omnichannel Fulfillment on a Global Scale. Cross-border is not just about US outbound international shipping anymore. Instead retailers, brands and digital entrepreneurs are using dropshipping and hybrid fulfillment operations to service their global consumers. In LA, we will explore how brands and retailers are also using stores and other physical points of presence to offer new international delivery and customer service options.
  • Localized Customer Experiences. The more global we go, the more local we must become. Learn how localization, personalization and AI are helping leading global brands improve the cross-border shopping experience and engage international shoppers.
  • Evolving Cross-Border Platforms. Looking for a one-stop spot to shop for a cross-border ecommerce solution partner? There is a booming international ecosystem of cloud commerce solutions, commerce agencies and best-of-breed software providers boldly leading global ecommerce brands, experienced omnichannel retailers and start-up commerce ventures into new markets. Meet them at GELF LA in February!

GELF combines breakout sessions and deep-dive workshops with our morning & afternoon keynotes and showcases. Our program offers retail professionals strategic insights and actionable take-aways about how ecommerce leaders are tackling their top cross-border challenges and how they are making the case for investing in global retail growth.

Networking starts during breakfast, extends into lunch and wraps up during our late afternoon reception that follows our popular roundtables and mentoring sessions.

Bring your experiences and questions. Leave with insights and answers.

Look Who's Attending GELF LA

More than 200 global e-commerce professionals are expected at GELF LA 2019. Below are some of the brands and retailers are already registered.


We are pleased to announce the initial program agenda for GELF LA '19 on February 13th. We are still developing session topics and expect to refine the program in the weeks head as we announce speakers. As always, we'd love to hear ideas for topics from global ecommerce leaders, so feel free to contact us at speak@globalecommerce.co.

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  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Morning Keynote
  • Executive Leaders Keynote Panel
  • Global Growth Showcase
  • Morning Break
  • Concurrent Morning Breakout Sessions/Workshops
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Keynote Fireside
  • Afternoon Keynote Panel
  • Strategy Showcase Panel
  • Afternoon Break
  • Concurrent Afternoon Breakout Sessions/Workshops
  • Roundtables with Expert Guidance/Insights
  • GELF Networking Reception
8 to 9AM
9 to 9:30AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks

The GELF producers welcome our West Coast audience and thank our sponsors!

We will explore how key global ecommerce trends frame the day’s program, recap our GELF China research and look back on the 2017 holiday season with a global perspective.


9:30 to 10AM
The Evolution of Global Ecommerce Growth Models: Why Diversified Global Growth Strategies Matter

The keynote explores how global ecommerce leaders are using cross-border ecommerce, international marketplace channels and localized in-country brand and ecommerce sites to connect with global online shoppers.

We examine how these global ecommerce models are evolving and how hybrids may be the best way for some brands and retailers to expand internationally.

Our keynote also analyzes what US retail brands can learn as retail brands based outside the US invest more in their cross-border business targeting the US.

10 to 10:30AM
Disrupting International Retail: How the Rise of Global Distribution Platforms Impacts Your Brand

Leading marketplace operators like Amazon and Alibaba are evolving into global distribution platforms (GDPs). Our panel explores how the “GDP Economy” is transforming international retail – and how this evolution impacts both retailers and brands selling direct-to-consumer.

We discuss the evolving opportunities and challenges and how retailers and brands are reacting to this latest wave of retail transformation.

10:30 to 11AM
"When They Win, We Win": Empowering International Distribution Partners with Global Ecommerce Knowhow

Join us for a live GELF Global Case Study that profiles how global brands blend a mixture of international marketplace selling and direct-to- consumer ecommerce to help their international distribution partners grow global sales.

Our panel explores when to work with partners and when going solo makes the most sense. We discuss how to help less savvy distribution partners up their ecommerce game and highlight how brands can learn from partners who are already killing it online.

We explore who has ecommerce rights in global markets and who doesn’t; and what to do when there isn’t clarity about who can sell what where.

11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 12:15PM
GELF's Global Tech Talks

Presenters discuss how they are investing in their solutions to help retail brands tackle some of their most critical cross-border and international ecommerce challenges.

11:15 to 11:45AM
Localization and Marketing Breakout: Engaging, Acquiring and Retaining International Shoppers

Worried about how regulations like GDPR and other data and privacy legislation may impact your global marketing programs?

Our panel explores how the digital marketing mix differs from country to country and which content marketing, influencer and marketing programs work best for international customer  acquisition and retention.

11:15 to 11:45AM
Globalization Strategy Breakout: European Cross-Border Best Practices

By the end of 2018, ecommerce sales in Europe will total over $600 billion Euros, with shoppers in the UK, Germany and France driving a majority of sales. As more US retailers and brands ramp up ecommerce operations in Europe, how are they leveraging the best practices of seasoned cross-border ecommerce operators?

Our panel presents new research about how European shopping experiences differ from those in the US and the rest of the world. The session also introduces detailed cross-border transactional data that profiles how customer delivery expectations differ throughout Europe, where multi-carrier strategies are a must.

Learn what is takes to succeed in Europe and how lessons learned in Europe can help improve the online shopping experience back in the states.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Localization and Marketing Breakout #2: Building Customer Loyalty via Operational Localization

Picking up on themes from our opening breakout, we shift our focus deeper into the sales experience funnel.

Our panel dives into how optimizing cross-border operations can convert first-time customers while also keeping your existing international customers happy and coming back for more.

Learn how optimizing the order and post-order experience via cross- border technology and global logistics can turn your international shoppers into advocates for your brand.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Globalization Strategy Breakout 2: China Not for You? Think Again

Retail brands – enterprise-scale and SMBs alike – can be skeptical about their ecommerce opportunities in China.

Some are overwhelmed by the perceived complexity and question whether China is right for them. Others simply think of China as being “a bridge too far.”

Join us as we explore why everything you think you know about China is only part of the story – and why China should be part of a broader global strategy.

Learn why you can do well in China even if you are currently not aware of of how big the opportunity can be for you.

12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking
1:45 to 2PM
Afternoon Fireside Conversation: What's Next for Global Retail Expansion?

Coming off one the biggest online shopping holiday seasons ever, we look ahead at how globalization and innovation is transforming how the world shops.

2 to 2:30 PM
Afternoon Keynote Panel: How Leading Retail Organizations Plan and Execute Global Ecommerce Strategies

GELF’s recent study with the NRF focused on how organizations are embracing global operating models and executing on international ecommerce strategies by building global playbooks and centers of excellence.

Join our panel as they provide insights and tips about how their organizations plan and implement cross-border and international ecommerce strategies.

Learn more about

  • How organizational design for international ecommerce growth differs between large global brands and digital native startups
  • When brands should embrace strong centralization or empower local country teams
  • Programs where digital teams take the lead  integrating digital and traditional teams
  • Tips and best practices for getting a global organization on the same page!
2:30 to 3PM
Strategy Showcase: Brands Take the Lead

Branded manufacturers are working more closely with Amazon and Alibaba to grow global sales while also investing in their own DTC ecommerce operations internationally.

Where do these relationships leave international retail wholesale and distribution partners?

Our panel discussing how brands are revisiting and reinvesting in their traditional distribution partner communities by managing data and investing in digital innovation. Learn about the leadership practices that can help your entire global distribution ecosystem grow and prosper.

3 to 3:15 PM
Afternoon Break
3:15 to 3:45PM
Markets and Models Breakout: Cross-border or Localized Country Sites – What Model to Choose When and Why?

This session explores two primary international growth models: Cross-border ecommerce and Localized in-country sites supported by regional operations. It’s no secret that many brands are debating whether to invest in cross-order ecommerce operations or build in-country local sites.

Our panel explores how brands facing this decision balance the key consideration factors that are required to optimize international sales.  Our panel compares how the key drivers of growth can differ between organizations – and how decisions about the desired customer experience, inventory positions/staging, merchandise assortments/SKU counts, customer data and the post-order experience all factor into the decision.

3:15 to 4:15PM
GELF's Global Tech Talks

Presenters discuss how they are investing in their solutions to help retail brands tackle some of their most critical cross-border and international ecommerce challenges.

3:45 to 4:15PM
Markets and Models: Emerged vs. Emerging Markets - How to Balanace the Opportunities

Global ecommerce sales opportunities beckon in emerging markets, prompting global leaders to ask “Where to go next? What to avoid?”

Meanwhile operations are in place and humming along nicely in their top tier international markets. Growth is often good, but maybe not great. Leaders ask,  “Now what? Is it time to explore our next investment here?”

Join our panel as they explore what’s next for global ecommerce leaders in both emerged and emerging markets.

Get the lowdown on the Down Under. Debate whether the next big thing is SE Asia, India or the Middle East. Learn more about whether Brazil is making a comeback and whether China will own LATAM markets in 10 years.

Ponder what your near-future growth priorities should be in emerged markets.  Get the scoop on other digital channels and omnichannel strategies

Join a lively discussion about where leaders are placing their bets for the next leg of international growth.


4:15 to 4:45PM
Roundtables and Mentoring Sessions: Expert Guidance/Insights
4:45 to 5:30PM
GELF Networking Reception

Thanks to all the global e-commerce leaders who have shared their expertise, insights and experience at GELF Forums in recent years - including the speakers listed below from GELF LA '18! Please stay tuned - we will announce speakers for GELF LA 2019 this Fall!

If you are an experienced executive from an online retailer or brand and are interested in speaking at GELF LA 2019 on February 13th, please email Kent, Jim and Scott at speak@globalecommerce.co

Charlie Cole

Global Chief eCommerce Officer, Samsonite

Kai Li

VP, International, REVOLVE

Jennifer Glover

VP, Global CEM & Data Strategy, Billabong Group

Na'Im Mckee

Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Paid Media, Arrow Electronics

Kelly Spehar

Director, Global eCommerce Marketplaces, Crocs

Mike Hornigold

VP, Global eCommerce, Kids II

Alex Banys

Director, Global eCommerce and Digital Marketing, Specialized Bicycle Components

Kristel de Groot

Co-Founder & CMO, Superfood

Daniel Head

eCommerce Marketing and Operations, TOMS

Lily Varon

Analyst - Digital Business Strategy, Forrester Research

Ben Newson

Sr. Manager, Etail & Distributors, Crocs

John Melchek

SVP Global Ecommerce, Fam Brands (formerly)

Jacob Uhland

Sr. Dir Digital Multi-Channel Development, VF Corp

Aaron Zagha

CMO, Newton Baby

Amy Morgan

VP, Product, Global Trade & Cross Border, Avalara

Jordan Bass

Senior Director, eCommerce, FIJI Water

Nic Marlin

VP, E-Commerce, Thoughtfully

Frank Lavin

Chairman & CEO, Export Now

Matthew Merrilees

CEO, North America, US, ‎Global-e

Kent Allen

Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum

Jim Okamura

Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum

Scott Silverman

Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum

DGA Theater

7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046

West Hollywood

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