100% Cross-Border and International Ecommerce

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It’s Showtime! On February 7th, the Global eCommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community rolls out the red carpet in Los Angeles for our 8th Forum. Building on the momentum from our Sept 7th GELF NYC ’17 and GELF LA@Shop.org on Sept 25th, we’re excited to return to Los Angeles for our first February GELF LA gathering!

February is awards season in Los Angeles! GELF LA will bring together leaders from innovative online retailers as well as global manufacturers and brands selling direct-to-consumer in markets around the globe. GELF will showcase the best and brightest international ecommerce experts who will present creative insights and best-in-class practices.

Get a jump on 2018 online sales by joining in the fun as the fast-growing GELF community learns, shares and networks throughout the day.

And yes, we’re moving to 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.

Interested in speaking? Or sponsoring GELF? If so please contact speak@globalecommerce.co or

As always, GELF speakers will deliver an engaging mix of global ecommerce strategy and tactical cross-border To Dos. Spend the day discussing innovation, international ecommerce market entry and global growth models both in proven markets and fast-growing emerging markets around the world.

Learn how localization and influencera can drive customer acquisition and engagement and how to optimize key operational aspects of your global commerce plan to boost international conversion.

Together we’ll explore:

  • China Ecommerce Growth. Building on GELF’s September 2017 release of its first in-depth study of China E-Commerce research (please complete our benchmark survey here), learn how global ecommerce leaders are catching the next wave of digital innovation in China.
  • Prioritizing Market Entry. Whether it’s hot markets like China, emerging mega-opportunities like India or maturing markets in Europe and the Americas, learn how global ecommerce leaders capture demand signals from on-the-ground and in-the-cloud data sources to prioritize market entry and customize growth strategies.
  • 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 Coming to GELF LA 2018

Approximately 250 global e-commerce professionals are expected at GELF LA 2018. Below are some of the brands and retailers that are already registered.


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  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Keynote: World Tour of International Marketplaces
  • Executive Leaders Keynote Panel
  • Global Growth Showcase: China Ecommerce
  • Morning Break
  • Two Concurrent Morning Breakout Sessions/Workshops
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Keynote Fireside
  • Afternoon Keynote Panel
  • Strategy Showcase Panel
  • Afternoon Break
  • Afternoon Showcases
  • 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
Following Today’s Global Customer Journey - A World Tour of International Marketplaces

As ecommerce accelerates the globalization of retail, new digital channels and touchpoints are empowering shoppers around the world to shop when, where and however they desire.

As retail brands aggressively compete to keep existing customers and connect with new digital-savvy shoppers, international marketplaces are offering a fascinating – and for some, a frightening – glimpse of the future of global retail.

Can online marketplaces co-exist with traditional international distributors and retailers? Or will these international marketplaces disrupt or displace them?

Charlie Cole, Chief Digital Officer at Tumi/Samsonite, will kick off GELF LA ’18 with a deep dive into how international marketplaces lie at the intersection of fast-evolving global product distribution ecosystems and emerging cross-border shopping behaviors.

Charlie will provide a glimpse inside Tumi’s own recent digital journey alongside its parent Samsonite. He will help the GELF community understand the key challenges and opportunities that international marketplaces present to retailers and brands striving to stay ahead of today’s global shopper.  We will explore how retail organizations are structuring themselves and their partners to thrive in a future in which digital marketplace platforms play leading role.

We’ll examine how global commerce titans like Amazon, Alibaba, and Rakuten and international retail juggernauts like Lazada, JD, Tencent, Rocket, Zalando and Mercado Libre are re-defining how future generations will shop.

Take-aways include:

  • How to function with these marketplaces in a multi/omni-channel world; especially as it pertains to your own.com
  • How operating models of key international marketplaces differ
  • The marketing ramifications of being on/not being on these marketplaces
10 to 10:30AM
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel

Given the growing strategic importance of international marketplaces, our executive leaders panel follows up Charlie Cole’s keynote by diving deeper into how connections to international marketplace will drive the next phase of global retail growth.

Our panel explores the emergence of marketplaces as next-gen platforms for growing international ecommerce sales. Representatives from leading “traditional” and mobile-first marketplaces join retail brand execs to discuss the key trends and opportunities framing the international marketplace opportunity.

Topics/take-aways include:

  • How brands are growing more comfortable selling on international marketplaces, in large part by working together to overcome traditional “marketplace challenges”
  • How international marketplaces provide cost-effective customer acquisition and engagement opportunities
  • How feedback loops, machine learning and data signals (traffic flows, analytics, etc.) from international marketplaces are helping brands and retailers localize shopping preferences and identify key “tipping points” that frame regional and country growth strategies
  • How emerging, hybrid order fulfillment models (e.g. drop-shipping directly from suppliers in China and SE Asia) empower marketplace sellers increase conversion and reduce delivery times
  • The growing importance of China-direct lanes to Europe, LATAM, etc. as new global sourcing and fulfillment hybrids evolve


  • Charlie Cole, Chief Digital Officer, Tumi/Samsonite
  • Jessica Lesesky, VP, Online Channels & International, Charles & Colvard
  • Amit Goyal, SVP, Overstock.com
  • Harvey Bierman, VP eCommerce Technology & Operations, Crocs
  • John Kennard, US Merchant Development, Wish
10:30 to 11AM
Global Growth Showcase: The Future of Ecommerce in China

Our panel of experts will delve into key findings from GELF’s 2017 China Ecommerce Study “Catching the China Ecommerce Wave.”

The diversification of ecommerce channels and platforms in China is the key growth trend in China according to retail companies active in GELF.

Although Tmall and JD.com will remain leaders in Chinese commerce, US retail brands are broadening their digital reach beyond marketplaces as they pursue “balanced portfolios.” As these leaders work with more Chinese digital commerce partners, they are also investing more in their own direct-to-consumer ecommerce operations.

Our panel will also explore how relationships with trusted partners who manage commercial activities are evolving – and why.

Learn how global retail brands are aligning these partnerships more directly with strategic growth goals that call for scaling their business towards profitability.


  • Kai Li, VP, International, REVOLVE
  • Jason Becker, CEO, Babyhaven.com
  • Harvey Bierman, VP eCommerce Technology & Operations, Crocs
  • James Eron, Partner, Kung Fu Data, China eCommerce Advisory
11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 11:45AM
Global Ecommerce Technology Breakout Session: Getting Products Everywhere for Consumers Anywhere

Cross-border shoppers around the world increasingly expect to be able to buy anything from anywhere without having to deal with limited product selections, high shipping costs and long delivery times.  Meeting the expectations of these Global Millennials (as well as more affluent international Gen Xers and Boomers) means retail brands need to figure out how to have product everywhere that they can get anywhere quickly.

Making this “global retail Shangri-La” a reality takes vision and a lot of systems integration work.  Our panelists will explore why this utopia may be closer to reality than many might think.  These leaders from retail brands will answer some tough questions, including

  • What does it take to eliminate (or at least reduce) the friction related to connecting products, consumers and their orders in markets around the world – all while entering these markets fast and efficiently?
  • How do these challenges differ for large global brands, nimble pureplays, emerging “new retail” brands and mid-market marketplace sellers?
  • What are leaders doing to integrate key international channels and touchpoints (intn’l marketplaces, DTC sites, emerging touchpoints, etc.) with crucial marketing, inventory, and sales/order systems required to present a unified brand experience to international shoppers?
  • What are the results to date?


  • Harvey Bierman, VP eCommerce Technology & Operations, Crocs
  • Travis Zucker, Sr. Specialist, Ecommerce Platforms, HARMAN / Samsung
  • Sergio Villasenor, CEO, Elliot
11:45 to 12:15PM
Global Technology Workshop: Deep Localization - The Key to Optimizing Cross-border Conversion Rates

Curious about how the world’s leading retail brands are effectively localizing their offering and establishing best practices to grow their international B2C sales?

Learn how to optimize the cross border shopping experience on your site and grow global ecommerce sales in a fast and seamless way. Leave with take-aways from success stories featuring up and coming global retail brands.


  • Matthew Merrilees, Managing Director, Global-e U.S
11:15 to 11:45AM
Customer Engagement/Experience Breakout

GELF’s Customer Engagement/ Experience breakout will focus on how leading cross-border and global ecommerce executives are improving the international ecommerce shopping experience.

The first session will focus on UX site optimization – tailored for a consumers in different markets around the world. Consumers shop differently in each market and their expectations for what makes a great shopping experience challenges online retailers to keep pace in their global ecommerce journey.

How will data and insights help define your next developments in your customer journey?

How to optimize your content, globally and locally?

Executives from leading brands share their experience in evolving their international strategies and resulting customer experiences – from the markets they are prioritizing to site redesigns and product strategies.

Best practice examples abound in this session that will give you great examples to draw from as you develop your next generation CX in key markets.


  • Patricia Cesaire, Enterprise SaaS Senior Solutions Consultant, Contentsquare
  • John Melchek, SVP Global Ecommerce, Fam Brands
  • Matthew Monsees, Senior Manager, Online Marketing, Uncommon Goods
11:45 to 12:15PM
Customer Experience/Engagement Breakout #2: Order and Post Order/Fulfillment

Picking up on themes from our opening Global Customer Experience / Engagement Breakout, we shift our focus deeper into the sales experience funnel.

Our panelists discuss how to improve the cross-border digital customer experience prior to/at the point of purchase as well as post-purchase & fulfillment enhancements.

Get the lowdown on the Do’s and Dont’s as we talk cross-border transactions and international logistics. Among other topics, our panel will debate the pros and cons of postal and express delivery services in  markets throughout LATAM.


  • Daniel Head, eCommerce Marketing and Operations, TOMS
  • Amy Morgan, Senior Product Manager, Avalara
  • A.J. Hernandez, President & CEO, SkyPostal, Inc.
12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking
1:45 to 2PM
Afternoon Fireside Conversation: A Look Ahead

The Retail Apocalypse is so, well … 2017.  Coming off one the biggest and most energetic NRF Big Shows in recent memory, we look ahead at how globalization and innovation is transforming how the world shops.


  • Cristina Ceresoli, SVP, Retail Strategy, National Retail Federation
  • Scott Silverman, Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum
2 to 2:30 PM
Afternoon Keynote Panel: Evolving Digital Global Distribution Models

Global distribution for brands is changing – in large part due to the rapid growth of direct-to-consumer ecommerce, International marketplaces and other emerging digital channels.

Pure play digital retailers and innovative in-house digital commerce ventures that have been designed specifically for cross-border shoppers and global audiences offer brands new ways to reach the burgeoning global middle class.

Yet brands typically have many “traditional” distribution and franchise partners across most global regions; some with long histories with the company – and binding contracts. These distribution partners have been evolving in a digital era, but results have been mixed to date.  Therefore, many brands are re-examining their global distribution to align all of their channels, including their own direct-to-consumer selling.

Three digital executives share their experience and the issues with which they are wrestling as they seek alignment with growing international operations.


  • Elizabeth Krause, Global Ecommerce at Fox Racing
  • Erin Dwyer, CMO, LÍLLÉbaby
  • Jonathan Bradbury, Director Global E-Commerce, Munchkin
  • Andreas Schulmeyer, (former) Head of International Ecommerce, L Brands


2:30 to 3PM
Strategy Showcase: Structuring the Organization for Global Growth

Strategy drives structure. Executing on the global ecommerce opportunity requires visionary planning and the right organization design.

When it comes to your digital commerce teams’ global strategy, are you centralized, decentralized or a hybrid organization? What about digital shared services and/or your “center of excellence” – do you love it or hate it?

As the global transformation of retail accelerates, our panel debates the need for agility and speed versus alignment with global channels.  We will explore cases where speed is key – which usually means independent digital international team structures work better. We’ll also examine the flip side, where potential channel conflicts could arise with “incumbent” channels.

We’ll wrap up by making the internal business case for boosting international resources (people or partners) and looking at what’s worked – and what hasn’t!


  • Kai Li, VP, International, REVOLVE
  • Kevin Flood, Sr Manager, Digital Marketing Int’l & Marketplaces, Hudson’s Bay Company
  • Aaron Zagha, Head of Int’l eCommerce, Teleflora
  • Jim Okamura, Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum (moderator)
3 to 3:15 PM
Afternoon Break
3:15 to 3:45PM
Next Gen Market Growth Breakout: SE Asia and India

Ecommerce opportunity beckons outside of China, South Korea and Japan!

More and more retail brands are placing bets on SE Asia. Meanwhile, India is attracting as much, if not more, buzz these days.

It’s still early in India, but Techcrunch may have put it best: The battle for supremacy in India’s e-commerce space looks set to become a slug out between two gigantic global players: Amazon and Alibaba. 

Perhaps this is so. Perhaps others will have a say in the future of what looks to be the fastest-growing ecommerce market in the world.

Come find out what the leaders have to say about opportunities in SE Asia and India!


  • Marcello Wesseler, Luxasia
  • Brad Moss, SVP Global Operations, Mamenta
3:45 to 4:15PM
Digital Media and Engagement Strategy Breakout

The next era of cross-border and international ecommerce growth will see leaders planning and executing innovative marketing programs that help them connect with the fast-growing global middle class.

Retail brands are connecting with shoppers using earned, paid, and influencer content as well as rich, engaging new video advertising formats.

Stay tuned for updated list of panelists!


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

GELF would like to thank the many global e-commerce leaders who have shared their expertise, insights and experience at GELF Forums in recent years. Stay tuned as we announce more speakers for GELF LA 2018 soon!

If you are an experienced executive from an online retailer or brand and are interested in speaking at GELF LA 2018, please email Kent, Jim and Scott at speak@globalecommerce.co

Kai Li

VP, International, REVOLVE

Kim Walls

Global General Manager, Lime Crime

Charlie Cole

Chief Digital Officer, Tumi/Samsonite

Elizabeth Krause

VP, Global Digital, Fox Racing

Jessica Lesesky

VP, Online Channels & International, Charles & Colvard

Jonathan Bradbury

Director Global E-Commerce, Munchkin

Amit Goyal

SVP, Overstock.com

Erin Dwyer


Jason Becker

CEO, Babyhaven.com

Jennifer Glover

VP, Global CEM & Data Strategy, Billabong Group

Aaron Zagha

Head of Int'l eCommerce, Teleflora

Cristina Ceresoli

SVP, Retail Strategy, National Retail Federation

Harvey Bierman

VP eCommerce Technology & Operations, Crocs

Zack Chang

Product Manager, Global E-Commerce, Levi Strauss & Co.

Daniel Head

eCommerce Marketing and Operations, TOMS

Matthew Monsees

Senior Manager, Online Marketing

John Melchek

SVP Global Ecommerce, Fam Brands

Patricia Cesaire

Principal Solutions Consultant, ContentSquare

John Kennard

US Merchant Development, Wish

Sergio M. Villasenor Jr.

Founder & CEO, Elliot

Marcello Wesseler


Kevin Flood

Sr Manager, Digital Marketing Int'l & Marketplaces, Hudson's Bay Company

James Eron

Partner, Kung Fu Data, China eCommerce Advisory

Jon Azrielant

Director of Marketing, Jewelry.com

Amy Morgan

‎Senior Product Manager, Avalara

Matthew Merrilees

Managing Director, US, ‎Global-e

A.J. Hernandez

‎President & CEO, SkyPostal

Brad Moss

SVP Global Operations, Mamenta

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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