New York City / Thursday September 27th

100% Dedicated to Cross-Border

and International E-Commerce

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We’re back in New York for our tenth Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum! GELF NYC ’18 will be Sept 27th and we’re looking forward to having the biggest and best GELF yet.

The Global eCommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community returns to New York City for our 6th GELF NYC. Building on the momentum from GELF LA ’17, GELF NYC ’18 brings together leaders from online retailers and global brands selling direct-to-consumer.

International ecommerce experts will share insights and best practices as the growing GELF community networks throughout the day. Join us on Thursday September 27th as we explore how digital innovation is disrupting and transforming the retail world.

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GELF speakers will deliver a mix of global ecommerce strategy and tactical cross-border To Dos. Spend the day discussing proven and emerging international ecommerce entry and growth models, learning how customer experience management and deep localization drive international customer acquisition and engagement and how to prioritize the key operational aspects of your global commerce plan.

Together we’ll explore how:

  • Direct to consumer retail brands and branded manufacturers are balancing traditional retail distribution models with emerging direct-to-consumer ecommerce opportunities
  • Ecommerce leaders can use lessons learned from top online retail executives to prioritize and speed up market entry and growth strategies in maturing, emerged and emerging markets
  • Social media and influencer sites provide insights and demand signals that help gloabl ecommerce innovators connect with a fast-growing new generation of cross-border and international online shoppers
  • Top retailers use retail stores/omnichannel partners and international shipping innovations (dropshipping, multi-carrier software, etc.) to refine and deploy global fulfillment operations
  • Brands and leading ecommerce companies are relying on traditional and niche marketplaces and other emerging international ecommerce platforms to acquire new customers
  • Localization, personalization and AI are helping leading global brands engage and retail international shoppers across digital touchpoints
  • A booming global ecosystem of global cloud commerce solutions, international site builders, commerce agencies and systems integrators are leading start-up ecommerce brands and experienced omnichannel retailers into new global markets
  • And much more!

Our morning and afternoon breakouts are back as are GELF’s popular roundtable sessions.  The program offers internationally ambitious ecommerce leaders deep dives into how experts are tackling their top cross-border challenges and helps show you make the case for investing in global retail growth.

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

Look Who's Attended GELF NYC

Approximately 300 global e-commerce professionals are expected at GELF NYC '18. Below is a sample of the brands and retailers that registered for GELF NYC '17


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  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Keynote Fireside: Global Ecommerce Evolution
  • Executive Leaders Keynote Panel
  • Global Growth Showcase
  • Morning Break
  • Morning Breakout Sessions: Three Concurrent Tracks
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Keynote Panel
  • Country/Regional Showcase
  • Afternoon Break
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions: Two Concurrent Tracks
  • Roundtables: Expert Guidance/Insights
  • GELF Networking Reception
8 to 9AM
9 to 9:30AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Welcome and Audience and Sponsor Thanks
  • GELF Recap
  • How Key Global Ecommerce Trends Frame the Day’s Program


9:30 to 10AM
Opening Keynote: Dancing with Devils and Angels - The Pros and Cons of Marketplaces as Strategic Global Sales Distribution Partners

Our keynote  opens GELF NYC ’18 by tackling the pros and cons of international marketplaces as strategic global distribution partners.

Blending perspectives from the worlds of luxury and fashion apparel, our keynote will explore why luxury brands continue to shy away from global marketplaces as other ecommerce leaders embrace them as strategic sales and marketing partners.

We’ll explore the tradeoffs regarding the ownership of the customer data and the evolving role of digital in global wholesale and distribution strategies.

10 to 10:30AM
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel

Reflecting on GELF’s latest research study, leaders from online retailers and branded manufacturers share & compare global POVs regarding next-gen global sales and distribution models & practices.

Our panel explores  2018 GELF / NRF research on how the global growth of ecommerce/ mobile is impacting the incumbent, regional sales and distribution partners of retailers and brands selling internationally.

We also examine new partners and platforms vying for this business and the innovative technologies and go-to-market practices disrupting traditional models.

10:30 to 11AM
Global Growth Showcase: The Future of Ecommerce in Greater China

Mobile commerce is driving global ecommerce growth back to the 20%+ annual rates of yesteryear.  Nowhere are digital commerce leaders seeing the future of retail closer up than in Greater China.

GELF updates its China Ecommerce report from late 2017 with the latest insights and learnings from leaders within the GELF community. Join our panelists as they continue to challenge assumptions and push the envelope regarding what works and what doesn’t work in the fast-growing economies of Greater China.

Come see what the future of retail looks like!

11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 11:45AM
Global Technology Breakout: From Vision to Execution

Our breakout session takes a deeper dive into how leading organizations are transacting globally across ecommerce, mobile, in-store and other distributed commerce touchpoints as they fulfill orders from their expanding network of global operations.

Take a look under the hood at the technologies and innovations running the engines of global ecommerce growth.

Hop aboard as this breakout session takes the strategic  conversation from the opening sessions and dives deeper into the  technological underpinnings powering next gen cross-border ecommerce strategies.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Global Technology Workshop: Going Deep into Localization to Optimize Cross-border Revenue Growth

Are you wondering how the world’s leading retail brands are most effectively localizing their offering to grow their international B2C sales?

Looking for a primer on how best practices in cross-border localization can boost conversion rates and bring the international shopper back for more? Sit back and enjoy the deep dive!

11:15 to 11:45AM
Customer Experience/Engagement Breakout

The cross-border shopping experience has improved significantly since GELF’s first forum in 2014.  But there is always room for improvement!

Learn how leading brands are tackling top of the funnel challenges via innovative commerce, content and UX strategies (and technologies) that truly engage international online shoppers.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Customer Experience/Engagement Breakout #2: Order and Post Order Fulfillment

The customer experience doesn’t stop once a cross-border shopper decides it is time to buy. In fact, the biggest challenges international shoppers face have always centered around understanding the extra fees, tariffs and taxes that they will get hit with once an online order ends up on their doorstep.

The other major cross-border hurdle has been the high cost of international shipping and the long order delivery times.

Spend some time with GELF’s executive panel learning more about how to significantly improve conversion rates by streamlining international checkout practices and by deploying the latest fulfillment strategies and technologies.

11:15 to 11:45AM
Strategy Breakout: Global Expansion 1.0

Panelists whose firms are relatively new to international ecommerce explore how to make the case for global expansion.

Leaders from brands and retailers of different sizes and states of maturity share insights about the dynamics driving their international growth initiatives and the models they are exploring as they prep to go global – or prepare to ramp up existing international programs.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Strategy Workshop: International Digital Media Strategies

Shoppers in China and other fast-growing emerging markets are redefining the future of retail.

What is the best way to connect with these next gen shoppers? What are the right media strategies to reach and engage with the rising global middle class?

Our panel starts by exploring how leaders are connecting with Chinese consumers via WeChat, Baidu and other marketing and messaging platforms. Then we expand the conversation to other key markets where the future of retail is unfolding before our eyes.

12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking
1:45PM to 2PM
Innovation Showcase

Kick off the afternoon program at GELF with our popular afternoon innovation showcase. Last September we explored how live streaming straight from Madison Avenue to consumers throughout Asia bypasses many of the physical and ecommerce site-based barriers that frustrate online shoppers.

Stay tuned for our newest innovation showcase!

2PM to 2:30PM
Keynote Panel: Organizational Innovations for International Growth

Our panel explores new and evolving business models for international expansion.

Leading ecommerce executives explore organization design and discuss how go-to-market strategies for global and cross-border ecommerce vary across every company.

Panelists will share their structure, KPIs and key issues driving their current and future strategic directions.

2:30 to 3PM
Country Showcase: SE Asia

As investments in manufacturing spreads from China throughout SE Asia, so too does the growth of the middle class. Add this buying power to the existing growth in consumer spending among weathier classes and global expatriates and one can see why interest is growing in SE Asia ecommerce.

Learn more about how to reach these consumers and why global leaders like Alibaba are investing heavily in the region.

3 to 3:15 PM
Afternoon Break
3:15 to 3:45PM
Global Growth – A Product Category View: Session 1 CPG

We explore the rise of CPG (including food and nutrition) from an international ecommerce perspective as global brands invest more heavily in digital-first, direct-to-consumer sales and distribution strategies in mature and emerging countries.

3:45 to 4:15PM
Global Growth – A Product Category View: Session 2 Specialty Retail

In the second session, our panel explores next-gen strategies for cross-border and global ecommerce growth from leaders in specialty categories including active/sports fashion, mom & baby and home.

We circle back to key findings from the GELF / NRF research study, TRANSFORMING GLOBAL SALES AND DISTRIBUTION IN THE DIGITAL RETAIL AGE

3:15 to 4:15PM
Consumer Insights Breakout: The Americas

Our consumer insights breakout kicks off with Cross-Border Ecommerce in the Americas: Selling into Canada and Mexico.

Panelists explore consumer insight data on our neighbors to the North and the South.

Panelists explore social and consumer research as well as transactional data-based insights profiling the shopping behaviors of shoppers in Canada and Mexico.


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

Join Leading Global Ecommerce Executives as a GELF NYC '17 Speaker!

If you are an executive at an online retailer or brand selling direct to consumer and would like to share your cross-border and international ecommerce experiences, please email us at!

Thomas Davis

International Director of Ecommerce & Digital Services, Cartier

Jessica Lesesky

VP, Online Channels & Int'l, Charles & Colvard

Guido Campello

CEO & Creative Director, Cosabella

Mark Batty

Head of International Development, Boden

Ethelbert Williams

Head of eCommerce, The Boston Beer Company

Carrie Fischer

Internationalization Manager, Subway

Jon Azrielant

Director of Marketing, Richline Digital

Frank Lavin

Chairman & CEO, Export Now

Jim Okamura

Co-Founder, GELF

Kent Allen

Co-Founder, GELF

Convene NYC Midtown West

117 W 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

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