New York City / Thursday September 19th 2019

100% Dedicated to Cross-Border

and International E-Commerce

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The GELF community returns to New York City on September 19th for our biggest and best Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum yet! We’re looking forward to a full day of keynotes, panel discussions and workshops – and of course, GELF’s fabulous networking.

Building on the momentum from GELF LATAM and GELF LA ’19, leaders from online retailers and global brands will share data, insights and best practices about their global retail expansion strategies and tactics. International ecommerce experts will conduct workshops and host panel discussions detailing the latest dos and don’ts pertaining to cross-border and international ecommerce.

Join us on Thursday September 19th as we explore how digital innovation is disrupting and transforming the world of retail.

Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact

Throughout the day, GELF speakers will deliver a mix of strategic insights and tactical cross-border To Dos.  Come prepared to spend the day discussing different market entry and growth models and learning how customer journeys differ country-to-country – and how these different journeys can impact your customer acquisition and engagement programs.

Learn how to prioritize the key operational aspects of your global commerce plan and how to organize your team to execute it successfully.

Together we’ll explore how:

  • Traditional and digital native retailers are working with upstream brand partners to balance incumbent retail distribution models with emerging direct-to-consumer ecommerce opportunities
  • Global ecommerce titans like Amazon and Alibaba are following different paths to become crucial global distribution partners across digital and physical touchpoints
  • Leaders are revisiting digital selling rights and updating global distribution policies to reflect the new realities of a digital-first retail ecosystem
  • China continues to dazzle – and bedazzle – brands; both iconic global ones and brand new startups
  • Social media and influencer sites are evolving to help gloabl ecommerce innovators connect with a rising global middle class that expects one-touch ordering and fast delivery regardless of distance (and duties)
  • Retail stores and omnichannel partners are investing in the latest generation of international shipping innovations (dropshipping, multi-carrier software, etc.) to meet the delivery expectations of today’s demanding shopper
  • Personalization engines and AI advancements are becoming the “front-end” of localization as they help leading global brands engage international shoppers across digital touchpoints
  • A booming global ecosystem of cross-border cloud commerce solutions, international site builders, commerce agencies and systems integrators are leading start-ups and experienced omnichannel retailers into new global markets
  • And much more!

Our morning and afternoon breakout sessions are back as is GELF’s Tech Talks.  Our program offers internationally ambitious ecommerce leaders deep dives into how experts are tackling their top cross-border challenges and helps show you how to return to the office and make the case for investing in global retail growth.

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

Look Who's Attending GELF NYC

Below is a sample of the brands and retailers registered for GELF NYC 2019


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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 Panels
  • Afternoon Break
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions: Two Concurrent Tracks
  • GELF's Global Tech Talks
  • GELF Networking Reception
8 to 9AM
9 to 9:30AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Welcome and audience and sponsor thanks
  • GELF LA ’19 and GELF LATAM Take-aways
  • How key global ecommerce trends frame the day’s program


9:30 to 10AM
Opening Keynote: Global Perspectives on Balancing DTC Ecommerce and Third Party International Distribution

GELF’s recent keynotes  have tackled how brands address the pros and cons of international marketplaces as global distribution partners.

Many retail brands are working closer with global ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart. Others, like luxury brands, continue to shy away from global marketplaces.

Our keynote will continue to probe deeper into the dynamics facing brands as they increasingly sell direct to consumer and via traditional and emerging global ecommerce partners.

We’ll explore whether too many brands are becoming overly reliant on large global ecommerce platforms as the primary source of cross-border and international retail sales – and how they can diversify their global ecommerce growth plans.

We’ll discuss the inherent tradeoffs of selling via third party international partners. Global ecommerce leaders will tackle questions like

  • Who has global digital channel sales rights?
  • Who can claim ownership of operational and customer data?
  • What is the evolving role of digital in global wholesale and distribution strategies?
10 to 10:30AM
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel: How Digital is Transforming Global Distribution

Reflecting on GELF’s latest research study, leaders from the ecommerce community share & compare global POVs regarding next-gen global retail sales and distribution models and practices.

One hot topic at GELF LA ’18 was the requirement for brands to revisit their global distribution agreements. Brands want to better adress the lack of clarity about who has ecommerce rights to sell what where and via which channels – especially regarding Amazon and other international marketplaces.

Our panel will also examine how global distribution platforms from digital titans and innovative technologies and go-to-market practices from digital native start-ups are disrupting traditional global retail ecosystems.

10:30 to 11AM
Global Growth Showcase: What's Next for China Ecommerce?

China is the headwaters of global retail innovation; a big reason China continues the #1 topic of interest at GELF gatherings.

This September, GELF updates its China Ecommerce research study Catching the China Ecommerce Wave with new consumer data and additional insights from leaders within the GELF community.

Alibaba and often dominate the conversation, but WeChat is the topic du jour. As WeChat’s commerce offerings emerge, what are the new opportunities for global retail brands? How do you prioritize these opportunities vs other platform opportunities in China?

Our panelists debate whether direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands are investing more in DTC even as China’s market remains marketplace-centric. Our panel tackles a key question: Has DTC ecommerce reached a tipping point in China?

Outside of the big players in China, what are the other emerging opportunities? What are the ramifications from the ongoing global trade  talks? What adjacent SE Asian ecommerce opportunities are emerging?

Come learn what’s next in China!

11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 11:45AM
Global Omnichannel Innovation

Our breakout session tackles the challenges and opportunities in today’s dynamic world of global trade.

International growth strategies increasingly offer hybrid models for both order capture and order fulfillment. Multiple touchpoints – social, digital, traditional media and more – fuel discovery while a wide assortment of applications help close the sale. On the supply chain and fulfillment side, global operations depend on both legacy store-based systems and state-of-the art digital innovations.

Learn what it takes to capture and fulfill global demand in today’s increasingly flat world of global commerce.

Hear how retail brands are maximizing cross-border ecommerce revenue and in-country retail partnerships while minimizing risk in our ever-changing international regulatory environment.


11:45 to 12:15PM
The Dawn of New Retail. What it Means. Why it Matters

GELF updates its 2017 “Catch the China Ecommerce Wave” study with new perspectives from leaders in the GELF community about how markets like China have emerged as the “headwaters of retail innovation.”

Our second global omnichannel breakout session looks at how global ecommerce innovation is ushering forth the dawn of integrated selling concepts like New Retail.

Leaders from Greater China’s technology community join GELF to discuss how the latest tech trends in Asia and emerging omnichannel practices are driving the adoption of integrated New Retail practices. Learn how Digital Native brands and “rain makers” from China are shaking up the global status quo.

11:15 to 11:45AM
Building Digital Connections with Global Shoppers

Today’s global consumer cares less and less about retail channels and country borders and more and more about getting what they want when they want it at fair price.

How are marketing and CX leaders connecting with global consumers today? Our panel discusses how leading retail brands are tackling top of the funnel challenges via innovative marketing, content and UX/CEM strategies – and supporting practices and technologies.

Learn how to acquire and engage international online shoppers by localizing and personalizing global marketing programs and cross-border ecommerce touchpoints.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Fulfilling Cross-border Customer Expectations by Overcoming Global Trade Complexities

Capturing demand is one thing; fulfilling the order is a whole another adventure – especially in today’s dynamic global regulatory environment.

Compelling order and post-order experiences complete the engagement cycle – at home and abroad.  But too often, this cycle breaks down for cross-border shoppers due to unexpected fees, tariffs and taxes that are due once an online order ends up on at an international shopper’s home or business.

Another persistent cross-border hurdle is the high cost of international shipping and the long order delivery times. The resulting customer experience-related cross-border challenges often boil down to the tough work of making sure sought-after products comply with the latest regulations and are correctly classified for import and export.

GELF’s executive panel shares insights about how retail brands are improving international conversion rates by embracing automation and innovations that leverage machine learning and AI to ease cross-border compliance-related hurdles.

Learn more about how the latest software and process advancements can address tax reform initiatives, the dynamic state of border tariffs, and the increased scrutiny of imports and exports as the global ecommerce growth drives an ever-increasing volume of cross-border sales and deliveries to shoppers around the world.

11:15 to 11:45AM
International Marketplace Strategies

As international marketplaces grow in strategic importance in every global ecommerce market, new enablers and value-add solutions are emerging to extend and streamline marketplace connections.

Join GELF’s newest strategy breakout track that focuses on how marketplaces are helping brands expand their reach internationally – and how marketplace operators differ in the countries around the world.

Hear different POVs about how and why Amazon and Alibaba differ – and which alternative marketplaces need to be considered part of a broader global ecommerce expansion strategy.

Learn from experts why its increasingly important to work with smaller marketplaces and vertical marketplace channels.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Marketplace Strategy Workshop: Global POVs on "Marketplace Math"

International marketplace channels help retail brands extend their global customer reach by “fishing where the fish are.” But its not always easy to understand where and why the fish are biting.

Our international marketplace workshop brings together global ecommerce leaders to discuss how they are making the “marketplace math” add up. What are they prioritizing (and avoiding) as marketplaces of different shapes and sizes offer a growing array of digital advertising and media opportunities.

At GELF LA ’19, the demand was clear for more conversation about, and understanding of, how leaders are building and measuring the effectiveness of the ad campaigns they’re running on marketplaces.  Join our panel as they provide insights into how they are working with partners to develop marketplace strategies that deliver more than just international sales growth.

Learn how to make the right decision about how your digital media investments can provide the data and insight necessary to accelerate your global digital growth strategies.

12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking
1:45PM to 2:15PM
Understanding the International Customer Journey

We open the afternoon program by taking a world tour of how today’s customer journey crosses borders and devices.

Join us as we open the afternoon keynotes with the latest international consumer research.

2:15PM to 2:45PM
Executing the Plan: Translating Global Ecommerce Strategies into International Sales

When it comes to putting the plan into action, what principles and practices drive cross-border and international ecommerce sales growth?

Our keynote panel provides insights from both digital native and omnichannel retail leaders who share how their execution differs from country-to-country. Our experts touch on how planning and organizational design must adapt to the new realities of evolving global sales and distribution ecosystems.

We explore different perspectives about how digital’s role in global retail sales is changing and how this evolution requires companies to rethink who they are and how they’re organized for global success.

Learn more about balancing corporate objectives with the needs and opportunities that local partnerships provide. Get a grip on how organizations of the future need to handle innovation and inspire new leaders to take hold of the reins.

2:45 to 3:15PM
Strategy Showcase: Boosting Cross-Border Conversion with Next Gen Customer Experience Operations

Leading digital-native pureplays are leveraging customer data-centric strategies, flexible org structures and an intrinsic willingness to test new international business models / partnerships to build on their early mover advantages.  As they explore evolving digital partner ecosystems in new global markets, some are also looking to add stores and other physical touchpoints to build their brand and engage new and existing customers across channels.

Retailers with physical store networks, including local joint ventures and licensee stores, are using ecommerce and digital revenue channels more prominently than in the past. International store expansion has often lead market entry, with ecommerce development as a “next channel.” The GELF-NRF research findings indicate this store-first mentality is changing, and the use of ecommerce and international marketplaces is changing regional partnerships and distributor relationships.

Panelists will share their experience in developing international channel strategy and executing in key local markets.


3:15 to 3:30 PM
Afternoon Break
3:30 to 4:00PM
Markets Breakout #1: Optimizing Growth Strategies in the Americas

Canada remains the #1 export market for US retailers and brands. But what about digital commerce opportunities south of the border?

Our panel explores market opportunities and growth strategies in Canada and the top markets in Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

We also explore the best way to connect with online shoppers in Canada and in fast-growing markets throughout Latin America.

3:30 to 4:00PM
Global Ecommerce Models Breakout: Cross-border or Localized Country Sites?

Although the buzz about international marketplace strategies continues to build, cross-border ecommerce and localized country sites are proven international ecommerce growth models.

This breakout session explores when, where and why ecommerce leaders invest in cross-border ecommerce and localized in-country sites with  regional operations. Sometimes the choice of models is obvious; other times the decision is not so clear cut. Some leaders consider hybrid approaches.

Our panel explores how brands facing these decisions balance the key consideration factors  required to optimize international sales.

GELF’s panel compares how the key drivers of growth can differ between organizations – and how decisions about the size of the prize, desired customer experiences, inventory staging, merchandise assortments, customer data constraints and the post-order experience all influence strategies and priorities.

4 to 4:30PM
Markets Breakout #2: Next Gen Ecommerce Opportunities

Many retail brands invest first in English speaking countries followed closely by Western European and Scandinavian markets.

Join our panelists as we explore which markets come next when it comes to cross-border and international ecommerce investment.

After we explore LATAM ecommerce opportunities in Breakout #1, GELF’s experts focus on the state of ecommerce in the Middle East and Eastern Europe/Russia.

4 to 4:30PM
GELF Solution Showcase Breakout #2: Where Tech Talks Global

Curious about solving a specific cross-border ecommerce challenge?

GELF’s Solution Showcase returns this September as Global Tech Talks where tech leaders talk about how they are executing global ecommerce expansion strategies.

4:30 to 5:30PM
GELF Networking Reception

Thanks again to all the global ecommerce executives listed below for speaking at GELF NYC '18! Look for GELF NYC '19 speakers to be listed later this spring and into the summer!

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! Although GELF speakers are primarily retailers and brand executives, we are able to include select leaders from our sponsor partners in the program as well. If interested in sponsoring GELF NYC '19, please contact

Thomas Davis

International Director of Ecommerce & Digital Services, Cartier

Guido Campello

CEO & Creative Director, Cosabella

Sherry Shi

Head of Greater China, Shopbop | East Dane

Evan Fript

CEO, Paul Evans Shoes

Hayne Shumate

SVP, Internet Business, Mouser Electronics

Na'Im Mckee

Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Paid Media, Arrow Electronics

Marcelo Wesseler

Managing Director, Luxasia Pte. Ltd.

Amy Morgan

Vice President, Product — Global Trade & Cross-Border, Avalara

Indy Guha

VP, Enterprise Marketing, Signifyd

Daniel Lee

Sr. Global Business Development Manager,

Matthew Merrillees

Managing Director, North America, Global-e

Frank Lavin

Chairman & CEO, Export Now

Bruce Fair

CRO, MetaPack

Katerina Cai

Chief Customer Officer, Export Now

A.J. Hernandez

President & CEO, SkyPostal

Jean Kany

VP Sales & Account Management North-America, CITCON

Jim Okamura

Co-Founder, GELF

Kent Allen

Co-Founder, GELF

Scott Silverman

Co-Founder, GELF

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