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All roads lead to GELF LA 2020! On February 13th, the Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community returns to West Hollywood for our 13th Forum. Make plans now to head to Los Angeles and join us at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) for another full day of cross-border and international ecommerce!

Fresh off another successful gathering in New York on September 19th 2019, we look forward to kicking off 2020 with our fifth GELF LA. We look forward to diving deeper into the state of global cross-border as we explore how marketplace platforms in China and other hot ecommerce markets continue to disrupt retail distribution practices.

GELF LA 2020 will bring together leaders from retailers and brands selling direct-to-consumer.  Global consumer brands will join digital natives from the fashion and apparel world, health and beauty, consumer electronics and other leading verticals for a full day of education and sharing. Digital commerce innovators, cross-border ecommerce experts and global ecommerce thought leaders will debate what’s next for international retail expansion.

Get a jump on 2020 by joining the fast-growing GELF community as we learn together, meet new friends and network throughout the day at the Director’s Guild of America Theater, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046!

Are you a retail ecommerce leader interested in speaking at GELF LA 2020? If so please contact speak@globalecommerce.co

GELF is a retailer-only, sponsor-only event. If you are an ecommerce platform or marketplace operator, software company, agency, data aggregator, logistics provider or other global ecommerce solution provider interested in sponsoring and attending 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.

  • One-to-One@GELF LA 2020 meetings will provide attendees with the opportunity to connect directly with global ecommerce experts to discuss how best to tackle their most pressing cross-border and global ecommerce challenges.
  • Looking for structured networking opportunities to meet with industry peers? Executive Meetups@ GELF 2020 will launch this February! The GELF team will connect peers and experts that want to share pressing questions, discuss best practices and learn more about what it takes to succeed in today’s dynamic world of global trade.

GELF succeeds when the community steps up and helps drive the conversation.  Let us know what topics you’d like to include in the program.

You can count on the following topics being part of the show:

  • Juggling Market Entry. Whether you’re pursuing massive market opportunities like China or appraising whether Mexico should be your “next big bet”, GELF will help you connect with leaders that have been there and done that. If you’re looking to ramp up sales in maturing markets in Europe, North America or Japan, GELF has you covered there too.
  • Going Direct-to-Consumer on a Global Scale. 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. One of the hottest topics at GELF recently has been understanding what to look for in your next-gen global distribution partners.
  • The Rise of Global Marketplace Platforms.  International marketplace platforms are generating more and more global retail sales! Amazon and Alibaba are the pace setters but they aren’t the only game in town! GELF’s latest research looks at the rise of communication and community platforms like WeChat as well as niche vertical plays that offer alternatives to the global titans.  Come get a close-up view of what the hub of global retail distribution will look like in the very near future.
  • GELF’s China Ecommerce Track will combine our latest research findings with expert insights and on-the-ground analysis of the key trends and growth drivers that matter most in China and beyond.  GELF updates its 2017 China Ecommerce study and features leading China ecommerce platforms and trade partners in our new GELF LA 2020 China Track.
  • Social Connectors and Influencers are redefining how the global shopper discovers new brands and innovative products and services. In LA, we’ll learn how brands are working with well-known celebrities and emerging influencers to connect with global millennials and others in the rising global middle class.
  • Getting Closer to Global Shoppers. Cross-border is no longer just about shipping from your US distribution  centers to customers around the world. As expectations rise globally for fast delivery at an attractive price, the bar is being raised.  Retail brands and ecommerce entrepreneurs are investing in hybrid fulfillment operations, dropshipping and local delivery from retail store partners to service their global consumers.
  • Localized Operations. The more global we go, the more local we must become. Learn how content and operational “g-localization” boosts conversation by improving both the on-site shopping experience and the ability to provide a world class post-order experience tailored to a wide range of consumer expectations.
  • 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. We’re working hard to align the program with what the GELF community wants, so raise your hand and get involved with our One-to-One@GELF LA meetings and our new Executive Meetups@ GELF 2020

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 2020 including the brands below.


We are pleased to announce the initial program overview for GELF LA '2020 on February 13th, 2020. If you are a retail or brand executive interested in sharing your cross-border of international ecommerce experience, please 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
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions/Executive Meetups
  • GELF Networking Reception
8 to 9AM
Breakfast and Networking
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 and update our 2017 GELF China research with new insights from US ecommerce executive and consumers in China.


9:30 to 10AM
The GELF Opening Keynote: Where We've Been and Where We're Headed

Stay tuned for the latest in an ongoing series of global ecommerce leaders that keynote GELF forums!

Last year’s keynote speaker, Charlie Cole, Global Chief eCommerce Officer of Samsonite, set the bar very high.

Join our keynote session as we set the stage for a full day of executive insights and analysis!

10 to 10:30AM
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel

Segueing from the opening keynote, GELF’s Executive Leaders Keynote Panel weighs in on key trends and topics driving cross-border and global ecommerce growth.

In February, we will  examine the pros and cons of brands working with leading global marketplace platforms and how the rise of these  ecommerce platforms are transforming go to market strategies for brands selling direct-to-consumer and via traditional wholesale and retail distribution partners.

10:30 to 11AM
Global Growth Showcase: Key Takeaways from GELF's Latest China Ecommerce Executive Study

WeChat was the “new kid in town” when GELF published its first China Ecommerce study on 11.11.17. Now WeChat is one of the most important commerce platforms in China and its impressive growth shows no signs of slowing down.

Is TikTok the next China platform staged to transform ecommerce? What will Alibaba’s next act be? Will the trade friction be a past memory by February 2020?

Join us as we reflect on the latest executive viewpoints and pour through on-the-ground survey data from young consumers in China.

Learn what ecommerce and omnichannel practices translates from China to the rest of the world – and what doesn’t!

11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 11:45AM
Localizing the Cross-Border Experience: Engaging, Acquiring and Retaining International Shoppers

Worried about whether your ecommerce offerings translate globally? Ready to make sure your international shopping and delivery experience is on par with your U.S. ecommerce experience?

Want to make sure your cross-border shoppers get the same TLC as your local ecommerce shoppers?

GELF’s customer experience breakout session features tips and tactics for boosting conversion and connecting with the next generation of global shoppers.

We also explore how the digital marketing mix differs from country to country.


11:15 to 11:45AM
Globalization Strategy Breakout: International Marketplace Platforms

GELF’s first globalization breakout track focuses on international marketplaces and explores how global ecommerce is helping to disrupt traditional distribution channels.

Global marketplace platforms are solidifying their place as the preferred “digital-first” distribution partner for many brands investing in their direct-to-consumer initiatives.

As a result, the strategic role of international marketplaces is under greater scrutiny in many organizations that have traditionally sold primarily through wholesale and retail partners.

Join our panel as we explore the pros and cons of working with international marketplace operators. Learn what it takes to evolve from selling through global partners to selling with these global platforms.

11:15 to 12:15
GELF's China / Asia Ecommerce Track

China is the biggest and most alluring ecommerce market in the universe. Although China isn’t always for everyone, even those brands that have taken a “China timeout” recently know they must be there – probably sooner rather than later!

Meanwhile, the smart money is also diversifying by investing in ecommerce opportunities and supply chain operations throughout SE Asia and APAC markets.

Our China session explores the state of China Ecommerce by tackling questions such as:

  • Is your China 1.0 Ecommerce Strategy showing its age?
  • Feeling behind after being out of the China market for a year or more?
  • How should you ramp up your China ecommerce growth plans?

For brands investing inside and outside China, our Asia Opportunity session explores where the best opportunities lie for ecommerce investments in 2020 – and how to prioritize key markets like Japan and South Korea as well as SE Asia and India.

Curious about the main players in China and Asia ecommerce? Hear the latest about Rakuten, Alibaba/Tmall, JD, WeChat – and get the low down on the other emerging platforms gaining traction with Chinese and Asian shoppers at home and abroad.

We will also explore the latest changes impacting the Chinese and Asia digital marketing landscape. Gain insights and best practices about successful marketing and social media programs fueling ecommerce growth in China and Asia.

Learn all about the most important trade partners in China and Asia – and why China and Asian markets lie at the headwaters of retail innovation for the decade ahead!

11:45 to 12:15PM
Localizing the Cross-Border Experience: Building Customer Loyalty via Operational Localization

One of the realities of cross-border ecommerce is that conversion rates lag domestic rates.

What turns off shoppers that want to buy cross-border after struggling to find reasonably-priced product locally? One leading culprit is sticker-shock at checkout once tariffs, taxes and fees are added to the basket. Another issue is vague or non-existent policies such as whether customers can easily return cross-border purchases.

This session offers insights into how to overcome friction before and after checkout. We’ll explore how leaders can more effectively communicate the total landed cost of an order, what it takes to plan and execute all-inclusive cross-border pricing strategies, how to lower international shipping costs and the math behind offering free international returns.

11:45 to 12:15PM
Globalization Strategy Breakout: Cross-border OR Regional Builds?

Our second globalization breakout session explores two primary international growth models: Cross-border ecommerce and localized in-country sites supported by regional operations.

International marketplaces are often in the spotlight, but cross-border ecommerce operations are often the table stakes of global ecommerce growth for both retailers and brands selling direct-to-consumer.

On the other hand, many retail brands – especially well known global brands – have localized brand and/or ecommerce sites in markets around the world.

Which is the right model for your business? When does it make sense to invest in cross-order ecommerce operations vs. building in-country local sites and a supporting value delivery chain?

Our panel explores how retail brands facing this decision balance the key consideration factors that are required to optimize cross-border and international sales.

12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking. Executive Meetups@GELF
1:45 to 2:15 PM
Afternoon Keynote: Global Strategies that Deliver Loyalty

Shopping journeys reflect the different geographies and cultures of a country or region. Yet even though journeys differ, shared consumer expectations are emerging in markets across the world.

As borderless shopping grows, the number of choices (and voices) grows in lockstep. Brands serving a global consumer base are faced with an increasingly urgent need to remove points of friction from the cross-border / international ecommerce shopping experience.

Building long-term customer loyalty by consistently delivering on consumer expectations is central to guaranteeing the best possible shopping experience; be it at home or abroad.

Our afternoon keynote explores how leading global brands are enhancing the discovery, order and post-order experience to connect with first-time shoppers and gain their loyalty.

2:15 to 2:45PM
Afternoon Keynote Panel: Digital Native Brands Take the Lead

It’s not just branded manufacturers that are working more closely with Amazon and Alibaba to grow global sales; so too are Digital Native brands.

GELF’s recent research found that in addition to working with (or working around) international marketplace platforms, these nimble, fearless new brands are doubling down on investments in their own global DTC ecommerce operations. Many do not follow traditional go-to-market paths that include working with traditional distribution and wholesale partners

Our panel will discuss how Digital Native brands are taking the lead by prioritizing the customer experience and managing operational data sets and investing in digital, customer-centric innovation.

Learn about the leadership practices of “Fearless” Digital Natives as they pursue cross-border ecommerce opportunities – and how their global-first mentality that can help your entire global distribution ecosystem grow and prosper.

2:45PM - 3:15PM
Regional Showcase: Why LATAM Ecommerce is Your Next Big Ecommerce Bet

GELF LATAM launched in May of 2019 and was a resounding success. As Brexit and trade tensions between the US and China continue to cloud opportunities in Europe and East Asia, many brands are turning their attention to ecommerce opportunities in the key markets in Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

Is LATAM your next big global ecommerce bet? Should it be?

Mexico is attracting more and more attention from global ecommerce leaders who find that solving payment, shipping and delivery constraints opens opportunities to serve a very attractive customer base.

Meanwhile Brazil’s comeback continues and opportunities in Colombia, Argentina and Chile beckon.

Join our experts who explain how to regain market share from freight forwarders and consolidators, detail why LATAM growth depends on a wide range of payment options and debate which cross-border platforms work best where in LATAM (and why).

Learn why LATAM ecommerce may offer your company its next big bet!

3:15 to 3:30PM
Afternoon Break
3:30 to 4PM
Media and Marketplaces: Making the "Marketplace Math" Work for You

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.

Our afternoon international marketplace workshop brings together global ecommerce leaders to discuss how they are making the “marketplace math” add up. They discuss why the real ROI on marketplace advertising can be hard to calculate.

Learn what leaders are prioritizing (and avoiding) as global marketplaces offer a growing array of digital advertising and media opportunities.

Our panel will provide insights into how they are working with marketplace partners to develop strategies that deliver more than just international sales growth.

3:30 to 4PM
GELF's Global Tech Talks

Curious about the latest and greatest cross-border ecommerce solution sets? Do you have your global ecommerce shopping list ready?

GELF’s Global Tech Talks features the latest cross-border innovations designed to tackle the most pressing international ecommerce challenges faced by retailers and brands alike.

Join us for a fast-paced session designed to look under the hood of solutions that will drive the next leg of global ecommerce growth.

4 to 4:30PM
Who's Influencing Your Global Audience?

Word-of-mouth and product recommendations from friends and family have proven to be the most user-friendly and cost-effective ways to build awareness and drive conversion.

So it’s no surprise that global ecommerce leaders are embracing influencer marketing as social media spreads the good word globally at the touch of a button.

Join GELF’s panelists as they share what works and what to avoid when it comes to spending on celebrity and up-and-coming social influencers.

Learn about what works in which country (and what doesn’t) and how to optimize your influencer marketing spend.  Learn how to seed the market and watch your social marketing investments grow.

4 to 5:30PM
Executive Meetups@GELF

Do you have a burning question that you know someone in the GELF community can help you answer? Would you welcome the chance to talk shop with several other execs whose global ecommerce operations – or aspirations – are at a similar state of maturity?

Share your topics of interest and expertise during GELF LA 2020 registration and let’s start-up GELF’s new hosted peer group discussions!

Kick off the conversations and keep’em going into GELF’s networking and cocktail hour.

4:30 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! Thanks to all the GELF LA 2019 speakers listed below!

If you are an experienced executive from an online retailer or brand and are interested in speaking at GELF LA 2020 on February 13th, please email Kent, Jim and Scott at speak@globalecommerce.co

Stacy Reece

Chief Digital Officer, Boardriders

Xia Feng

GM/VP, International, Barneys (formerly)

Aaron Zagha

CMO, Newton Baby

Jacob Rokeach

VP, Growth & E-commerce, Anine Bing

Christy Kang

Global Retail Marketing, Asia, KORRES

Casey Gee

Director of International Sales & Business Development, Spy Optic

Charlie Cole

Global Chief eCommerce Officer, Samsonite

Emma Lawson

Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing, Tarte

Kai Li

VP, International, REVOLVE

Jennifer Glover

5.11 Tactical

Alex Banys

Director, Global eCommerce and Digital Marketing, Specialized Bicycle Components

Jacob Rokeach

VP, Growth & E-commerce, ANINE BING

Lily Varon

Analyst - Digital Business Strategy, Forrester Research

Jacob Uhland

Sr. Dir Digital Multi-Channel Development, VF Corp

Aaron Zagha

CMO, Newton Baby

Chris Vincent

Global CEO, Practicology (a Pattern company)

Indy Guha

VP, Enterprise Marketing, Signifyd

Matthew Merrilees

CEO, North America, US, ‎Global-e

Bruce Fair

Chief Revenue Officer, MetaPack Group

Eric Rosenthal

Managing Director, Rapyd

A.J. Hernandez

President & CEO at SkyPostal

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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