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.

NEW This Year!!

The GELF team is also pleased to announce that we will organize a half-day workshop on China Ecommerce Wednesday September 18th from 12 to 5.30PM – learn more and register here about the China Ecommerce Workshop.  GELF NYC ’19 will be a full-day on September 19th.

The GELF Community Keeps Growing

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.

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 Keynotes/Main Session Panels
  • Afternoon Break
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions
  • 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: The Rise of Global Ecommerce Platforms

Global ecommerce platforms are driving international sales growth for the world’s most iconic brands as well as for specialty retail and fast-growing digital native brands.  Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart each offer unique ways to help their brand partners identify and execute on cross-border ecommerce opportunities in both emerged markets (China) and in emerging markets (India).

The GELF community is thrilled to welcome Walmart’s new SVP of cross-border ecommerce, Ben Hassing. For the past four years, Ben Hassing has led the ecommerce and technology divisions in China as Walmart moved aggressively into omni-channel with partners Tencent,, Dada and others.

As the “headwaters of retail innovation” China’s retail ecosystem continues to inspire retail transformation at home and abroad.  In addition to providing an overview of Walmart’s cross-border ecommerce ambitions, Ben will share insights from his recent tenure in China. He will set the tone for the day by discussing lessons learned from serving Walmart’s Chinese consumers alongside Walmart’s brand and technology partners – and how these takeaways will help drive Walmart’s next stage of growth in markets around the world.

Join us to learn how US retailers can tap into emerging and proven international ecommerce best practices to grow their digital sales globally – and help lead their retail partners, associates and consumers into the next generation of global retail.

Keynote Speaker:

Ben Hassing, SVP, Cross Border Trade, Walmart

10 to 10:30AM
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel: How Digital is Transforming Global Distribution

Following Ben’s lead, GELF’s executive leaders’ keynote panel will discuss how their companies are re-imagining how digital commerce can drive growth initiatives at home and abroad.

As communication platforms like WeChat join Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart as next gen global marketing, sales and wholesale distribution partners, retail brands are balancing the pros and cons of partnering with established international marketplaces and digital platforms as first party (1P) and/or third party (3P) sellers.  At the same time, global ecommerce leaders are also working with emerging niche and vertical marketplaces disrupting traditional retail distribution globally as well.

One hot topic at GELF LA ’19 explored how global brands selling DTC are revisiting their global distribution agreements to clarify who has the right to sell what where when and how – and who owns operational and customer data from digital commerce.

Join our panel as they discuss how their teams are evolving their traditional wholesale operations to become more cutting-edge with digital in the lead. Learn how leading brands are not just selling into traditional wholesale and marketplace accounts, but striving to sell through and sell with established and new international trading partners.


  • Nathan Isaacson, Digital Sales & Emerging Channels, New Balance
  • Buffy Sash, SVP, Ecommerce, The Collected Group
  • Jeff Lord, Sr. Director of Global eCommerce & Retail, Burton Snowboards


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

China continues to be the #1 topic of interest at GELF gatherings. This September, GELF updates its 2017 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 China Ecommerce conversation, but WeChat is the topic du jour. As WeChat’s commerce offerings emerge, we explore new opportunities in China for global retail brands.

Our panelists discuss how they are prioritizing known ecommerce opportunities in China vs. other fast-growing platform opportunities like Little Red Book and ByteDance’s TikTok content platform.

Our panelists also debate:

  • Whether DTC ecommerce is approaching a tipping point in China.
  • 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!


  • Abby Whitmer, Executive Director, Digital, ReVive Skincare
  • Martin Suter, Global VP, Marketplace, ABInBev
  • Gavin Newton-Tanzer,Co-Founder & President, Sunrise International
11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 11:45AM
Selling into China? A Playbook for Next Level Success

Are you ready to ramp up your China ecommerce growth now that your international ecommerce operations are growing nicely in Western markets? Is it past time to take your 1.0 China Ecommerce Strategy to the next level? This breakout session is for you!

Join Citcon’s COO Wei Jiang and global ecommerce leaders as we introduce Selling into China: The Definitive Guide to Cross-Border E-Commerce.

Citcon’s playbook spells out eight key steps for taking your cross-border ecommerce journey into China to the next level of success.

China isn’t a fit for everyone; step one is making sure that China is right for you and your products. Consider for instance that Tmalls’ sales of beauty products jumped over 60% last year!

Learn the latest about  Taobao, Tmall, JD and Kaola as well as the latest commerce sensation WeChat. Make sure you’re ready for China ecommerce success by adopting the latest mobile strategies and by offering Chinese shoppers at home and abroad the innovative payment systems and logistics/delivery options they cannot live without.

Interested in connecting with new Chinese consumers by better understanding the Chinese digital marketing landscape? Gain insights and best practices from case studies about successful marketing and social media programs  fueling  ecommerce growth in China.

Change is a constant in China; learn what it takes to succeed when it comes to rules, regulations, customs and cultural dynamics in China.


Wei Jiang, COO of Citcon

11:45 to 12:15PM
China Ecommerce 2019: 10 Truths That Help Brands Win.

Our second China Ecommerce breakout session answers the two extremely important questions when it comes to China Ecommerce expansion strategies –

“Is your brand ready for China?”

“Is China ready for you?”

Join ExportNow’s Frank Lavin as he leads an expert market/brand analysis that explores which brands perform best in China.


Frank Lavin, Chairman & CEO of ExportNow

11:15 to 11:45AM
Guaranteeing that the Cross-Border Customer Experience Exceeds Expectations and Delivers Results

What does an internationally renowned brand – one that has been investing diligently in growing its cross-border ecommerce operations – do when its cross-border ecommerce solution provider suddenly goes out of business? How does it continue to provide its international customers a smooth online shopping experience while transforming this unexpected change in plans into an opportunity to grow international conversions and revenues?

Matthew Schiff, Marc Jacob’s VP of Ecommerce, looks back on the company’s international growth in markets around the world in recent years – and recounts how the smooth migration to a new cross-border platform was completed in just three weeks; enabling the brand to provide its international customers with a seamless online shopping experience consistent with the brand’s name and reputation.

GELF’s cross-border customer experience fireside session explores how Marc Jacobs’ international strategy has evolved in recent years – and how the company has grown successfully via a blend of cross-border ecommerce strategies in Western markets and an extensive network of retail stores throughout Asia including a dedicated operation in Japan.

Discover how enabling shoppers to transact in their local currency, providing them with a tax and duties calculation at checkout, supporting a variety of alternative payment methods and offering competitive shipping options has helped the brand to increase international sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Matthew will explain how working with Global-e’s team enables Marc Jacob’s to improve its performance in international markets by optimizing their online offering, tailoring it to the brand’s business strategy, including its local in-store pricing strategy, in key markets worldwide such as Canada, Australia, Germany, France and the UK.


  • Matthew Schiff, VP, Ecommerce, Marc Jacobs
  • Matthew Merrilees, Managing Director, North America, Global-e
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.


  • Craig Reed, SVP, Global Trade at Avalara
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.


  • Jose Farinas, the President of Latin America for Wahl Clipper Corporation
  • Chris Vincent the CEO of Practicology, a Pattern company
11:45 to 12:15PM
Executive Perspectives on Global Cross-Border Opportunities

Cross-border ecommerce strategies are no longer limited to “US-outbound” exports. We see a growing number of retail brands based outside the US seeking to connect with U.S. consumers eager to discover new brands and distinct styles that aren’t always accessible in traditional retail channels at home.

Join us as GELF welcomes a panel of global retail leaders who will share global ecommerce experiences and perspectives.  Hear about lessons learned in markets outside the US – and how these executive insights can help retail leaders expand into new international markets while optimizing the online shopping experience here in the U.S.

12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking
1:45PM to 2:15PM
Delivering Loyalty (and other Returns) by Taking a Strategic View of the Global Delivery Experience

As borderless shopping grows, the number of choices (and voices) grows in lockstep.  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 tackles the cross-border delivery experience – and explores how growing expectations for transparent and speedy delivery by shoppers around the world commands that global ecommerce leaders prioritize, plan and execute global delivery strategies.


  • Duncan License, VP, Global Product, MetaPack
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 retail brands are leveraging customer data-centric strategies, flexible org structures and an intrinsic willingness to test new international business models / partnerships to build on early mover advantages.  As they explore evolving digital partner ecosystems globally, some are leveraging lessons learned from more traditional retail brands to add stores (and other physical touchpoints) that build their brand and offer shoppers localized, engaging experiences.

Panelists will share their experience and insights developing pre-order and post order operations that support international partner/channel strategies and boost conversion in key local markets around the globe.


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

Our first GELF LATAM ’19 was big success back as the GELF community shared insights on digital commerce opportunities and strategies south of the border.

Join our panelists as they share POVs on why LATAM is quickly emerging the “next big bet” for internationally ambitious ecommerce leaders. Learn more about why top retail brands are prioritizing investments in the key markets in Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia – and how their strategies and tactics differ.

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. China is often in the mix, but China isn’t for everyone.

What’s next? Today’s global trade dynamics are accelerating the shift towards emerging hotspots in SE Asia and beyond.  More manufacturing jobs means more disposable income – which in turn fosters the growth of a global middle class increasingly comfortable with cross-border shopping.

Join our panelists as they share which next gen markets are most attractive for them – and how they are aligning their ecommerce investments with these opportunities.

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

Ben Hassing

SVP, Cross Border Trade, Walmart

Janelle Spatz

Director of Operations - Ecommerce, PVH Corp.

Nathan Isaacson

Digital Sales & Emerging Channels, New Balance

Emma Lawson

Director of Global E-Commerce, Huda Beauty

Matthew Schiff

VP, Ecommerce, Marc Jacobs

Nisha Oza

Brand Partnerships, Chinese Laundry

Na'Im McKee

Senior Marketing Manager, Global Paid Media, Arrow Electronics

Martin Suter

Global VP, Marketplace, ABInBev

Ensell Lee

Director, Product Management, Macy's

Jeff Lord

Sr Dir of Global eComm & Retail, Burton Snowboards

Eric Tam

VP, Global Digital + Technology, Biossance

Jose Farinas

Presidente Latin America & Global Manager, Wahl Clipper

Buffy Sash

SVP, Ecommerce, The Collected Group

Abby Whitmer

Executive Director, Digital, ReVive Skincare

Alex Richardson

CDO/CTO, Fekkai/Bastide Beauty

Joshua Rockoff

Sanctuary Clothing

Craig Reed

SVP, Global Tradem, Avalara

Patrick Frith

Global Trade, Avalara

Gavin Newton-Tanzer

Co-Founder & President, Sunrise International

Wei Jiang

President & COO, Citcon

Frank Lavin

Chairman & CEO, Export Now

Chris Vincent

Global CEO, Practicology (a Pattern company)

Amy Morgan

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

Indy Guha

SVP, Marketing and Alliances, Signifyd

Matthew Merrillees

CEO, North America, Global-e

Ahmed Naiem

Chief Commercial Officer, eShopWorld

Duncan Licence

VP, Global Product, Metapack

A.J. Hernandez

President & CEO, SkyPostal

Jim Okamura

Co-Founder, GELF

Kent Allen

Co-Founder, GELF

Scott Silverman

Co-Founder, GELF

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