100% Cross-Border and International Ecommerce

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There’s light on the horizon! On September 28th and 29th, the Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community returns to New York City live and in person. This year we’re bigger and better than ever as we join our friends from the CommerceNext team at the New York Hilton!

GELF NYC 2021 will co-locate its annual gathering in New York City with CommerceNext’s In Real Life (IRL) 2021. Join the GELF community for keynotes, breakout sessions, executive roundtable meetups and networking as our global ecommerce programming grows to two full days this September.

We look forward to getting the GELF community back together in real life after the long layoff since GELF LA 2020, which was our biggest and best West Coast gathering ever!

GELF NYC 2021 will bring together leaders from retailers and brands selling direct-to-consumer. Top global consumer brands will join digital natives from the fashion and apparel world, health and beauty, consumer electronics and other leading retail verticals for two days of education, sharing and networking. Digital commerce innovators, cross-border ecommerce experts and global ecommerce thought leaders will debate how the boom in ecommerce translates into international expansion as the retail world comes back online.

Are you a retail ecommerce leader interested in speaking at GELF NTC 2021 on September 28th or 29th? If so, please contact the GELF producers by emaling

GELF NYC 2021 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 NYC ’21, please contact 

As always, GELF speakers will deliver an energetic and engaging combination of global ecommerce strategy and cross-border tactics and best practices.

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

  • Re-prioritizing Global Markets. Whether you’re eyeing Asia-Pacific markets that are have rebounded from the pandemic or looking closer to home at Canada and Mexico, GELF has you covered.  If you’re looking to ramp up online sales in emerging markets in the Middle East or LATAM, GELF will help you connect with leaders that have been there and done that.
  • Going Direct-to-Consumer on a Global Scale. Direct-to-consumer brands of all shapes and sizes lean in at GELF events to learn how to balance traditional retail distribution with emerging direct-to-consumer ecommerce opportunities around the world. Wondering what to look for in your next-gen global distribution partners? Join us to learn more about one of the hottest topics within the GELF community!
  • The Rise of Global Marketplace Platforms.  As the evolution of international marketplaces accelerates, we’re seeing global digital distrbution platforms and ecosystems frame the future of international retail! Amazon and Alibaba may be setting the pace, but they aren’t the only digital growth foundations in the race. Learn how the rise of communication platforms, social commerce and niche vertical retail plays offer community-centric alternatives to the global titans.
  • Social Influencers are getting real as they redefine how today’s global shopper discovers new brands and innovative products and services. Find out why – and how – brand leaders are raising the bar when it comes to working with influencers of all shapes and sizes.
  • Re-connecting with Post-Pandemic Shoppers. Digital laggards are finally online in markets around the world and show no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile consumer journeys have changed for good and digital is now the fulcrum of shopping. Find out what this means for you and your team as you look ahead to the 2021 holidays
  • Overcoming Supply Chain Constraints. The cross-border ecommerce echo boom offered many international sales growth opportunities over the past year. But supply and delivery constraints necessitated many timeouts and new game plans. Learn more about how brands and ecommerce entrepreneurs are investing in hybrid fulfillment operations, dropshipping and local delivery from dark stores to better serve their global consumers.
  • Evolving Cross-Border Platforms. Looking for a one-stop spot to shop for cross-border ecommerce solution partners? 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 NYC this Fall!

Networking starts during breakfast, extends into lunch and then really gets going during our private dinners and late afternoon receptions. So raise your hand and get involved as we schedule our One-to-One@GELF NYC meetings, organize Executive Roundtable Meetups, and get folks seated for our always-popular GELF dinners.

  • One-to-One@GELF NYC 21 meetings connect attendees directly with global ecommerce experts to discuss their most pressing cross-border  ecommerce challenges.
  • Looking for structured networking opportunities with industry peers? Join our Executive Roundtable Meetups  to ask questions, discuss best practices and learn about what it takes to succeed internationally.

GELF succeeds when the community steps up and helps drive the conversation.  When you register, let us know what topics you’d like us to include in the program and networking events.

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

Look Who's Attending GELF NYC 2021

More than 600 global e-commerce professionals are expected at the New York Hilton for the September 28th and 29th conference. Many of the following brands active in the GELF community will be joning us at GELF NYC 2021!


Thanks to all the speakers that will be joining us at GELF NYC '21! We will be adding additional speakers to the GELF NYC 2021 program agenda on September 28th and 29th, 2021. If you are a retail or brand executive interested in sharing your cross-border of international ecommerce experience, please contact us at

Both days - Tuesday, September 28th and Wednesday the 29th - will follow a similar schedule summarized below. Please stay tuned for more details!

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  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Morning Keynotes and Executive Leaders Keynote Panels
  • Executive Roundtables
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Keynote Firesides and Panels
  • Cross-border Ecommerce Case Studies & Strategy/Regional Showcases
  • Networking Reception
8AM to 9AM ET
Breakfast and Networking
9AM to 9:15AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks by CommerceNext

All conference attendees gather in the CommerceNext main session room for a welcome (back) and opening remarks.

9:15AM to 10AM
CommerceNext Opening Keynotes

Opening conference keynotes in the CommerceNext main session room.

Learn more about the CommerceNext program here!

10AM to 10:20AM
10:20AM to 10:45AM
GELF's Hello and Opening Keynote @GELF Global Stage

We welcome the GELF community to the Global Stage as we begin the GELF NYC ’21 Program.

GELF is excited to welcome back Jose Nino, Vice President of Global E-Commerce & Digital Strategy at US Polo Assn Global Licensing.

Jose will explain how USPA’s diverse communities of retail partners connect with online fans around the world while overcoming lingering challenges from the pandemic.

Learn how to play China’s big bounce back – and why Pinduoduo and WeChat factor into successful China ecommerce strategies.

Jose will also discuss looming challenges that DTC brands face working with Amazon in Europe – and why you should explore marketplace alternatives in Europe.


  • Jose Nino, Vice President of Global E-Commerce & Digital Strategy at US Polo Assn Global Licensing
  • Kent Allen and Jim Okamura,  Co-Founders of GELF
10:45AM to 11:15AM
GELF's Keynote Fireside: Multiplying AEO’s Brand DNA Globally with D2C Growth  

The pandemic reinforced the need for global retail ecommerce leaders to work together to overcome one of the century’s greatest challenges.

Valerie de Charette, Head of International Ecommerce at American Eagle Outfitters, will sit down with Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, CEO of leading cross-border platform ESW, to discuss the complexities of expanding globally through the D2C channel.

Valerie and Patrick will discuss global expansion challenges ranging from localization and logistics to data management, legal compliance, and proving ROI internally.


  • Valerie de Charette de la Contrie, Head of International, American Eagle Outfitters
  • Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, President & Chief Executive Officer, eShopWorld (ESW) Americas
11:15AM to 12:00PM
Executive Roundtable Meetups

After starting the morning with a roster of insightful ecommerce leaders, the GELF and CommerceNext communities  come together for a half-hour of hands-on roundtable discussions.

Join us as we ask questions and share ideas before heading to lunch and the Discovery Lounge for more networking and great conversation durind the mid-day break.

12:00PM to 1:15PM
Lunch and Networking

Lunch will be held adjacent to the Discovery Lounge where conference attendees can network with other ecommerce leaders and support our sponsors!

1:15PM to 2PM
GELF's Afternoon Keynote Super Session

GELF is excited to welcome back to the Global Stage one of our all-time favorites, Kai Li, VP of International at REVOLVE.  And at long last, Agustin Farias, International GM at Everlane will debut at GELF NYC ’21!

Kai and Agustin kick off GELF’s afternoon super-session by explaining how to successfully stage your international expansion plans – and how to do so profitably.

In an opening presentation, Kai will share insights from Evolve’s cross-border journey into LATAM. Learn how REVOLVE  successfully launched in Mexico and what’s next for REVOLVE the DTC brand targets opportunities in Brazil.

Kai will also share his POV on opportunities in the Middle East and SE Asia.

Agustin will follow with his own take on how to optimize global ecommerce expansion.

Drawing on years of experience with eBay, Walmart and Everlane, Agustin will share key learnings and take-aways about expanding into top-tier markets like Canada, Australia, the UK and Western Europe.


  • Kai Li, VP of International at REVOLVE
  • Agustin Farias, International GM at Everlane
2PM to 2:25PM

Grab a coffee or join a One-to-One@GELF meeting!

2:25 to 3PM
Building a Cross-Border Strategy: Finding your Path

Cross-border ecommerce continues to grow at nearly double the rate of domestic e-commerce as the willingness of the global consumer to buy from anywhere grows.  While this explosive growth creates a significant opportunity for ecommerce retailers and brands to expand their sales and establish themselves as a global presence, many are realizing that cross-border is a journey rather than a destination.  The “right” strategy differs based on where the brand sits in the cross-border maturity curve, and no single toolkit can service all stages.

Our afternoon panel features clients from Pitney Bowes’ portfolio of Cross-Border Services; global ecommerce leaders who will help you identify:

  • Where your own brand sits on the maturity curve
  • What capabilities are most important to focus on at each stage
  • The types of expertise brands rely on to unlock opportunities via compliance, logistics, and market prioritization
  • Lessons learned in achieving scalable yet flexible integration between technologies and processes that span domestic and international operations

Stay tuned for our speaker announcement!

3PM to 3:30PM
GELF's Cross-Border Case Study

The cross-border ecommerce boom shows no signs have settling back into growth rates that only two years seemed quite impressive. Yet many retail brands are still behind the growth curve; slowed by the perceived complexities of extending their ecommerce reach globally.

Flow CEO Rob Keve hosts another popular Cross-Border Case Study that highlights how leading DTC brands are accelerating their international retail ecommerce growth by providing localized shopping experiences free of friction. Our panel shares best practices and tactics that help simplify the strategic imperative to unlock cross-border opportunities crucial to maintaining a competitive edge.

Learn how global ecommerce leaders are scaling their global reach and reducing operational risk by:

  • Building hyper-localized shopping experiences that engage diverse consumers and drive retail sales
  • Tuning online checkout processes to local preferences including language, payment and local taxes & duties
  • Maintaining control of brand dynamics including pricing, presentation and promotions
  • Creating a post-order delivery experience featuring low-cost shipping and prompt returns
  • Driving international demand generation by feeding the right audience the right message at the right time

Stay tuned for our speaker announcement!

3:30 to 4PM
Optimizing - and Protecting - the Post-pandemic Cross-border Shopping Experience

After more than a year of “forced-friction” shoppers around the word want to be free from a world of constraints. This translates into easy & secure online checkout, timely order visibility and relatively quick & secure order delivery supported by respectful customer service across multiple channels and languages.

Global ecommerce leaders want to deliver a convenient experience that is optimized for new shopper journeys as well as protected against fraudulent activities from a whole new generation of bad actors. Fraudsters at home and abroad are driving up the costs of digital commerce – and are not the only threat facing online merchants. Indeed many must also combat abuse from their very own customers.

Detecting fraud, preventing revenue leakage and averting costly consumer abuse while boosting conversion, growing cross-border online sales and building customer loyalty requires a tricky balancing act. This session explores how retail ecommerce leaders are juggling the need to have all the right security checks in place while understanding and protecting the customer identify throughout the journey.

Combining proprietary shopping data and the latest insights from DTC leaders, our speakers identify new opportunities and risks along the post-pandemic customer journey.

Learn more about how

  • Focusing on the holistic customer identify improves prediction and protection models,
  • To build loyalty by empowering customer service teams to respond more effectively to claims and disputes
  • Curbing returns-related abuse and cross-border chargebacks can improve the bottom-line

Stay tuned for speaker announcement!

4PM to 4:30PM
Global Innovation Showcase

Innovation flows across borders more quickly than ever before. Join the GELF Innovation Showcase to learn about what’s next!

4.30PM to 4.55PM

Enjoy another networking break before the GELF and CommerceNext communities come back together for closing keynotes at the CommerceNext main stage and the opening reception!

10:25AM to 10:50AM
Day 2 GELF Executive Leaders Keynote Panel

We welcome the GELF community back to the Global Stage as the GELF NYC ’21/CommerceNext In Real Life conference heads into Day 2.

GELF is excited to open with our very own Crocs 2.0 Case Study! We will revisit key themes from our past keynotes featuring Crocs senior ecommerce leaders and break new ground.

Our conversation will dive into:

  • How “winning” is different in Asia than Europe – and why “cutter cooker” markjet entry approaches don’t work in Key Asian Markets
  • How digital is transforming global distribution – and what to do in global regions where distributors have traditionally “owned” the market
  • The evolving role of international marketplaces in global expansion strategies
  • Advantages to having the digital team as one coordinated group – and the challenges related to  “getting there”


  • Dan Marques, Head of Global Digital Commerce, Crocs
  • Ben Newson, Director Digital Customization, Crocs
10:50 AM to 11.15AM
GELF's Keynote Fireside @The Global Stage

Our second morning keynote tackles how multi-portfolio brands are investing in global DTC strategies in maturing and fast-growing international markets.

Join us to hear how leaders can:

  • Grow international conversions by more effectively communicating the total landed cost of an order
  • What it takes to plan and execute all-inclusive cross-border pricing strategies that are flexible and adjusted per market
  • How to lower international shipping costs and the math behind offering free international returns.


  • Jonathan Greller, President – Digital Ventures, Marquee Brands
  • Matthew Merrilees, CEO, North America, US, ‎Global-e
  • Stay tuned!
11:20AM to 12PM
Executive Roundtable Meetups

After starting the morning with a roster of insightful ecommerce leaders, the GELF and CommerceNext communities  come together for a half-hour of hands-on roundtable discussions.

Join us as we ask questions and share ideas before heading to lunch and the Discovery Lounge for more networking and great conversation durind the mid-day break.

12:05 PM to 1:15PM
Lunch and Networking

Lunch will be held adjacent to the Discovery Lounge where conference attendees can network with other ecommerce leaders and support our sponsors!

1:20PM to 1:45PM
GELF's Afternoon Keynote Panel: Revisiting Opportunities in China

For many brands, International ecommerce expansion means betting on China – a gamble that gets more nuanced and more complex by the day. Some global leaders have recently reversed course on working with China’s dominant ecommerce marketplace platforms. Others are pursuing digital-first distribution partners that include emerging social commerce platforms, KOLs and influencers and hybrids of more traditional go-to-market models.

Our global ecommerce leaders keynote panelists revisit one of the GELF community’s favorite topics – entering and growing ecommerce sales in China. Learn how to find the right ecommerce platforms and distribution channels for your brand and how to survive the financial headwinds in the world’s most promotional market.

Our panelists share advice on matching the right opportunities to the right partners for today’s China – and why it might be time to revisit your perspectives on China – and rethink your strategies.


  • Kai Li, VP of International, REVOLVE
  • Sherry Shi, Chief Brand Officer, DVF (Diane von Furstenberg)
  • Aaron Luo, Co-Founder & CEO, CARAA
1:45PM to 2:10PM
GELF's Afternoon Keynote Fireside

Stay tuned for more details about GELF’s afternoon keynote fireside featuring one of GELF’s longest-tenured speakers who shares insights about her new global ecommerce journey – and the path that lies ahead!

2:10PM to 2:25PM

Enjoy a networking break before the GELF and CommerceNext communities come back together for closing keynotes at the CommerceNext main stage and the opening reception!

2:30PM to 3:05PM
Global Strategy Showcase: Logistics Logistics Logistics!

Any retail brand that didn’t appreciate the strategic importance of global supply chain logistics is a convert now!

Our global strategy showcase highlights global ecommerce leaders that have grown sales significantly in the COVID era by improving cross-border shopping  – and by dramatically enhancing the order and post-order shopping experience.

Our panel will discuss how leaders are improving cross-border and in-country delivery above and beyond the expectation of customers – even as Amazon raises the bar globally.

Our speakers will also provide insights and data about why the next new normal promises to shake up the dynamic world of global logistics. Hear more about international shipping-related “gotchas” to watch for as new regulations kick in and change the global logistics ecosystem.

Logistics clearly has a seat at the global ecommerce strategy table. Stay tuned for speaker announcements to come!

3:05PM to 3:40PM
GELF Regional Showcase

Stay tuned for an update about our afternoon GELF Regional Showcase!

3:40PM to 4:10PM
GELF's Global Innovation Showcase

Stay tuned for speakers updates!

4:10PM to 4:40PM
GELF TechTalks Live!

GELF’s Tech Talks tackle head-on the cross-border pain points creating friction for global online sellers.

Whether the friction stems from accepting local or cross-border payments so shoppers can pay however they prefer or overcoming complex cross-border trade regulations creating costs and complexities, Job #1 is alleviating the pain.

Join our speakers as they share how their clients are successfully navigating cross-border pitfalls that face retailers and brands extending their digital reach globally. GELF’s Tech Talks wraps up with a fireside conversation.

Thanks to the following global ecommerce leaders for joining us at GELF NYC '21 on Sept 28-29th! Please stay tuned for more announcements this month about GELF NYC 2021 speakers!

If you are an experienced executive from an online retailer or brand and are interested in speaking at GELF NYC 2021 on September 28th and 29th, please email Kent, Jim and Scott at

Jose Nino

Vice President of Global E-Commerce & Digital Strategy, USPA Global Licensing Inc | U.S. Polo Assn.

Valerie de Charette

Head of International, American Eagle Outfitters

Pablo Diaz Barriga

VP, International, Balsam Brands

Michelle Frank

GM, Global Ecommerce & DTX, Logitech

Kai Li

VP of International, REVOLVE

Agustin Farias

International GM, Everlane

Sherry Shi

Chief Brand Officer, DVF (Diane von Furstenberg)

Aaron Luo

Co-Founder & CEO Caraa

Dan Marques

Head of Global Digital Commerce, Crocs

Shannon Thompson

Country Manager USA & Canada, Aramex International

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne

President & Chief Executive Officer, eShopWorld (ESW) Americas

Rob Keve

CEO & Co-founder, Flow

Ben Newson

Director Digital Customization, Crocs

Indy Guha

CMO + Partnerships Leader, Signifyd

Matthew Merrilees

CEO, North America, US, ‎Global-e

Andy Van De Velde

Regional CEO GCC, Aramex

Craig Reed

SVP, Global Trade at Avalara

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

New York Hilton Midtown

1335 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019


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