What brings the world together in good times and bad? Good spirits, great content and growing connections!
Although the GELF community will take a hiatus from GELF NYC this Fall, we look forward to returning to New York City next September for GELF NYC 2021.
In the meantime, we’re launching our first virtual GELF Oktoberfest this October! Join the GELF community for three Thursdays in October – October 1st, 8th and 15th – from 1PM to 5PM ET each day. Dive into a series of engaging keynotes, actionable panel discussions and fast-paced workshops and breakouts.
Let’s Take GELF to the Next Level!
February’s GELF LA 2020 was by far our biggest and best West Coast Forum yet. The audience increased over 50% thanks to a fast-growing number of brands selling direct-to-consumer (DTC) joining us and a record-setting number of sponsors and partners supporting the cause! We are thrilled to see the GELF community keep growing and really look forward to building on the momentum from GELF LA 2020.
Yes, we’re all in a virtual world right now, so let’s reach out and embrace the opportunity to hear from enthusiastic leaders representing leading retail and DTC brands from around the world.
Kick back, grab a refreshing beverage and enjoy their unique perspectives and experiences about how global ecommerce is leading the retail world to a new future. Learn more about emerging global opportunities and how cross-border ecommerce best practices will advance the retail industry into its next phase of growth.
Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, stay connected with the GELF community by joining us at the Global E-Commerce Tech Talks podcast!
GELF Oktoberfest speakers will deliver a mix of strategic insights and tactical cross-border To Dos about their global retail expansion practices. Learn how to prioritize the key operational aspects of your global commerce plan and how to organize your team to execute them successfully.
Together we’ll explore how to:
Bring your experiences and questions. Leave with insights and answers.
GELF's Oktoberfest Spans Three Thursdays in October 2020 - October 1st, 8th and 15th!
Each Thursday will feature great keynotes, insightful fireside chats and engaging panel discussions followed by interactive workshops/executive meet-ups to facilitate creating new virtual connections.
Every Thursday will feature new content and different speakers as we set the stage for a successful end-of-the-year global ecommerce surge! Stay tuned as we build out the draft agenda below and add speakers in the weeks ahead for each different Thursday program.
GELF welcomes our audience and sets the stage for our first virtual Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum by exploring key global ecommerce trends framing the day’s program.
GELF’s favorite keynoter, Tom Davis opens with a provocative keynote exploring this year’s meteoric rise of global ecommerce and the path ahead for retail brands around the world.
Join us to discuss how ecommerce is offsetting the financial impacts on store closures around the world and the demise of traditional global retail wholesale distributors.
Learn how cross-border ecommerce and other digital innovation from international markets like China is offsetting significant challenges including the loss of international travelers shopping for fashion and luxury.
Tom will recount how digital’s move from complementary channel to primary channel is helping Cartier dramatically rethink the key role of global ecommerce and omnichannel retail as the Next New Normal dawns.
Learn why intn’l market entry hacking matters in the Age of COVID and how operational agility can help you re-balance and re-prioritize your global market expansion planning.
Tom Davis, Global Digital Operations Director, Cartier
The pandemic’s negative impact on traditional wholesale distribution globally has been immediate – and possibly long-lasting. Meanwhile, the ecommerce boom since March has accelerated wholesale disruption by digital-direct models – and has forced digital and wholesale teams to work as one team.
This session features leaders from two fast-growing retail brands whose experiences are rooted in traditional wholesale. Learn how digital disruption is driving brands to re-think how they prioritize global markets and the retail channel partners with whom they serve international shoppers.
Find out how bold guesses and “happy accidents” have helped integrate global marketing and operations teams as they adapt to dynamic challenges and grow their international retail sales.
Curious about how much consumers in Canada are planning to spend this holiday – and on what products? Wondering what fulfillment and shipping strategies will pay off during peak season?
Join our panelists to learn more about how the Canadian shopping journey is evolving as we head into the Next New Normal.
We’ll also learn more about the “New NAFTA” and how the USMCA trade pact will reduce friction and create new cross-border opportunities for retail brands selling into Canada.
The pandemic has upended the traditional hierarchy of consumer needs fulfilled via retail ecommerce operations.
Consumers around the world have flocked online to purchase a vast new assortment of products ranging from health essentials to home & fitness/ sporting good to crafts, games and collectibles.
What lies ahead for global markets as holiday shopping accelerates? Will discretionary product categories rebound – and if so, when? Is a universal shopping journey emerging that offers retail brands of different shapes and sizes exciting new opportunities to service an international audience of online shoppers?
Join our cross-border panelists to learn how holiday gifting, group buying, social commerce and new international consumer preferences, behaviors and awareness will put pressure on existing global ecommerce operations and their supply chains. Get ready to execute on the new opportunities that lie ahead in 2021.
The final hour of Oktoberfest Day One opens with three retail executives steeped in the nuances of digital transformation. As three-to-five-year global ecommerce plans pivot quickly to frenzied three-to-five-month sprints to optimize DTC online selling opportunities for the holidays and 2021, leaders are asking “How best can our digital team execute these accelerated strategic timetables?”
Our first panel opens with a digital transformation framework stressing the importance of reassuring stakeholders and stabilizing digital operations while reconfiguring products, channel partnerships and international markets for a digital-first world of commerce.
Learn why adaptive customer communications, shared digital assets and hyper-relevant personalization efforts are helping accelerate the execution of DTC strategies at home and abroad. Our panel explores how some global manufacturers and brands are preparing for dramatic shifts in their retail partner ecosystem – and why accelerating from traditional B2B models to DTC selling may be a bigger challenge than they know.
From supply chains to organizational growing pains, this year’s ecommerce boom has tested digital’s ability to scale.
The 2020 holidays will offer retail ecommerce leaders an opportunity to prepare for a retail world where digital finally moves from a side show to the main stage.
Although it’s clear that holiday orders will arrive early and often – and from anywhere and everywhere — its less clear whether existing ecommerce services infrastructures and back-office operations are ready to handle the load.
GELF’s closing fireside discussion will focus on how global ecommerce leaders are embracing innovation to more quickly execute tomorrow’s ecommerce strategies today — and to do so cost-effectively. Our two speakers will explore how brands are rethinking global architectures to reduce operational friction throughout the shopping experience and especially during the post-order customer experience this holiday.
GELF welcomes back the audience and sets the stage for the second Thursday of the 2020 virtual Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum by exploring key global ecommerce trends framing the day’s program.
Lying at the headwaters of the digital commerce ecosystem, China offers a window into the ecommerce innovations that await the retail community. Never has this vantage point been more valuable than today as the retail world collectively heads downstream into uncharted waters.
Retail ecommerce leaders who have invested to grow international sales and diversify market risk are being rewarded for their strategic foresight. Our panel discusses how investments to grow ecommerce revenues in China have helped steady the ship as they have navigated turbulent seas in other international markets.
Deborah Weinswig, CEO & Founder of Coresight Research, explores key trends in China from pre-crisis, high-crisis and post-crisis perspectives — and re-establishes a baseline perspective for how brands can learn and grow digital sales in China … and beyond.
Gary Penn and Jeff Burton join the conversation to provide insights into lessons learned from their companies’ respective journeys into China ecommerce.
Together we’ll compare and contrast how market dynamics have evolved in China since the pandemic accelerated the shift towards online shopping. Learn how these changes are impacting the path ahead for global ecommerce leaders
Cross-border e-commerce is exploding, but some e-commerce brands are missing out. Many, especially store-centric retailers, haven’t adapted quickly enough to massive shifts of shoppers online. Others are unfamiliar with the cross-border best practices and tactics that have enabled competitors to respond quickly to recent market disruptions.
Universal Standard, a revolutionary plus-sized fashion brand has gone all-in on cross-border ecommerce. The socially forward brand is providing loyal fans around the world the freedom to shop when, where and how they prefer. By doing so, Universal Standard is expanding their growth into new markets and winning on the global stage.
Join Rita Hudetz, Chief Operating Officer at Universal Standard and Flow CEO Rob Keve as they examine the different facets of the fashion brand’s cross-border growth planning and execution. Learn how online retailers everywhere can execute a winning global strategy.
Retail stores around the world have closed, re-opened and then closed again. Shipping delays result as fulfillment centers react to a range of pandemic-related constraints and postal services face challenges on multiple fronts.
As online traffic soars and ecommerce booms, what are the key steps retail ecommerce leaders can take to smooth out the kinks in the cross-border ecommerce shopping and checkout process?
Learn how to get ready for the new shopping journeys that lie ahead. Explore how lessons learned from overseas can improve your domestic and international ecommerce experience as more and more global shoppers come online and adjust to the Next New Normal.
The pandemic has accelerated trends throughout the digital world, perhaps none more so than product discovery. When it comes to discovery in today’s new normal, social commerce is what’s next. But where does the vision stop, and reality begin?
Join our social super session to learn how innovations in social commerce are helping global ecommerce leaders engage and serve new international audiences currently residing outside their granular targeting algorithms.
Working with Facebook, global e-commerce brands have had great success in recent years targeting well-defined consumer personas based on age, gender, interests and affinities. However, machine learning-based advertising has led to new avenues of growth by creating serendipitous moments of consumer delight and purchase.
Hear from Facebook Director of Disruptors, Jake Bailey, on the rise of discovery commerce and how businesses can adopt this approach in their global marketing strategy.
Our social super session continues as we explore what awaits online retailers and DTC brands as the holiday season is redefined by the intersection of social and international ecommerce.
With a nod to our opening session, we explore how China’s influence on the early trajectory of social commerce has benefited the health and beauty and fitness / wellness categories. June Pai updates the GELF audience about her brand’s journey in China – and how social marketing & commerce has been key to a successful growth strategy in China and other emerging global markets.
Doug Jensen brings an analytical eye to the social scene and provides a viewpoint from the lens of one of the world’s top beauty brands. He shares learnings gleaned from Estée’s global shopping data and shifting consumption patterns throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Learn how Estee successfully pivoted towards/within skincare, body care, hair care products and away from makeup and fragrance as shoppers’ needs shifted dramatically in key international markets.
Join the conversation about the shifting use of influencers and how (if?) it differs in key intn’l markets. Hear how social listening has helped leaders prepare for the 2020 holiday season and get ready for what’s next in 2021 as importance of social selling accelerates.
GELF’s Executive Meetups are small virtual group discussions on Zoom about high priority topics you select.
Learn how to tackle head-on the top cross-border ecommerce pain points creating friction for today’s international sellers.
Sit back and relax at home as we network virtually Oktoberfest-style!
GELF welcomes back the audience and sets the stage for the third Thursday of the 2020 virtual Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum by exploring key global ecommerce trends framing the day’s program.
GELF’s final Oktoberfest keynotes conclude with rapid-fireside conversations with cross-border visionaries.
In our opening fireside, GELF welcomes Hendrik Laubscher, CEO and Founder of Blue Cape Ventures. We open with a no holds barred look back at key cross-border themes from the first two Thursdays of Oktoberfest.
We’ll also explore the accelerating rise of digital titans and whether Amazon or Alibaba will be the first to blink – when and where. We’ll look at the growth of international marketplaces and how cross-border marketplace selling opportunities differ between mature and emerging int’l markets.
Cross-border growth is hard work! Learn how to be smart about managing cross-border growth expectations – and about making the right decisions for the long game.
Hendrik Laubscher, CEO and Founder of Blue Cape Ventures
GELF’s second keynote welcomes another long-sought after speaker, Amazon’s world-traveler Fred Neil.
Consumption patterns around the world have changed this year, at times dramatically. But success still comes down to knowing your customer. For most consumer brands, staying connected with customers, patrons and fans during the pandemic has been Job #1 – and in most cases, digital marketers have taken the lead. But engaging today’s customer can require new mindsets and different skillsets.
Join Fred Neil, Global Head of Engagement Marketing at Amazon Music as he shares insights and lessons learned from his leadership of Amazon India and Amazon Music. Learn why US retail brands need to set aside their US playbook – and how “outside-in” discovery and innovation starts with understanding local language and culture.
Gain a deeper appreciation about why ecommerce and digital engagement are at very different stages of growth and maturity in markets around the world — and how adapting to global consumers’ preferences for safety and comfort today can help drive profitable customer acquisition, repeat purchasing and successful cross-marketing tomorrow.
Fred Neil, Global Head of Engagement Marketing at Amazon Music
One of the realities of cross-border ecommerce is that conversion rates lag behind domestic rates. What turns off shoppers from buying cross-border after struggling to find a specific product or brand? One leading culprit is the uncertainty regarding the tariffs, taxes and fees that might be added to the product price. Another issue is high shipping costs and vague or non-existent return policies. Market differences, the constant change to global regulations and the effect of major global events such as the COVID-19 make it complex for merchants to effectively manage their cross-border potential. Local market insights and the ability to quickly adjust international price strategies have become key to achieving global online success. In this session, Aaron Hallerman, Co-Founder at Vincero Watches, explores the brand’s focus on global online sales and their new strategy to overcome friction before and after checkout. Join us to hear how localizing the shopping experience for each market enables merchants to increase international conversion rates and boost customer satisfaction by providing shoppers with a seamless, tailored experience. Matthew Merrilees, CEO North America at Global-e, will discuss the importance of big-data analysis as a tool to support brands’ global strategy and optimize cross-border offerings and ROI.
As digital commerce booms at home and abroad, leaders from emerging and established DTC brands are doubling down on global ecommerce investments to gain market share.
In some cases, the digital team needs to offset significant losses from other divisions; in other cases, leaders need to marshal whatever resources they can to grow their digital teams as quickly as possible.
This session features voices that range from brands relatively new to cross-border ecommerce to global brands seeking to pivot to take advantage of unprecedented digital opportunities. Learn how some global ecommerce leaders are embracing international marketplace channels in part because they don’t have time to stand up in-country sites. Hear why others are building their own marketplaces to connect loyal global clients with valuable vendors facing significant supply chain constraints.
Whether your organization is new to ecommerce or more seasoned, join our panelists as they provide insights into how to build and grow teams remotely, to re-connect and re-engage shoppers shifting to new channels and to share other insights about how 2020’s wild ride has prepared their organizations for what’s ahead in 2021.
GELF is excited to partner with Na’Im McKee, who is a past speaker and veteran global ecommerce executive, for a discussion on the important role of diversity in global ecommerce and technology. We’ll explore how diversity helps drive better results by aligning leadership with your customer base, which is especially important in global ecommerce and the need for localized customer experiences. Na’Im recently moved into a leadership role in a next generation technology recruiting company and will share his recommendations for establishing a better balance of Black leaders in technology and ecommerce organizations and the role of diversity in global ecommerce and localization.
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 email@example.com! 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 Oktoberfest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Digital Operations Director, Cartier
CEO & Founder, Coresight Research
Global VP of Digital and e-Commerce, Nixon
Global Head of Engagement Marketing, Amazon Music
Director of Operations- Ecommerce, PVH Corp
SVP and General Manager, Saatchi Art
Sr. International Business Manager, MANSCAPED
CMO, Newton Baby
Director, Global Ecommerce, HARMAN International
SVP Consumer Marketing Analytics & Innovation Insights, Estée Lauder Companies
Executive Director, E-Commerce, Digital and Social Marketing, ReVive Skincare
VP of Global Direct and Digital Commerce, Burton Snowboards
CFO & Co-Founder, Pura Vida
CEO & Co-Founder, Pura Vida
GM, APAC, Manduka
CEO, Digital River
COO, Universal Standard
E-Commerce Forecast Analyst, Forrester Research
VP Digital, Christy Sports
Global Director of E-Commerce, Huda Beauty
Co-Founder, Vincero Watches
VP Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, SAXX
VP, Marketing, Above Board
Senior Analyst, Forrester
Senior Distribution Manager, Harry's, Inc.
National Sales Manager, LSPACE by Monica Wise
Director Of Ecommerce, LSPACE by Monica Wise
E-Comm Forecast Analyst, Forrester Research
SVP, Marketing & Alliances, Signifyd
Director, Head of Industry - Disruptors (DTC), Facebook & Instagram
Sr. Principal Commerce, Accenture Interactive
CIO, Specialized (formerly)
Partner, Fortium Partners
CEO, North America, US, Global-e
Founder & President, M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc.
CEO & Co-Founder, Flow
CEO and Founder, Blue Cape Ventures
CEO, Passport Shipping
Director, eCommerce Emerging Markets, Canada Post