Here Comes GELF NYC ’23 on Oct 12th! Check out our Program Preview Podcast

GELF co-founders Jim Okamura and Kent Allen join Global Ecommerce Leaders Podcast host Michael LeBlanc to preview the 10th anniversary program at GELF NYC which will be held at Convene Midtown on October 12th from 8AM to 6PM ET. Check out the podcast here – or enjoy the old school preview below!

The theme this year at GELF NYC ’23 is Profitably Scaling Customer Engagement Globally. Executives at retail brands can register today for a complimentary retailer-only VIP pass to join the GELF community at

The Global Ecommerce Leaders Podcast dives into how today’s global consumer is looking for more than just DTC or brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. The retail ecommerce industry has navigated the overcorrection to DTC during the pandemic and the more recent correction back to the physical store.

Whether you want to call today’s retail ecommerce business environment the global omnichannel or the “DTC Plus” era, the GELF NYC program will be focused on helping retail brands serve the international shopper via whatever channel they choose: DTC cross-border ecommerce, international online marketplaces and social platforms and/or via tradition and newer format physical retail stores.

In addition to growth via DTC cross-border and intn’l marketplaces, GELF NYC ‘23’s opening keynote panels will explore how digital leaders are helping to drive digital transformation throughout their wholesale retail international distribution channels.

In the opening keynote, Tassie Christopher, VP International Business Development and GM APAC at Paula’s Choice Skincare will join us as well as Barbara Garces, Chief Digital Officer from Citizen Watch Group and Valerie de Charette, VP – International E-Commerce at American Eagle OutfittersOutfitters. And we’ve also pleased to add Casey Sharrett, the VP of Direct-to- Consumer at GoPro.

One of the best parts of producing GELF events is the opportunity to catch-up with global ecommerce leaders like Casey, Barbara and Valerie. In fact, we spoke with Tassie last month about how she’s reshaping their business from its traditional wheelhouse of DTC first. She pointed out that today’s global consumer is more savvy than ever – and they’re looking for more than just the conveniences of DTC and the broad selection offered by international marketplaces.  They want to local connection too and the “touch and feel” and cultural appreciation that in-country retailers and/or distribution partners offer.

We had a great call with Valerie too and one conversation thread centered on how international marketplaces have also felt the impact of the global recession.  In our opening session, we will discuss how “belt tightening” has changed how international marketplaces operate. You can expect to hear some cautionary tales about working with international marketplaces!

[By the way, in the afternoon at GELF NYC ’23 we will have a session that explores how global retail ecommerce leaders are balancing DTC and marketplace opportunities and how they vary in different international markets.]

Barbara from Citizen Watch will talk about the wide collection of international distribution partners they support internationally.  Citizen sells through a range of channels including mom and pops all the way through large international retail brands.  She will discuss how her team is working with intn’l distribution partners to move towards more of a universal technology strategy that helps drive collaborative growth.

Casey from GoPro is new this year to the GELF stage and was one of the first speakers to raise her hand and get involved with GELF NYC ‘23 this year. We’ve had some great conversations with her about the frictions revolving around global pricing as brands try to balance selling through DTC channels, marketplaces and their international retail partners. We’re excited to get the panel together!

The second half of the GELF NYC ‘23 opening keynote panel dives into a topic from the opening keynote at GELF LA ’23.  We have three great speakers, Mike Singer, Director, International Partner Digital at Victoria’s Secret, Karen Deveny, AVP, Digital Strategy & Operations, Bath & Body Works International and Theresa Robeson, the Senior VP and GM of international from Iredale Cosmetics are going to be on that panel.

We will focus the panel conversation on international wholesale which builds on the LA ’23 opening keynote as we broaden our mandate at GELF to focus beyond cross-border DTC and international marketplace channels.  Our panelists will talk about how they are driving digital transformation with their traditional distributors and franchise partners.  We will pick up on threads from past GELF events about balancing centralization and decentralization challenges back at the global headquarters how best to manage their local market teams and partners.

We’ll discuss how brands should build and position Centers of Excellence to collect and distribute best practices and manage cultural nuances – and when might “Centers of Listening” be more appropriate.

Building Brands Internationally by Blending Consumer Engagement, DTC and Retail Partnerships

Another topic the GELF NYC ’23 program will explore is how global retail ecommerce leaders are building brands internationally in today’s “era of efficiency.”

Global interest rates are higher and the “free money” from yesteryear is now gone. Gone too are the days of cheap capital fueling performance marketing engines and funding paid social to drive international customer acquisition.

The new math from rising interest rates suggests it makes financial sense to building brands in collaboration with international wholesale partners. Getting products on other’s physical or digital shelves can help build awareness of brands cost-effectively especially for brands new to a market.

We’re excited to have Heather Kaminetsky, President, North America at MYTHERESA join Angela Gruszka, SVP of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce, AERIN and Colleen Conkling, CMO at Papier for GELF’s Global Marketing Showcase: Building Brands Internationally by Blending Consumer Engagement, DTC and Retail Partnerships.

Heather, Angela and Colleen will share how they are blending consumer engagement across the different channels. Papier is a digital native brand from UK ramping up in the North America market.  Colleen will discuss how they are flipping the script by going wholesale-first in a couple of international markets before going direct-to-consumer. This approach is very different from four or five years ago when many brands were using their DTC operations to enter new global markets via testing, data-gathering and gathering transactional insights to understand online journeys. However in its home market, the Papier team will follow the “legacy” DTC script by leveraging market intelligence from their ecommerce channel and start exploring wholesale opportunities in the Uk for the first time.

Lots more to come at GELF NYC ’23!

Sustainability is an important topic that will be woven throughout the day-long program. Our friends at Canada Post will be presenting research that profiles how important sustainability is to Canadian consumers. Congrats to Canada Post for their carbon-neutral shipping program!

We will also explore generative AI and how AI is manifesting itself within disciplines like pre-sales and customer care and customer service. Our speakers will explore how global ecommerce leaders are revisiting and rethinking supply chains too.

We’ve got a great speaker lineup at GELF NYC ’23 on October 12th so sign up today! Executives at retail brands can register today for a complimentary retailer-only VIP pass to join the GELF community at

Until next time! Cheers

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