Strategy + Planning

What You Missed at GELF NYC ’23! Executive Leaders Keynote Panel – Parts 1 and 2

What a great gathering in New York back in October for the GELF Community! Before you know it, we’ll be in LA for GELF LA ’24 on Thursday, February 22.

And while February 22nd seems far away, it’ll be here before you know it!

But for now, we’d like to share the highlights from GELF NYC ’23. The audience was super energetic and, given all the economic uncertainties, it is fair to say the retail ecommerce executives in attendance were definitely feeling better – maybe even good – as we all head towards the peak of the holiday shopping season … and into the new year.

Our takeaway from New York was we’ve definitely seen the worst of the economic headwinds. We heard that retail brands are finally seeing steady upticks in sales and, as a result, retail leaders are also spending money in areas that have seen some cutbacks this year – like digital media.

Does this set-up for a surprisingly good holiday? Our glass is half full and cautiousness prevails among many, but we are optimistic overall.

Key themes from GELF NYC ’23?

Profitable international retail ecommerce was a clear theme and this theme will extend into 2024.

While ecommerce remains a very important tool for international expansion – the proverbial tip of the spear if you will – growing the overall revenue of a brand is what matters most. So perhaps it is no surprise that what came out of the opening keynote conversations was the importance of growing international sales by taking more of a balanced channel portfolio approach to global expansion.

The opening keynote featured Barbara Garces, Chief Digital Officer, Citizen Watch Group, Kacey Sharrett, VP, Direct to Consumer, GoPro and Valerie \ de Charette, VP – International E-Commerce at American Eagle Outfitters. We talked about how their teams are blending owned channels and non-owned channels.

Key take-aways? Pricing strategies across international markets for one. In fact, pricing was a key topic throughout the day. Another big takeaway from the opening session was the importance of strategic alignment across disciplines like pricing and customer data management.

Alignment requires working not only with internal teams that touch the international customer directly, but also with their retail partners that can range from new digital and social commerce platforms to well-known international marketplaces to traditional wholesale partners that in some (many?) cases need help on the on the digital front.

Check it out it yourself at The GELF YouTube Channel – and thanks again to Barbara, Valerie and Kacey!

Working Closely with Global Distribution Partners: The Holistic Path of International Growth

GELF co-founder Jim Okamura hosted Part 2 of the Executive Leaders Keynote Panel featuring Karen Deveny, AVP, Digital Strategy & Operations, Bath & Body Works International, Mike Singer, Director, International Partner Digital, Victoria’s Secret and Claudia Goncalves, Director of E-commerce, DVF (Diane von Furstenberg).

Part 2 built upon the first half of the executive keynote leaders panel as we explored how Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Bodyworks work closely with their key international franchise and wholesale partners. Claudia spoke to how in her role as the Director of Ecommerce she works closely with her wholesale counterparts within the DVF family – and also shared how working with marketplace platforms mirrors working with other distribution partners.

Key takeaways included insights into holistic ways of growing internationally via partners and how DTC channels can support growth via non-owned channels. Understanding when to lead and when to follow was an important insight shared with the audience as was how best support your international partners.

Another great conversation captured for the GEF community that could not join us at GELF NYC ’23 – so please tune into The GELF YouTube Channel to hear more from Karen, Mike, Jim and Claudia.

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