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Great Networking & Key Connections with Global Ecommerce Leaders!

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What is the Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum – or GELF as we’ve become known to our fans?

GELF’s thought leadership programming and our premier networking opportunities are 100% focused on cross-border and international ecommerce.

GELF’s annual in-person events in Los Angeles (late Winter/early Spring) and New York City (Fall) and our live & on-demand virtual programming bring together global ecommerce leaders who are passionate about extending their digital commerce reach globally.

If you’re just starting to expand your company’s ecommerce reach globally – or have been selling online internationally for years – GELF is for you and your team. Whether you sell primarly direct-to-consumer (DTC) or via a blend of DTC and marketplaces, GELF offers retail ecommerce organizations an opportunity to connect with and learn from senior retail executives.

Since launching in 2014, the GELF community has come together dozens of times to explore regional growth opportunities (GELF LATAM 2019) and conduct deep dives into the most intriguing global markets (GELF’s China Ecommerce Workshop 2019).

In the spring of 2020, GELF launched TechTalks, a series of live virtual and on-demand programming that includes podcasts, webinars and private group discussions including Lunch and Learns, Group e-Thinks and other group conferences and networking events.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast – Global E-Commerce TechTalks (GETT). If you’re a global ecommerce leader at a direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail brand, don’t be shy about reaching out and getting involved with TechTalks! Email us at

GELF’s Resource Center also provides insights on Strategy & Planning, easy access to GELF Downloads, Regional Updates, Interviews with Global E-Commerce Leaders and a Community News section. Check it out – and let us know if you’d like to get involved!

Why Join our Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum Community?

What makes GELF unique is our 100% focus on cross-border and international ecommerce. 

Since 2014, GELF has been producing content and research 100% focused on growing global ecommerce sales. When the world went virtual in 2020, GELF’s programming led the way. In March 2020, GELF launched its podcast and has since produced webinars and virtual summits covering a variety of global ecommerce presentations and interviews — all accessible on demand.

We are Specialists in Global Ecommerce

Digital innovation and ecommerce are exploding globally – for all types of retailers and brands. International ecommerce is early in its maturity curve; one of the GELF community’s most exciting dynamics is the upside potential, which is enormous and growing quickly. 

Keeping pace with change in overseas markets can be as daunting as it is exciting for digital professionals. Whether it is digital innovation emerging from China, or managing channel conflict in mature markets like western Europe, global trend watching requires a specialized community of digital professionals – building these connections is GELF’s mission!

Other ecommerce conferences and communities look at the entire digital retail ecosystem. GELF brings together leaders that manage cross-border and international ecommerce and gives them a forum to learn, networking and share information.

Speakers at GELF events hail from the world’s top retail ecommerce brands and include the most exciting innovators in the digital commerce world.  Their willingness to share their global ecommerce expertise and their passion for building cross-border community helps GELF deliver high quality of content and actionable insights.

We’ve learned alot from the GELF community since published the industry’s first benchmarking study on international ecommerce expansion on 2008. Since then, GELF founders have spoken at retail ecommerce conferences around the world including Shoptalk, NRF, World Congress, and VTEX Day, LATAM’s premier ecommerce conference.  GELF’s consultants have advised global brands and startups alike, including leading organizations like Nike, Adidas, Luxottica Retail, Harley-Davidson, Baccarat, Wahl Clipper, Chantelle and more.

How to Get Connected & Become Involved

Peer networking and sharing insights has been a hallmark of digital retail professionals from the earliest days of ecommerce. GELF is proud to provide a range of events and programs to encourage networking and raising the profile of our members.

Job #1 is to get involved! We’d love to hear your international ecommerce stories, past or present, and how they’ve shaped your career. Here is how you and your colleagues can become part of the growing GELF community:

1) Speak at GELF Events – If you’re interested in sharing your cross-border and international ecommerce experience, email us at GELF speakers represent a broad array of global brands, hot new DTC start-ups, beloved retailers and innovative marketplace sellers. Check out GELF’s past events for a much more expansive overview of GELF speakers!

2) Participate in GELF’s Regional Workshops – In 2019, GELF launched its Regional Workshop Series with GELF LATAM in May and GELF’s China Ecommerce Workshop in September. If you’d like to like to speak, sponsor or just attend our upcoming regional workshops, feel free to reach out via or

3) Lend your voice to the Global Ecommerce TechTalk (GETT) PodcastGet out ahead of the curve and join GELF’s podcast.  Whether you’re a seasoned cross-border pro or an up-and-coming global ecommerce executive, we’d like to help you share your international insights. Email us at and tell us your story!

4) Join GELF’s Executive Lunch Discussions and other Global Ecommerce Leaders Meet-ups – Do you miss networking at industry events and learning from old colleagues and new friends? GELF’s private virtual executive meetups offer a relaxed, informative and insightful environment where leaders can share insights, ask questions and get to know each other.

Our August Lunch-and-Learn Executive Lunch pulled together an elite collection of global ecommerce leaders to discuss strategies and tactics for succeeding during the holidays as the COVID pandemic redefined online shopping.

5) Participate in Global Ecommerce Research and Benchmarking Studies – GELF’s mission is facilitate learning and sharing about strategies and tactics that drive the growth of ecommerce globally. Research is core to this mission and we place the GELF community in the middle of every study we produce. 

Whether it is the first study on international ecommerce benchmarking, a groundbreaking research partnership with the NRF exploring how digital is disrupting global distribution or another chapter profiling how China serves as the headwaters of global retail, GELF’s research elevates the voices of global ecommerce leaders around the world. 

As global retail brands redouble their efforts to connect directly with shoppers at home and abroad, GELF is committed to providing a digital forum where ecommerce leaders can share, learn and adapt their international strategies to these uncertain times.

As the cross-border ecommerce community shifts its focus this spring and summer from in-person networking events to making connections in the digital world, GELF will continue to bring our community together.

In the weeks and months ahead, GELF will be working closely with global ecommerce leaders, their solution provider partners and other industry influencers to create engaging and actionable content. Join us as we help the GELF community make new connections and tighten existing relationships.

Much like our speakers do at live events in LA and NYC – and at GELF’s private networking dinners across the country – the GELF community will use our GELF Tech Talks digital forums to deliver a mix of strategic insights and tactical cross-border To Dos about their global retail expansion practices.

If you’re passionate about global ecommerce, join us for an ongoing series of progamming and timely content designed to help the GELF community continue to thrive. Bring your experiences and questions. Leave with insights and answers.

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 during our GELF Tech Talks Spring Virtual Programming Series, please email us at

Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact

GELF would like to pass along our thoughts and best wishes to all of the companies below that have attended our recent events in LA and NYC. Please stay healthy.

We hope that everyone's family, friends and colleagues are doing well.

GELF Tech Talks

This spring the Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) has launched GELF's TechTalks, a series of programming that includes podcasts and webcasts/webinars as well as online workshops & discussion groups.

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  • As the GELF community focuses its resources and energies on cross-border ecommerce growth strategies, GELF Tech Talks will explore the:
  • 1) Current state of ecommerce in countries around the world
  • 2) Path forward as markets navigate the COVID-19 crisis (and its aftermath)
  • 3) Insights into how shopping journeys will adapt to the Next New Normal, and
  • 4) Intelligence about international markets coming back online earlier than others
April Tech Talks
Global E-Commerce Tech Talk podcast summarizing GELF's 2020 China E-Commerce Study

GELF Co-founders Jim Okamura and Kent Allen speak to the research findings with Michael LeBlanc host of The Voice of Retail, the top retail podcast.

Part One of the two-part series introduces GELF’s latest research focus, which updates GELF’s 2017 study, Catching the China Ecommerce Wave.

The 2020 GELF China Ecommerce study finds that global retail brands selling direct- to-consumer (DTC) are now living in a multi-platform world. We discuss the state of ecommerce in China where emerging platforms are joining dominant ecommerce platforms providers Alibaba and to provide more choice.

We explore how the tastes and purchase preferences of consumers in China have been evolving in recent years.

Join us for GELF’s Global E-Commerce Tech Talk Podcasts!

Thanks to all the global ecommerce executives that have spoken at GELF events! A special shout-out to GELF keynote speakers and advisors listed below!

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! Solution/service providers interested in participating in GELF's programming can contact us with topics/ideas at

Tom Davis

Global Digital Operations Director, Cartier

Stacy Reece

Chief Digital Officer, Boardriders

Fred Neil

Global Head of Engagement Marketing, Amazon Music

Janelle Spatz

Director of Operations - Ecommerce, PVH Corp.

Nathan Isaacson

GM Digital, New Balance

Michelle Frank

Director, Global Ecommerce, HARMAN International

Martin Suter

Global VP, Marketplace, ABInBev

June Pai

GM, APAC, Manduka

Jeff Lord

Sr Dir of Global eComm & Retail, Burton Snowboards

Rita Hudetz

COO, Universal Standard

Gary Penn

Global VP of Digital and e-Commerce, Nixon

Isabella Mann

Vice President of Marketing for Asia, PANDORA A/S

Charlie Cole

Chief Executive Officer at FTD

Emma Lawson

VP of E-Commerce, Huda Beauty

Jose Farinas

Presidente Latin America & Global Manager, Wahl Clipper