We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker, at Retail Without Borders 2018, will be former Vice-President of International Marketing at Alibaba Group, Porter Erisman.
Porter joined Alibaba in 2000, just as the company moved out of founder Jack Ma's apartment. After leaving Alibaba, Porter wrote a book about his experience, Alibaba's World, an international-bestseller that the Wall Street Journal named one of the “Best Business Books of 2015". Most recently, he published his follow-up book, Six Billion Shoppers: the Companies Winning the Global Ecommerce Boom.
At Retail Without Borders, Porter will share his insights on why future ecommerce will no longer be shaped by the Western world, but by far more interesting models coming out of Eastern powerhouses, such as India and China.
Ahead of the conference, we sat down with Porter to find out a little bit more about him and what makes him tick.
Pentagon: Hi Porter. What was the last thing you bought online?
Porter Erisman: Hi Pentagon. The last thing I bought online was all of my Christmas gifts.
P: In your line of work you must visit multiple ecommerce stores, but which is your favourite and why?
PE: For personal shopping, I do the majority of my shopping on Amazon. I like it’s ease of use, mobile app and fast delivery. However, if it served western markets, I would prefer to use Alibaba’s TMall as it is a much more dynamic experience than Amazon.
P: Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
PE: Mongolia. Travelling to the grasslands of Mongolia gave me insight into what life must have been like hundreds of years ago in my own home state, Colorado.
P: What is your most used social media channel and how often do you check it?
PE: Facebook, which I check several times a day. I haven’t been very active on Twitter as I’m trying not to become fully plugged into the matrix.
P: Where do you go to get the latest industry news and updates?
PE: Financial Times does a great job of covering ecommerce in emerging markets.
P: What is the most exciting ecommerce news/update you have heard recently?
PE: The explosive growth of Ant Financial in China (and beyond).
P: Where do you think ecommerce will be in five years?
PE: In five years the centre of gravity of ecommerce will have shifted from the developed markets to the emerging markets. And the models coming out of countries such as China and India will be far more interesting than those in the US and Western Europe.
P: What most excites you about your role and gets you up in the morning?
PE: To be part of an industry that is empowering entrepreneurs around the world.
P: If you had to invite four people to a business lunch, who would they be and why?
PE: I’d bring together the pioneers of the ecommerce giants (present and past): Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Meg Whitman and Montgomery Ward.
P: Why have you chosen to speak at Retail Without Borders 2018?
PE: It brings together the industry leaders from what I consider to be the most exciting companies in the world-the leaders that I’ve had the pleasure of studying for my most recent book, Six Billion Shoppers.