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Gladys Leah Caligagan on the forthcoming APAC ecommerce and retail eTail Asia Conference 2018

Agnieszka Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 13 February 2018

Head of the eTail Asia Conference Gladys Leah Caligagan shares more what to expect at the APAC conference for retailers

Worldwide Business Research (WBR) logo 150x150Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there for WBR Singapore Pte Ltd and eTail Asia 2018?

Gladys Leah Caligagan (GLC): I'm Gladys Leah Caligagan and I head up the production of eTail Asia Conference, from research to writing the agenda to inviting speakers and managing the entire event.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about eTail Asia 2018, what is it and what does the event strive to do?

GLC: eTail Asia is the destination conference for large, established eretailers to share best practice, challenge convention and network among the leaders of Asian ecommerce. We combine inspirational case studies from pioneers with dozens of small groups, peer-to-peer learning formats to deliver a practical roadmap for every challenge and opportunity the retailers face.

SMP: When/where is it to be held and why did you choose this venue?

GLC: eTail Asia is happening on 6- 8 March 2018 at the Sheraton Towers, Singapore. We have chosen a five star hotel in Singapore to provide our participants with a luxurious experience not only during the event, but also their stay here.

eTail Asia 2018 banner 500x300

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

GLC: eTail Asia targets brick and mortars (likes of Nike, NTUC FairPrice), online pureplays and marketplaces (Qoo10, Lazada, Zalora), ecommerce experts and solution providers shaping the future of Asian ecommerce.

SMP: What do you hope attendees will take away from eTail?

GLC: I am hoping that attendees will enjoy not only the networking we have planned for them, but most importantly bring back to their offices the learnings from different interactive presentations, panel discussions, and peer-to-peer sessions scheduled for two and a half days.

SMP: How can stakeholders (advertisers, exhibitors, sponsors etc.,) get involved?

GLC: If you have new and exciting products and services to offer the retailers in attendance, drop us an email at

SMP: Tell us about the keynotes and guest speakers you are looking forward to?

I am delighted to share with you some of our keynote speakers including Koen Besteman, Head of eCommerce of IKEA Southeast Asia, Elvin Too, Chief Omnichannel Officer and General Manager of NTUC FairPrice Online, Simon Torring, Head of Innovation and Omnichannel of Sephora Digital SEA, J. Siva Shanker, Head of Digital Marketing SEA of Nike, James Chang, Co-Founder and Group Chief Crossborder Officer of Lazada and Alexis Zirah, CEO of

Photograph of Gladys Leah Caligagan from WBR Singapore Pte Ltd and eTail Asia 2018SMP: What are the challenges that you've encountered and how are you overcoming them in what you have been doing so far at eTail Asia 2018?

GLC: Biggest challenge so far is getting brick-and-mortar speakers to come on-board. And as with all events keeping the dropout rate low.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

GLC: Finding an immediate replacement for a speaker who has dropped. And putting together an agenda that benefits our attendees.

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding ecommerce and retail for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

GLC: Machine learning and AI. I will not be surprised if one day retailers know my colour, size and style preferences (more than I do). With the vast amount of data that we are providing online, retailers should be able to use that wisely to target and understand their customers better.  

SMP: What are your top predictions for ecommerce and retail for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

GLC replies with:

  • More traditional brick-and-mortar and B2B brands will have their own sites, and will be using fewer marketplaces
  • Retailers will be hiring more data scientists to join their team, and less ecommerce and digital marketing managers
  • With IoT, AR/VR we will be able to purchase goods from the comfort of our living rooms
  • I believe that at some point platforms like Viber, Line, WhatsApp, etc. may be the place people go to for online shopping, not or marketplaces.

SMP: What are your top overall ecommerce and retail tips and why?

GLC replies with:
  • Don't be deceived by social influencers using the product that they are advertising
  • Don't be misled by the pictures of products online. Think twice or thrice before adding that to your cart, and make sure that you are aware of the measurement before checking out.
  • It is safe (not 100%) to shop online with your credit card

SMP: Best way to contact you and eTail Asia 2018?

GLC: I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter @gladysatwork, connect with me, tweet me, drop by the eTail Asia website while you're at it.

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

GLC: I had salad for lunch with my favourite Japanese sesame dressing.

SMP: What's the last good thing that you did for someone?

GLC: I helped a lady pick up her groceries when she dropped it on the floor.

SMP: If you weren't working at eTail Asia 2018 what would you be doing?

GLC: I could be managing my own online business.

SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

GLC: I went to Japan last December with my husband. Why? To eat and to visit Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan.

SMP: What's the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

I know it is not ideal, but I read emails as soon as I get into the office.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

GLC: I want to be able cure any sickness by just looking into their eyes.

eTail Asia 2018 homepage image

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