An Insider’s Look: How Brands are Regaining Control of Product Sales on Amazon to Stop Channel Conflict and Brand Erosion
Fifth Ave Room

In the age of eCommerce, many brands are struggling to control the sale of their products on Amazon and other online marketplaces. The lack of control is causing channel conflict with brick-and-mortar retailers, price erosion, negative reviews and lost sales.  

In this session, attendees will hear from the head of sales for an international tea manufacturer, a senior director of channel strategy at a global software and services provider, and a vice president of revenue at a sunglasses manufacturer. The panel will be moderated by the leader of a Vorys team focused on helping find ways to fix the problems brands are experiencing online. Each presenter brings a unique perspective regarding the growing trend and their experience regaining control of online sales.

Attendees will hear first-hand experiences and insight involving:

  • Strategies used to address channel conflict 
  • Best practices for regaining control of sales on Amazon and other online marketplaces 
  • What worked and did not work while regaining control of online sales 
  • Ways to drum up internal support to tackle the problem


  • Robin Gabel, National Account Manager at Yogi Tea, a manufacturer and distributor of 60 varieties of herbal, green and black teas 
  • Denise Zmuda, Senior Director of Channel Strategy, Programs, Operations and Marketing formerly Zebra Technologies, a global provider of products, software, services, analytics and solutions designed to connect people, assets and data 
  • Charlie Ninegar, Vice President of Revenue at Spy Optic, a global manufacturer of sunglasses, goggles and prescription frames


  • Whitney Gibson, Partner and Chair of Vorys eControl, which has worked with more than 300 manufacturers to implement integrated strategies designed to protect and grow their brands

What makes Home Improvement omnichannel retail different and how can you win as a result?
Cascade 1 Room

In this session, Cleveland Research’s renowned home improvement analysts Mark Herbek & Matt Leiser will share their latest consumer insights and recommendations for home improvement vendors. The session will cover how shoppers behave differently when researching and purchasing home improvement products online, how large and small vendors should think differently about eCommerce opportunities, and what vendors need to do now in order to align with Home Depot’s eCommerce investments. This session is geared for eCommerce professionals that compete in the home improvement category and are looking for a competitive edge heading into 2020.

Mark Herbek, Executive Director of Home Improvement, CRC
Mark is a founding partner and the Executive Director of Home Improvement at Cleveland Research Company. He has spent the last 15 years analyzing the home improvement and building products industry (Pro, DIY, and eCommerce path to purchase), specializing in identifying inflections to help vendors grow more profitably and better navigate the constantly evolving customer purchase decision process. Mark has been invited to speak at dozens of industry events, including key conferences, industry tradeshows, and distributor and association meetings.

Mark graduated with a BA in Biology from Hastings College and has earned the right to use the CFA designation. Mark lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Suzanne and their two children, Benjamin and Elise.

Matt Leiser, Director of Home Improvement, CRC
Matt is the Director of the Home Improvement Council at Cleveland Research Company providing actionable business intelligence for CRC’s partners on home improvement and the building products industry for Pro, DIY, and eCommerce. Prior to his current role, Matt worked at Target Corporation in Minneapolis, where he developed a passion for mass retail in a variety of merchandising and management roles within Apparel and Accessories, Health and Beauty, Grocery and Home Improvement.

Matt holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He currently resides in Chagrin Falls with his wife and son.

How do we create successful eCommerce teams?
Cascade 2 Room

eCommerce poses unique challenges for organizations to structure teams due to the rapid change and unique cross-functional requirements of the space. In this session, CRC eCommerce analyst Jim Braun will share CRC’s latest research around best practices for organizing and implementing eCommerce teams. This session will include insights on Amazon and Omnichannel teams, the role of external partners, and the future of eCommerce teams. This will be a critical session for eCommerce professionals looking to improve their organization’s operational structure and prepare for the future of eCommerce.

Jim Braun, Director of eCommerce, CRC 
Jim is the Director of Cleveland Research’s eCommerce Council, where he is focused on writing research aimed at helping branded manufacturers better navigate the rapidly changing world of eCommerce. Prior to his role eCommerce role at CRC, he spent the last five years covering the industrial space, and most recently working as the Senior Research Analyst covering Oilfield Services.  

Jim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Miami University is also a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) charterholder.

B2B Foodservice: How the Industry is Shifting to Online/Digital Ordering
Vashon Room

CRC’s Foodservice Council Director Adrienne Moncrief will share the latest findings and recommendations for manufacturers on how to align with the growth of eCommerce in Foodservice. Taking a holistic approach, this session will cover how the industry is shifting to an online/digital ordering world from the perspective of manufacturers, distributors, and restaurants.  In this session we will discuss 1) strategies for manufacturers to align with growth opportunities while maintaining profitability, 2) how often and which categories are restaurant operators purchasing online today and long term, and 3) where distributors are investing to better compete and grow digital sales. This session will provide a helpful overview of where the foodservice industry is positioned today and into 2020.

Adrienne Moncrief, Director of Foodservice, CRC 
Adrienne is the Director of the Foodservice Council at Cleveland Research Company, focused on writing research and hosting events. Adrienne is responsible for industry trend analysis and product development across the restaurant, distribution, and non-commercial foodservice channels, with the goal of providing business intelligence and actionable insights for manufacturers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing and Strategic Communication and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.