Amazon and Shopify to Headline Made in Hawaii E-Commerce Conference on February 21

Posted on Feb 1, 2024 in News

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2024

Industry Leaders to Present on Cutting Edge E-Commerce Strategies

HONOLULU—The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), in collaboration with industry leaders Amazon and Shopify, announced today that the first-ever “Made in Hawaii Presents: Your Future in E-Commerce” conference will be held at the Ala Moana Hotel on Wednesday, February 21.

As the global marketplace continues to shift toward online platforms, this conference will guide Hawaii manufacturers and retailers on how to tap into markets beyond the state’s borders to succeed in the world of e-commerce. Recent challenges such as the devastating Maui wildfires also highlight the importance of e-commerce as a seamless replacement for traditional stores during crises.

An esteemed lineup of key speakers will share expertise and insights to help local businesses create or strengthen their e-commerce channels. Speakers include:

  • Bobby Co, Amazon Marketplace seller growth team leader
  • Chris Schmicker, Shopify brand marketing director
  • Ellen Ng, founder of

“This conference offers a unique opportunity for participants to gain invaluable strategies and practical knowledge that will fuel their success in e-commerce,” said James Kunane Tokioka, director of DBEDT. “We are proud to partner with Amazon and Shopify to help move our local businesses forward.”

Participants will attend plenary sessions then break out into smaller discussions tailored to different company levels, ensuring that businesses of all sizes can benefit from expert guidance.

The plenary sessions include:

  • Bobby Co, Amazon Marketplace team leader, will share the story behind the growth of independent sellers for Amazon Stores
  • A panel featuring Shopify Milestone Winners, facilitated by Chris Schmicker, Shopify director of brand marketing

The breakout sessions include:

  • Beginner Level – Bobby Co will explain the basics of e-commerce, covering key concepts such as working with a third-party platform, setting up an online store, product selection, and basic marketing strategies.
  • Intermediate Level – Chris Schmicker, director of brand marketing at Shopify, will discuss strategies for optimizing conversion rates, implementing advanced marketing tactics, and retaining customers effectively with Hawaii-based companies who have found success with Shopify.
  • Advanced Level – founder Ellen Ng, Rodeo Agency founder Brittney Cunningham, Hibiscus Interactive founder Ted Saihara, and Hidden Gears founder Paolo Vidali will discuss the transformative power of automation, data-driven decision-making, and artificial intelligence in e-commerce and digital marketing.

To learn more about the upcoming conference and to register, please visit

About the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation-sector job growth.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Laci Goshi
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Lyle Fujikawa
Made in Hawaii Program Manager
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

Bianca Kahele-Fontanilla
iQ 360