The opportunities and threats in international trade and the implications

for global e-Commerce

The importance of the STEP factors in global e-Commerce and in

particular the role of socio-cultural influences

Global e-Commerce strategies, in particular the problems involved in the

globalization versus localization debate

The channels conflict faced by e-Commerce organizations in deciding

between direct selling and the distributor model

The importance of going global

Methods of entry into global markets

Opportunities and threats in global e-Marketing

Niche marketing

Understanding the global environment

Socio-cultural environments for global e-Commerce

Definitions of culture

Symbols and symbolism

Incompatible software

Culturally sensitive Web design

Methods of payment

The Internet is bringing about a profound change in the ways business is conducted worldwide and is considered to have become the conduit for change from a producer culture to a consumer culture. Lisa Harris and Nelarine Cornelius argued in Chapter 4 that e-Commerce organizations worldwide need to understand the necessity of moving to a consumer-centred business model essentially dependent on offering real value and superior service in order to succeed (Nolan 1998a). Communication methods between sellers and buyers worldwide have changed beyond recognition in only a few years, with the use of international electronic transactions, use of e-mail messaging and the setting up of interactive Web sites for the benefit of the global supply of information and e-Commerce. Newly set up ‘dotcom’ organizations, as well as small companies, are reaching out beyond their local and national confines, finding easy access to global markets without the financial burden of expensive sales forces or retail outlets. Established global organizations are acknowledging the importance of the Internet in providing huge opportunities to their existing operations but also in identifying worrying threats.