Global E-Commerce: A Portal Bridging the World Markets
Singh, Nitish, Alhorr, Hadi S., Bartikowski, Boris P., Journal of Electronic Commerce Research
This essay examines the importance of e-commerce in the global economy. It introduces the special issue on global e-commerce by providing a guide to the six papers contained in the special isse, and it offers the guest editors perspectives on the growing trends in global e-commerce as well as potential challenges and opportunities that multinationals practicing e-commerce on a gobal scale face. The essay notes the dire need for a scholastic framework within which the several facets of global e-commerce are organized and addressed. Contributions from each of the papers of this issue are also indicated
Keywords: global e-commerce, web localization, culture and web, internet.
Global e-commerce is expanding rapidly and several trillion dollars are being exchanged annually over the web. The global online population is also increasing substantially and by 2013, Wigder et al.,  of Forrester Research predict that there will be 2.2 billion Internet users worldwide and Asia will be the biggest global growth engine. Another interesting trend in global Internet usage is that almost 72.4 percent of these users are now non-English speaking [Internet World Stats, 2009]. So, besides English other languages like Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French now have significant online usage. By 2010 U.S. retail e-commerce will be about $182.5 billion [Grau, 2008a]. On the other hand, European B2C e-commerce is expected to reach almost $234 billion by 2010 [Grau, 2006].According to e-marketer estimates by 2010 the British market share will fall to 44.5% as France and Germany ramp up their online sales. Asia will also see significant growth in B2C e-commerce with a 23.3 percent annual growth rate and eventually reaching almost $168.7 billion in 2011 [Grau, 2008b]. Japan and South Korea currently lead the B2C e-commerce sales in Asia but by 2011 they will be overtaken by China and India [Grau, 2008b]. From these numbers it is clear that e-commerce is now a truly global phenomenon. Thus web is increasingly becoming a diverse global marketplace with global business opportunities.
To take advantage of the full potential of global e-commerce, companies need to tap into global markets and consider expanding online not only in developed countries but also in the emerging economies of China, Brazil, India and others. Companies may proactively exploit global e-business opportunities and take advantage of the full potential of e-commerce, or may adopt a defensive approach to new global competition threatening their business. Domestic businesses will increasingly feel pressure of global competition as e-business will offer companies a platform to compete on global basis. However, for many companies global e-commerce is still a challenge. Several companies cite following reasons for avoiding taking the full plunge in global e-commerce [Singh and Pereira, 2005; Yunker, 2005]:
* Lack of skills for successful web localization efforts
* Lack of knowledge and application of tools to achieve web localization
* Geo-political and regulatory uncertainties.
* Lack of understanding relating cultural customization of international websites
* Dearth of professionally trained workforce to handle web localization efforts.
Our purpose for this special issue of Journal of E-Commerce Research is to examine the state of the current research on e-commerce in the global arena. This issue contains papers that examine global e-commerce from different conceptual perspectives, offering insights that will only develop and advance our understanding of global-ecommerce, both as a phenomenon on a macro-level and as organizational practices on a micro-level. Along the way we hope that new directions and inquisitive priorities will be developed for our readers.
Our essay is organized in this way: the next section briefly sheds light on the growing global-ecommerce and the utilization of the web among multinational organizations to capture worldwide opportunities and to develop worldwide capabilities. …