This article reviews globalization aspects of “business to consumer” (B2C) electronic commerce. According to Computerworld, “Globalization is the marketing and selling of a product outside a company’s home country. To successfully do that on the Internet, a company needs to localize – make its Web site linguistically, culturally, and in all other ways accessible to customers outside its home territory” (Brandon, 2001). This overview describes the key issues in the globalization of electronic commerce; for more detail, see the full book chapter (Brandon, 2002).
“Localization” (shortened to L12N in Internet terms) considers five global dimensions: geographic, functional, regulatory, cultural, and economic (Bean, 2000). We shall overview each of these somewhat overlapping and interrelated issues in these groupings: language, cultural, legal, payment/currency, dates/units, and logistics.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Encoding: The bit pattern to use for each symbol in a character set.
Globalization: The marketing and selling of a product outside a company’s home country.
Export Restrictions: Restrictions on the type, quantity, or destination of goods that can be exported out of a country.
UPU: Universal address formats.
Incoterms: A standard set of international logistic acronyms.
Import Restrictions: Restrictions on the type, quantity, or origin of goods that can be imported into a country.
Shippers Export Declaration: Documentation necessary to export goods outside one’s home country.
Locale: The combination of language and dialect.
This work was previously published in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology: edited by M. Khosrow-Pour, pp. 1293-1298, copyright 2005 by Information Science Reference, formerly known as Idea Group Reference (an imprint of IGI Global)
VAT: Value added tax.