Options for Business-to-Consumer E-Commerce in Developing Countries: An Online Store Prototype

Options for Business-to-Consumer E-Commerce in Developing Countries: An Online Store Prototype

Robert Klepper (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, USA) and Andrew Carrington (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-35-8.ch017
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Abstract

Business-to-consumer electronic commerce in the developing world is hampered by a host of technological, cultural, economic, political and legal problems (Davis, 1999; Enns and Huff, 1999; Janczewski, 1992). Viewed from the perspective of consumers, the most fundamental requirement–Internet access–is unavailable to many. For example, Africa has the lowest rate of Internet access in the world–less than 1% in a population of nearly 800 million (Dunphy, 2000). As dramatic as measures of the digital divide may be, one can easily argue that investment priorities in the areas of health and education should rightfully come before investment in a larger Internet infrastructure for Africa or other developing areas of the world (Verhovek, 2000). Nonetheless, Internet access does exist for the few, and Internet access will grow in the future for a market of literate users in medium and large cities. Certainly this has been the pattern in Asia and Latin America where Internet cafes and kiosks or their equivalent have sprung up offering relatively inexpensive access, even for those who do not own microcomputers or have telephone service in their homes (Davis, 1999; Richtel, 2001).

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