Global Internet Usage, Web Site Design, and Cultural Communication Preferences: Contributions from Cross-Cultural Marketing and Advertising Research

Global Internet Usage, Web Site Design, and Cultural Communication Preferences: Contributions from Cross-Cultural Marketing and Advertising Research

M. Hermeking (Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-213-8.ch011
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Abstract

Though the Internet continuously gains much popularity on a global scale, marketing research reveals enormous national differences and disparities in the numbers of Internet users worldwide. To date, most users still live in North America, in the Asia Pacific Basin, and in Western Europe. In response, an increasing body of research on global Internet usage, interface design, and Web site usability has been undertaken by human-computer-interaction (HCI) and localization specialists during the past few years. Similarly, questions of global standardization vs. local adaptation are also central to international marketing, research on consumer behavior, and marketing communications. Since the Internet, including its most popular usage platform, the World Wide Web (WWW), is part of the media, its culture-specific potential and conditions for global usage—and respectively its culturally appropriate design for worldwide consumption—can be described in general by contributions from cross-cultural marketing and advertising research. This chapter presents a foundational examination of this situation and its implications for professional practices related to marketing and online consumers.

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