Summary

1 Environmental scanning and analysis of the macro-environment are necessary in order that a company can respond to environmental changes and act on legal and ethical constraints on its activities.

2 Social factors include variation in usage of the Internet while ethical issues include the need to safeguard consumer privacy and security of details. Privacy issues include collection and dissemination of customer information, cookies and the use of direct e-mail. Marketers must act within current law, reassure customers about their privacy and explain the benefits of collection of personal information.

3 Rapid variation in technology requires constant monitoring of adoption of the technology by customers and competitors and appropriate responses.

4 Economic factors considered in this chapter include the regional differences in the use of the Internet for trade. Different economic conditions in different markets are considered in developing e-commerce budgets.

5 Political factors involve the role of governments in promoting e-commerce, but also in trying to restrict it.

6 Legal factors to be considered by e-commerce managers include taxation, domain name registration, copyright and data protection.

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