SMEs, however, and others moving to e-commerce in gradual stages while managing the growth of their businesses, have avoided such a simplistic view of international sales. It's not just smaller companies - larger ones all over the world are focusing on their home territories first, before moving on to other regions.
This position makes sense when you consider the complications introduced by the adoption of e-commerce, let alone extras like different currencies and freight charges and times. It can be difficult enough making the leap to transactions online, so limiting these complications is a worthwhile strategy.
However, for SMEs with products that appeal to an international market, there are huge opportunities on the world stage. Australian brands have done well in international markets, as have suppliers of niche products and services to businesses and consumers overseas.
Another area that looks set to burgeon is that of smaller specialised companies focusing on tourists visiting Australia. In this instance, an international focus is essential to reaching customers.
Whether your customers are overseas or you see potential sales in international markets, we hope that you find this month's eComWorld interesting reading. As with any new step in business, hearing the experiences of others making similar moves provides invaluable background information - which is why we have gathered together some insights from local companies selling over the Net to international customers. Some of this advice can also be of use to all e-commerce efforts, particularly the tips for dealing with fraudulent orders and customer service.
This month, eComWorld also addresses the issue of what it takes to be successful in e-commerce. Even the education and training experts have had trouble defining which skills are needed in this area. What was emphasised, however, again and again, is the need to concentrate on the business issues rather than cool new technology, and the ability to connect with people that can help or provide advice.
You know it's definitely a case of the more things change the more they stay the same when the same maxim applies to the old and new economies: it's not what you know, but who you know.
And to ensure we can measure the progression towards our goal of 2001 Web sites online by 2001, we invite you to register your business's Web site with us. We'll be providing an online directory - categorised by industry, business and site type - for our readers, consumers and other businesses alike.
To register your site, follow the links at http://ecomworld.com.au
We hope you enjoy the March edition of eComWorld, out now. If you have any suggestions, comments, or ideas for case studies, please don't hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.