Cultural Adaptation In Cross Border E-Commerce: A Study Of German Companies


Rudolf R. Sinkovics
Mo Yamin
Matthias Hossinger


The standardization vs. adaptation debate in international marketing is still ongoing, yet, in the online realm the discussion is only just emerging. While practitioners are excited to jump on the online communication and commerce bandwagon, empirical research on the issue of online standardization vs. adaptation is still relatively limited and mostly concerns US firms. This paper explores 100 German companies’ domestic, U.S., U.K. and Latin American websites and employs a cultural value analysis. We build on Hofstede’s and Hall’s cultural framework. Findings suggest that cultural value depiction is not very strong in the relevant markets, thus a certain degree of ‘cultural alienation’ takes place. It is suggested that to engage better with their customer and reach better cultural congruency companies need to work harder on developing culturally adapted websites.

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November, 2007

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