This study explores the suitability and the potential use of the Internet in exporting. Six fundamental axioms that govern the Internet‐export business dyad are identified and antecedents to the relevance of the Internet in exporting are explored. The axioms address the difficulty of acquiring a sustainable competitive advantage via the Internet, the necessity for export‐specific structures, the “derived” nature of consumer demand, security concerns, the presence of structural impediments in using the Internet, and the transaction‐ versus process‐based use of the Internet in exporting. In particular, the use and penetration of the Internet are significantly influenced by the presence of key structural impediments of various nations, which are fully explored in this study. In these contexts, applications of the Internet in exporting are examined in light of exporter type, application type, and transaction type. Using this information, a conceptual framework that defines the role of the Internet in exporting is offered. According to the framework, the appropriateness and the extent to which an exporter may successfully use the Internet should be assessed in light of its net incremental contribution to export profits.
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