Author of the chapter UX and E-Commerce: Comparing the Best Practices in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Africa in User Experience in Web 2.0 Technologies and Its Impact on Universities and Businesses
by Jean-Éric Pelet et al. (IGI Global, 2020)
That’s Silvia Carter, the one on the left with missing teeth, with her brother and her two sisters, in Grottammare, Italy. She’s the founder of To Web Or Not To Web and also the author of The Digital Exporter Series and other books. She was probably 5 or 6 and, at that time, she had no idea she would end up living in Paris and marrying an American after years of expatriation and traveling around the world.
Yes, she is Italian, and Italians are particularly international, following the example of Marco Polo, Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus. But, in her case, she had to learn to become international: when she was young, she was seriously Germano phobic, deeply allergic to other languages, with a real aversion to anything culturally foreign. Too complicated! Why bother when she had what she needed at home in Italy in Italian?
But one day her “home” got filled with travelers: almost everyone around her was traveling, for work, studies, vacation and so on. So much so that staying Italo-Italian became a handicap. And there she was, launched for an Erasmus year in Dublin at Trinity College, with an English vocabulary of almost ten words!
Since then, her international life has become her profession. First in international marketing, then as export manager and worldwide sales director. Once she settled in France, she became more and more interested in the digital issues related to export. She wanted to understand the best practices and technical details. This is what pushed her to get a master’s degree in digital marketing in 2012 and to start her own company, ToWebOrNotToWeb, the following year. Today, she helps firms find business opportunities on the Internet and develop their digital sales internationally.
The increasing availability of simple and affordable web tools offers new access to the global markets in ways that were unthinkable some years ago. Learning how to use these technologies is now essential, not only for developing new opportunities and fighting foreign competitors in the domestic market but also for preserving one’s own business during unexpected emergencies like the one COVID-19.
This is what motivates Silvia in her job: engaging in value creation by helping companies take full advantage of all the new web tools for their business.