The way we do business is ever changing, if business want to keep afloat and maintain an edge over the marketplace and their competitors, there are key factors in which they need to pay attention to in the Macro environment. These are: Technology, Economic, Political and social culture. These will be discussed in more detail below and how they affect business. For the sake of this research assignment, the company Woolworths will be used as an example, to give a practical view on how these factors effect business.
Kotler and Armstrong (2010:92) define the technological environment as "Forces that create new technologies, creating new product and market opportunities." Advances in technology have vastly improved the way Woolworths is able to produce its goods and services, including the transportation and advertising of products to consumers. Woolworths (2014) states on their website that: "We've cut our relative electricity consumption by 27% to date" this would not be possible if it were not for advances in technology, especially in eco-friendly innovations. Woolworths (2014) state that they now use a natural gas (CO2) in their refrigerators, which has virtually no impact on the earth's ozone layer and a much smaller effect on global warming. It also uses less energy. They also claim to use liquid nitrogen for refrigeration in their trucks which saves on carbon emissions and makes the trucks quieter which is good when delivering before dawn. Woolworths (2014) have also installed automate lighting systems in their stores which ensure that lights turn off automatically after hours, cutting costs on electricity and saving the environment and the pressure on Eskom at the same time. Woolworths (2014) in a quest for cleaner energy have started implementing solar heating to supplement heating in their stores. They also use 5% recycled cooking oil in their fuel mix to power their trucks which is estimated to save 600 000 litres of diesel a year.