expat network

How E-Commerce Is Perfect For Expatriates



There you are in the shade of your favorite palm tree, sipping a flavorful drink with a little umbrella in it and thinking to yourself, “For just a little more money I could hire somebody to refresh my drink without having to get out of my hammock.” The expatriate life is great and, in order to take up residence, you had to demonstrate you had a certain amount of dependable income.



Now you realize having a little more money coming in would greatly enhance this lifestyle you enjoy. Plus, you feel a little restless and would not mind a little constructive work. However, your language skills are not that great and there are strict rules about what work you can do. What is the alternative? If you have internet access, the world is at your feet.


Welcome to the Borderless World of Ecommerce

You have heard the expression “the internet of everything?” Everything now includes the business world. The movement of businesses toward conducting virtually all transactions online was in process prior to the 2020 pandemic, which only hastened that shift.

You might ask exactly what is ecommerce? Ecommerce is simply all the commercial activity that used to be conducted before the internet now moving, sooner rather than later, online. In fact, by 2025, more than one-half of all business will be conducted online. The other major element of this is that the internet is global. This means that lying in your hammock wherever you have relocated, you can participate in commerce anywhere around the world.


The Business You Were in Has Not Gone Away

Perhaps your first reaction is to say, “I do not understand how the internet works. That is not the way I did business.” Frankly, business today is not much different from the way it was conducted before everyone went online. The same principles apply. The big difference is, today business is quicker, more convenient, more productive and more efficient. Whatever business you were in before your move awaits—unless you would like to try something new:

  • Direct to consumer. Ever heard of Ets?. Produce your own stuff and sell it online
  • Business to consumer. Become the middleman.
  • Business to business. Provide supplies, logistics and expertise to companies worldwide.
  • Business to governments. Help nations around the world develop their commercial acumen.

The best news is that there are resources available to help you grasp any ecommerce aspects with which you are not familiar.


As an Expat, You Are Not Alone

Your move outside of the border has put you in good company. Approximately 9,000,000 American nationals are now living abroad. Unlike times past, however, you can see your parents, your nieces and nephews or your grandkids every day on live video chats. Thanks to the internet and ecommerce, you have the ability to remember a birthday at the last minute and still get a gift and note to someone from 12,000 miles away. It is possible as well to keep business ties active. While the pandemic taught the world it could work from home, the internet has revealed that home can be anywhere. For those with a gift for marketing and even the slightest willingness to learn a few new skills, the limitless business world lies before you, maybe making you wonder why you ever thought about retiring.


Do Not Let Your English Hold You Back

As you try to remember the local phrase for “is it lunch already,” you may be tempted to make the mistake of thinking your language skills are not adequate for international ecommerce. Once again, the world is bringing business to you. To be sure, other nations are making inroads in the borderless business world of the internet. However, one thing that was true before the world went digital still holds true today and that is: English is the international language of business. So, if you speak English, your chances of conducting the sort of ecommerce you find attractive are pretty good.