In less than two decades, e-commerce has become a vital force in the financial life of almost every nation on earth. Online buying and selling are very close to the point of eclipsing brick and mortar retail sales, financial consulting, personal services, and other sectors of the global marketplace. Nowadays, consumers can conduct nearly every important commercial transaction from the comfort of home, 24 hours per day, seven days a week. This important way of doing business is assisting consumers who prefer to shop from home, apply for loans, get personal service and even sell goods online. What will the commercial landscape be a decade from now? We have an idea based on current trends, but here’s what it looks like today.

Retail Sales

Sellers have much more reach than they did in decades past. Online sales and advertising have the ability to bring in new customers from any location on the globe. If your small business is based in Chicago, for example, you could offer goods to anyone who visits your website, no matter where they reside. Expanded reach and seamless purchasing systems via high-tech shopping carts are the two most powerful aspects of electronic commerce. The year-end holiday months used to be the busiest season for brick and mortar retailers. Now, even though the malls are still overrun, cyber business can be backed up as well and major servers can temporarily shut down due to excess order volume.

Loans

Another major advantage of doing commercial transactions via a global computer network is that it’s now much easier to apply for student loans. Some web-based providers can help prospective students apply for multiple forms of education debt at the same time, thus shortening the process and giving borrowers a better chance of success. Taking on education debt is one of the fastest ways to improve your financial standing and long-term earning potential. For many borrowers, there’s no other way to pay for schooling.

Personal Services

For sources of services like psychological counseling, tax consulting, financial planning, tutoring and other intangibles, e-commerce has opened up new opportunities of profit. Most tax advisors now offer video consultations and can work with clients in all 50 states without the need to travel even one mile. The education field has been similarly revolutionized due to video apps that let young students in China, for example, learn English from a college student based in London, New York City or Sydney.

Micro Businesses

Anyone with a smart phone and an ounce of common sense can open an online store or for-profit website and sell goods, services or opinions. Micro businesses now represent a significant portion of the national economy, with professionals putting in between one and 10 hours per week at their chosen tasks. What do they do? Everything from tax preparation and estate planning to giving violin lessons and training hypnotists. If you possess any kind of valuable skill, there’s a market for it in the world of e-commerce. Simply set up a bare bone’s website, grow your contact list and begin selling.

Author's Bio: 

Justin is a 30'something personal finance blogger, entrepreneur, and family man!