Shopping you favorite things online is the most comfortable thing ever, but you need to keep in mind that your privacy might not always be protected when using some of the most popular sites out there.
Fortunately, we live in an age where technology allows us to enjoy the perks of buying something from a store without having to leave our homes or even have someone pick up our goods (if they’re delivered). It’s called “shopping on demand”, which means getting what you want through apps instead of going into stores. The only downside is that this requires a third party that takes care of everything between you and the seller.
What is e-commerce?
e-commerce refers to transactions made over digital platforms, such as websites, tablets and smartphones. Online retailers often refer to their customers as buyers because they tend not to physically go inside brick-and-mortar shops anymore. Instead, people browse catalogues, compare prices, make purchases and track deliveries, all remotely via gadgets.
This trend shows no signs of slowing down since more internet users around the world get hooked onto social media and streaming content every day. According to one estimate, global sales will exceed $7 trillion within the next decade. This figure accounts for both offline and online retailing. For example, Amazon alone generated $100 billion worth of annual revenue last year, making it the largest retailer in the United States.
In 2020, nearly half of American adults used online shopping according to research conducted by Deloitte & Touche LLP. That same year, more than 66% of Americans shopped at least once during COVID-19 lockdown while 75% did so before lockdowns ended.
Overall, statistics show that about 80 percent of shoppers prefer to purchase things online today compared to traditional ways. But still, only 30 percent said they trust e-commerce enough to pay for online orders without extra security measures.
When purchasing anything online, whether groceries or electronics, you’ll probably notice popups asking you to confirm your personal information. These requests may seem annoying, especially if you’ve been conditioned to think twice about entering sensitive details online. However, it’s actually crucial to ensure that your data remains secure while giving potential sellers access to your information.
Why is online shopping important these days?
With millions of businesses worldwide relying on online commerce, the importance of online shopping cannot be undermined. As mentioned earlier, this practice grew exponentially due to pandemic lockdowns. Since everyone was stuck indoors, they needed quick replacements for everyday essentials, and with COVID restrictions easing up slowly across several countries, the opportunity to shop became even better.
A study done by PayPal Holdings Inc. indicated that 90% of U.S. households bought something online last month – a record high ever recorded for the company. On average, those surveyed spent almost three hours browsing and comparing deals, searching new brands and checking delivery deals.
According to another report published by eBay Inc., in June 2021, 61 million people shopped online globally, spending billions in total. During this time period, 44% of respondents reported increased interest in shopping online after experiencing positive results from previous experiences. Overall, 51% of consumers plan to continue buying online.
What are online payments gateways?
A payment gateway provides an interface between a customer and a merchant. When you visit a website or app with a form requesting money from you, chances are that you’d find yourself redirected to a 3rd party platform that accepts credit cards. A payment gateway then routes your request to the correct business entity based on your card type and location.
There are two types of payment gateways: debit and credit. Debit cards let you withdraw cash straight from your bank account while credit cards provide funds from your bank balance. Credit cards require you to charge first before withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Many banks nowadays issue MasterCard PayPass cards. If you own one of these, you won’t need to sign up for additional programs as long as your current financial institution supports it. Some banks also support Visa PayWave and Apple Pay.
While you may feel comfortable paying your bills via check, it can take weeks to clear in comparison to instant deposits offered by credit cards. Plus, it involves physical checks that could potentially fall victim to fraud.
Luckily, some companies like Major Phones now offer services to protect your privacy; to be more specific, they offer virtual numbers that allow you to create an account on the best payment websites (PayPal, Stripe, Zelle, Venmo, etc) without giving away your real phone number. In short, they’re a service similar to Google Voice, Skype and even WhatsApp, except they can be used to verify services online.
What is a Punchout Catalog?
A Punchout Catalog assists consumers who buy from various vendors by allowing them to finish their purchase through their organization’s procurement system. This avoids the need to come back to their vendor’s e-commerce site and do it all in one place. The procurement system may have already pre-negotiated rates and discounts with the supplier so it’s a one click solution. With this setup, suppliers can offer their customers a one-click solution to fulfill all their needs that is easy, simple and efficient with little to no human error in the hundreds of transactions a buyer may do with their multiple suppliers.
What are virtual numbers?
Virtual numbers help to bypass SMS verification process on almost every platform online in a very secure and fast way. They typically cost less than normal cellphones and, unlike common cellphone plans, virtual numbers operate independently of cellular networks, meaning they can connect to anyone regardless of carrier since they depend only on the internet.
How to use virtual numbers for online shopping?
Imagine you’re looking for a pair of shoes online. After browsing dozens of options, you finally decide on a certain style and color, so you want to create an account on a certain platform, maybe Amazon or ebay, but see that you need to provide a valid phone number to verify your account.
There is no secret that nobody is really safe online, so providing your personal information, such as your phone number, can be quite risky for many people. It may sound very exaggerated, but this happens regularly when signing up on different websites, which is why virtual numbers enter the scene.
Once you have chosen your favorite virtual numbers provider, just look up for the service you want to verify and purchase it. Then, just go back to the e-commerce platform and enter the number you got and just wait to receive the SMS verification. After this, simply enter it and start using your account to make all the purchases you want.
So go ahead and start your life as an e-commerce freak and enjoy shopping online without worrying about anything!