How Online Purchasing Has Changed the Business-To-Business Marketing Process

When talking about digital marketing, many business owners think about online marketing or email marketing. While both of these are important, there is another type of digital marketing that might be worth considering- online purchasing.

In the past, entrepreneurs would create a website, get some content on it, and then hope consumers would find it and come back for more. Today, with consumers being more digitally savvy and trusting of online reviews, entrepreneurs can take advantage of this trend and use online purchasing to grow their business.

Why Online Purchasing?

First off, you don’t need an e-commerce store to take advantage of online purchasing. You can use platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, or Wistia to build your online store and take advantage of all the e-commerce features they offer. These platforms make it easy to set up an online store and get started selling your products.

Additionally, many businesses might be selling a product that is quite expensive to manufacture, but relatively inexpensive to purchase. Take, for example, a dress. Fashion businesses often have to take advantage of volume discounts to be able to purchase the necessary fabrics in large quantities. While it’s still quite expensive to sell a dress, the cost of the raw materials makes it slightly more affordable. The same goes for other high-cost-to-manufacture products, such as shoes and handbags. These are all areas where online purchasing could come in handy.

How Has Online Purchasing Changed The Way We Buy?

The most obvious change that comes to mind when thinking about online purchasing is the countless options available. While it’s always been possible to find the product you want online, it wasn’t always easy to find the exact right fit or the best price. With so many different vendors online, it’s become much easier to compare prices and the quality of the items before making a purchase.

Another difference between buying online and in stores is the level of anonymity given to the buyer. While in stores it’s often required to provide your personal information, creating an account on an e-commerce site is enough to make a purchase. This makes it easier for consumers to research and compare products without the fear of retribution.

E-commerce has also changed the way businesses deal with invoicing and payments. Instead of storing credit cards on file and waiting to process payments after the fact, businesses can now take advantage of the digital age and use online platforms like Stripe or PayPal to handle all the transactions.

How Has Online Purchasing Changed The Way We Use Our Credit Cards?

When using a credit card to make a purchase, businesses are required to enter the billing address and phone number of the customer. While this information is needed for billing and customer service purposes, it also allows fraudsters to gain access to your credit card data and use it for their own purposes.

With all the security risks that credit card data presents, many financial services providers, such as Chase, have made it a rule to reject any and all offers to purchase goods or services using a credit card that isn’t verified. This means that even if you are paying with a CC, you are still required to enter your credit card information each time you make a purchase.

What Are The Biggest Threats Facing Online Purchasing?

Just like any other segment of the digital market, e-commerce is a target for fraudsters. However, unlike many other areas of online purchasing, cybercriminals have really started to take advantage of the industry, especially since much of the technology needed to commit fraud is quite easy to access. The good news is that business owners can take simple measures to combat this threat.

First off, it’s a good idea to implement a security system that uses one-time passwords (OTPs) when making online purchases. These are a series of passwords required to verify that the person using the account is aware of the password and has not been phished. Most large e-commerce sites use something like 2-Step Verification, which requires users to verify their identity through either an email or phone call.

It’s also important to educate your customers about the risks involved in giving out their personal information over the internet, as well as the benefits of doing business online. A good place to start is with your terms of use agreement, which you’ll need to have anyway, since you’ll be collecting a ton of personal data from your customers. Make sure to discuss these risks and how to mitigate them in the terms and conditions so that your customer knows what to expect. And last but not least, make sure your employees are following the same principles, since cybercriminals often target the people handling financial transactions.

The Bottom Line

E-commerce isn’t going anywhere, and it’s certainly not going to disappear from the digital marketing landscape. What it is, is simply going to change with time. As the internet grows and evolves, new platforms and methods of commerce will rise to take the place of what we know today. For now, however, online purchasing is a useful tool for any business that is looking to maximize their reach to customers and engage them online.