In 2021, with over 27.2% of the entire global population now shopping online, the world of ecommerce is rapidly expanding. On one hand, we have more options than ever when it comes to selecting the best products for our taste, budget and occasions. On the other hand, it’s increasingly difficult to navigate the commercial landscape and select a reputable e-tailer.
One way to ensure that you’re dealing with a credible company is to vet their online accounts. For instance, their Crunchbase profile. Here’s a list of seven things you can learn about a company on Crunchbase.
1. Geographical Information
One of the most pronounced and important sections on a Crunchbase profile, like this bio, is the location overview. The location of a company can offer you a wealth of knowledge as a consumer. First and foremost, you want to ensure that the location listed on Crunchbase matches the location given on Google, Facebook and the company website. Discrepancies in this information may occur when a company is purporting to be American owned, but actually operating out of China, for instance.
The company location can also help you determine whether it’s a good option for your shopping needs. If you’re wanting to order a large product, such as a bedframe, the shipping costs will be higher depending on the distance your product needs to travel to reach you. Determining this in advance can save you time and money.
2. Contact details
Like geographical details, the contact information found on Crunchbase can tip you off to an unscrupulous company. Be wary of any company that does not have a phone number listed. This may indicate that the company is based off-shore or that they have a low standard of customer service. Look for companies that use an official email address, as opposed to a Gmail or Hotmail account. Additionally, contact details that are outdated are a good sign that a company is not necessarily active and may take time to reply to any concerns or complaints.
3. Their Story
The Crunchbase ‘About’ section is a great way to learn a little bit about the ethos and background of the company. If you have a certain stance, such as cruelty free, this section can help you learn whether the business matches up with your purchasing standards. It’s also a good chance for the company to highlight unique selling points, introduce services you may not know about and paint a picture of how the business reached its current stage.
4. Operating Status
A quick glance at the ‘operating status’ on any Crunchbase profile will help you determine whether the company is currently active, on hiatus, or permanently closed. This can save you the frustration of gearing up to make a purchase only to find that the company is now defunct.
5. Lists Featuring the Company
For extra vigilant consumers or stakeholders, you may be interested in reviewing lists featuring the company. Lists are a Crunchbase feature that lets users both create and monitor lists of companies, deals, people and events. Lists can be anything from ‘Cannabis Positive Companies’ to ‘Top 1% of American Start-ups’. The lists associated with the company you’re viewing can give you more of an idea about the company’s growth and values.
6. Recent Updates to the Company
One easy way to determine whether a company is legitimate and still active is to monitor their Crunchbase ‘Recent Updates’ section. This functions similarly to LinkedIn’s ‘Featured’ section. Essentially, it allows companies to add reputable links to any information and news articles around recent investments, expansions, press releases and other relevant changes within the company. This transparency can give you added faith in the company you’ve chosen to purchase goods/services from.
7. Technology Used
A neat and often under-appreciated feature of Crunchbase is the ‘Technology Used’ tab. If you’ve got concerns about inputting your credit card information online, taking a look at the technology the company is using can give you peace of mind. Pay particular attention to their cyber security stack, which may include software like Hackerone, known as ‘The Vulnerability Management & Bug Bounty Platform’. Also of interest may be payment stack technology. Look for tools like Paypal, which allow for more secure online payments.
When it comes to making purchases online, doing a little research can prevent you from falling victim to nasty scams or other cybercrimes. Using a comprehensive listing website like Crunchbase is a quick and easy way to assess a company’s online credibility at a glance.