I write a lot about tweaking and testing your business web pages to see what elements perform the best. This week’s article is about how not only listing a phone number on a checkout web page performed better, BUT how the right phone number on a checkout page increased visits by over 18% according to a blog post published by Creative Direct Marketing Group.
A flower shop business decided to test two different phone numbers on their checkout page…a local number and a toll-free phone number. THE WINNER: the local number.
You might say, “Why would this be?—I mean wouldn’t people outside of the immediate area rather have a toll-free number listed for their convenience?”
While this is probably true, it may be that a “local” phone number gives the perception that the business is more accessible…(true or not, noticed I said perception). A toll-free number may have given the appearance of a business far off in the distance somewhere.
Result: The local phone number may have lessened some of the mental hesitancy and anxiety a prospect may feel when buying online.
In any case, I think contact information (and a phone number especially) can make a prospect feel a lot more comfortable about handing over his hard-earned money when making a purchase online.
As the article said, “Clearly, Flowers Across Melbourne’s prospects were more comfortable with a local number than a toll-free number.”
I’d take it a step further and say a phone number (local or not) gives more credibility than just an email—it just depends on your target market.
I recently made a sizable purchase online for some software. I have to admit that I was very nervous because there was no phone number listed anywhere on the business website—not even on the support page. The only contact info listed were the standard email addresses… info@, support@, etc.
There is something comforting to a prospect to know that should there be a problem, he can pick up the phone, hear a voice, and deal with a real person.
I went against my better judgment and bought anyway because the owner of the website is pretty well-known in his market and has credibility…so I bought…and so far so good.
I’ll close by saying that many people are not like me and would not have taken the chance and purchased—this would have resulted in a lost sale.
You really need to take the time to get to know your prospects, tweak and test, and find out what works best for your business.