We are tring to make a decision on putting a 800 number in our store. We currently take all our orders with a secure form. Does any one know what percent of customers would order by phone that would not use a secure server. David
I've seen the 800 number cause increases in sales on websites due to the security people feel thinking an 800 number means an established company. The sales of the 800 itself though are usually trivial.
>I've seen the 800 number cause increases in sales on websites due to the security people feel
I have a client who saw the same thing last spring. Also, I've read this in several other places. Listing a street address (not a PO Box) where you can receive mail has also had a strong effect for some -- probably the increased feeling of security again.
Second that. We have 800 numbers on many of our sites and we receive a LOT of phone orders. Most of these people say they don't feel comfortable ordering online and they'd rather call and speak with live operators. I don't think this is just due to the security issue. I think people also like knowing that there IS a company behind the site, and that the operation is legitimate. We have not included 800 numbers on some of our sites (don't have sufficient manpower) and the sales are considerably less. In any case, I belive it is a good idea to include an 800 number on the index page if at all possible.
Outsourcing the phone answering can give a professional "front" while the business is relatively small. We have a joint venture partner who offers 24*7 scripted telephone answering (inbound telemarketing.) There are a number of these businesses around, and they often offer rates that are sliding scale, depending on traffic.
This kind of service can be tailor-made to the beginning web enterprise. They are also perfect for the temporary surges in traffic that come from a good PR mention or other similar events.