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Have you thought about using a PO Box? This would also serve the dual function of letting them know this address is not your physical location (answering your original question).
PO Box fine for me, but if you think your customers would see "PO Box" and not be comfortable, there are also services that can give you a real street address and forward your mail to your home address, although this is a more costly option.
I like the warehouse idea too, but I also like keeping the address on the banner for reassurance purposes. If I use "by appointment only," I know I will get people calling and asking for an appointment. So I thought about leaving the address up but at the bottom of the banner in smaller type, like this: "Mailorders: 123 Main St., Anytown, USA." Also, inside my logo, where presently I have a remark about supplying widgets since 2000, I have put "Exclusively Online Since 2000". What do you think?
like this: "Mailorders: 123 Main St., Anytown, USA." Also, inside my logo, where presently I have a remark about supplying widgets since 2000, I have put "Exclusively Online Since 2000". What do you think?
I think "Exclusively Online..." won't mean anything to them at all. If anything, they'll think it's a marketing line, but will overlook your intent for the word "exclusively". If you're having more drop-by than normal for ecom, your customer-base may have a nitch behavior that many other store owners do not have. You mentioned a town of 9000 and that may be the nitch environment... small town. The feeling of small-town comfort may be translating into just dropping by.
Listing the address for Mailorders may still be undefined to shoppers, but I like that one better than the "Exclusively..." one.
Order processing center (no storefront/showroom): 123 Main St., Anytown, USA
I have people who drive literally hours to come here. This three-hour guy is just the farthest anyone has driven. Part of the niche is actually handling the widgets before you buy them, but also there is no other like widget supplier within 3-4 hours of here (for that matter, there is only one in the entire city of the NY--the others have gone out of business). Locals are always asking me why I do not start a b&m shop. Thing is, a friend of mine had a widget shop one hour away. He had a vast amount of inventory compared to me yet still found that he did not make enough to keep it going. He didn't want to work there himself, though. After a year (I would have given it longer), he closed it and is online only. I have thought about going b&m because then I could have classes there, which would be another income stream, and because I am pretty sociable, but I don't think it would be a good business decision for me.
How did you handle the person who dropped in?
Inviting people into your warehouse could be an issue due to liability. But in these cases it may be easier to just give them what they want and send them on their way. They already there at that point so not much more to do.
I don't have a warehouse. I have a tiny Monopoly house which is half my workspace and half my living space. There is no way I want to have people here. If I did a b&m, it would be in a rented space downtown, such as it is.
Another company that has long been mailorder only has "We are not set up for visitors," which I always thought was pretty nice, but it is too long to put on the banner.
There are no facilities for customers personal collections at these addresses. Please do not attempt to collect an order. There is no shop front or customer service facility available at the warehouse in #*$!X or the addresses shown
To date we have had one person who turned up and our manager redirected him to the warehouse.
<clarify> we show two addresses, one for accounts ( me :( ) and one for sales ( the managers home address </clarify>