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Asking for Phone number on Checkout lowers conversion rate?

For real or just another urban legend?

     
4:17 pm on Jan 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We finished converting one of our stores over to Shopify, and one of the first things we noticed, was that some customers were not entering their phone numbers. Behold, the default value for this was optional.

Shopify actually claimed, that asking for phone numbers actually lowers conversion rates. WTF?

Yes, if you are just doing lead generation forms, this is true, but for a shopping cart, are they crazy.

So your customer is going to trust you with their credit card number, but they don't want to enter a phone number; so illogical.

I can't remember anytime, that I ordered anything that didn't require a phone number. With the number of mistyped email addresses, a phone number is critical.

Has anybody ever seen a study to this effect, or had experience with this. I highly suspect this is just another urban legend.
6:06 pm on Jan 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I would say the minimum information you ask to your customer the better. But I wouldn't say that a phone number particularly lowers your conversion rates.
10:36 am on Jan 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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>>so illogical.

as a customer, not illogical. I don't think. generally speaking a company would use my card fraudulantly - also although it is a pain, if it is then (in my experience) it is easy enough to get the payments reversed by the cc company.

however i'm not sure i would trust my phone number not to be sold on or used by that company for cold calls.

we have an optional* field for telephone number, i've just checked the last 100 orders and 34 entered their phone number, 66 didn't.

* = actually in some cases like international fedex we require a phone number but we show that very clearly by the telephone field eg: "With International Fedex a Shipping contact phone number is a Fedex requirement" ... i've noticed no drop off because of that.
12:10 pm on Jan 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So your customer is going to trust you with their credit card number, but they don't want to enter a phone number; so illogical.

Card payment are usually processed differently to a phone number, so it's not illogical to me.

however i'm not sure i would trust my phone number not to be sold on or used by that company for cold calls.

I agree, and it's down to the abuse of others that makes me reluctant to enter a phone number.

If the argument for a phone number is clearly explained it gives a different view. For example, "Enter your phone number for text updates about your order. Note, this number will not be used for any other purpose than to communicate about your order." or words to that effect.
5:14 pm on Jan 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Valid Points.

So far with voluntary phone numbers, 66% of Americans and 72% of Canadians are giving their phone numbers, so there is some resistance there.

What is ironic, is with free third parties directories, I'm quite successful in getting the phone number based on the address information, even for cell phones, and on occasion unlisted phone numbers,, so I will keep it voluntary for now.

I will use our logistics department phone number instead of the customer contact number when it's blank. It's rare for FedEx to call anyways.
4:00 am on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In addition to everything I do, I have a small e-commerce site which does have a field for a phone number on checkout. In 19 years, I do not recall anyone not filling it in. I think the phone number being provided comes down to trust, possibly the size of the company, and a transparent privacy policy that clearly states "your phone number is for contact purposes only and will not be shared with anyone..." I actually have more problems with people making an error entry on their email. I have not gotten many, but that is more a pain than not having a phone number.
6:54 am on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The telephone is a personal experience. You are showing someone what you sound like, how you speak. It is spontaneous dialogue that you can't hide from.

Email is somewhat impersonal and we never had much to say about it, so we accept it. As said above, Credit Cards have safety mechanisms built in.

I have received many email inquiries about services I offer locally. When I suggest we discuss it over the telephone, a significant percentage do not follow through.
 

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