Restrictions and lockdowns have caused millions of businesses around Australia to shift to an eCommerce model. For the owners of traditional shopfronts, making the transition has been a steep learning curve. They’ve soon discovered there is more to navigating this new normal than simply setting up a website.
Small businesses who are going online for the first time during the pandemic may be forgiven for thinking all they need to do is set up their products on online and the sales will roll in. The reality is, the internet is a crowded space. To be a success you need to leverage all your communication channels and make it simple for your customers to connect with you.
One surprising ingredient in eCommerce success is a business phone number.
A phone line makes it easy for customers to connect
With many physical premises closed and 1000s of businesses ceasing operation entirely due to the impacts of COVID-19, it can be increasingly difficult for consumers to know if a store is open. If your business is listed on Google Maps or you run Google Search ads, it’s likely customers may call directly from their search results and skip visiting your website entirely. The best news of all is these shoppers are primed to buy.
Research by Google found 61 per cent of customers will call a business when they are ready to make a purchase. While seven in ten will use click to call when searching for a business offering online. While over half (52 per cent) said they will call a business when researching a product or service. Why, because local shoppers typically want to purchase from local shops and businesses in their area.
A phone line shows you can be trusted
Showing a phone number is a powerful trust signal. Customers will often look at your phone number and try to determine where you’re located. At a time when consumers are actively looking to support Australian businesses, having a local phone line shows your potential customers you can be easily contacted should the sales process go awry.
For example, having a phone number for China might turn some potential customers away. Google’s recent research on Click to Call also discovered almost half of the respondents surveyed (47 per cent) would ditch a business and look to a competitor if there was no phone number associated with the business in search results.
If you run a business being readily contactable is not just a nice-to-have but a must-have.
A phone call can provide the most accurate information
In these uncertain times, where opening hours vary, and websites aren’t always up-to-date, a phone call is often the fastest and simplest way to get information. Having a phone number makes it easy for customers to reach you.
A Consumer Reports‘ study found 75 per cent of customers get irritated if they can’t contact a business on the phone. So, having your business line accessible via your mobile seems like a no-brainer and a win-win for both the business and consumer.
If you’re moving online, you should consider moving your business number to the cloud. With a cloud-based phone service, such as CloudLine, your number will work anywhere. No landline required. You can even have calls ring on your mobile.
Now read this