One of the great benefits of in-store shopping is the ability to ask staff questions in person as you make up your mind over whether you are going to make a purchase.
For some consumers, that's where online shopping falls short. Despite the continued growth of people buying online, one fact still remains: The human voice is a key part of the transaction.
Interaction with a live person can be a way of reassuring consumers of their intent to purchase. And many studies have shown that this interaction has helped to ease more consumers through the checkout process online.
So, how important is the human voice and a phone call regarding consumers making purchases?
Here are four statistics that answer that very question.
1. Calls convert to revenue 10-15 times more than Web leads
A study by BIA Kelsey confirmed that inbound calls are incredibly valuable; on average, they convert to revenue 10-15 more than Web leads.
The call data was analyzed across dozens of industries revealing that 29% of all inbound phone calls led to a sale, appointment, or reservation.
In comparison, data from Web leads only converted at around 2%. That's only one conversion for every 50 completed forms. Yet, for every 50 phone calls you receive you would be converting 14.5 inquiries with a conversion rate of 29%.
Those statistics tell us that phone calls convert more than 10 times better than inquirers completing forms on websites. That is a staggering difference.
In other words, a user who downloads one of your whitepapers or attends your webinar is a lot less likely to want to buy into your product than someone who makes a phone call to your business.
Phone calls matter more than anything else to most businesses.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in having a phone number to receive inquiries is to have enough salespeople to take those calls.
2. Consumers convert more quickly after a phone call
Call-tracking software company Mediahawk analyzed call data from a group of online retailers to find out how many callers went on to make a purchase after speaking to someone on the phone.
The results found that people who spent longer on the phone produced higher conversion rates and that they also converted much more quickly after the conversation ended.
A consumer often will do research of the product or service online but only go ahead with the transaction once he or she has spoken to a live person to confirm he or she is getting what was looked for.
Consumers feel more confident making the purchase when they can speak to an operator on the phone and even relate to the person on the other end. Human interaction is valued.
But you'll only be able to find out if the conversation influenced a sale if you are using call-tracking software. Call tracking is simple to use and will show you the pages viewed before a prospect picked up the phone, as well as any transactions made once the call ended.
3. Some 70% of consumers said they backed out of a purchase when they were unable to speak to the retailer
Research published by Cloud.IQ revealed that 70% of UK shoppers have abandoned online purchases if they were not able to speak with someone on the phone.
More consumers still value speaking to someone on the phone to verify their facts and check whether their information is correct. Speaking to an operator gives the consumer that peace of mind and confidence that they are getting what it is they want.
The research shows that despite living in an online world, human interaction is still greatly valued by the modern consumer.
4. Some 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results
Google released data that showed 70% of mobile searchers click to call directly from their search results to connect with a business.
It reports that Google ads drive over 40 million calls each month.
Google's data comes from a survey of 3,000 mobile searches. What's more, mobile searches continue to grow year-on-year. It's also worth noting to make your phone number clear to people searching on their mobiles. The presence of a phone number in search results appears to be a strong influence.
Digging further in Google's data revealed that nearly half of those surveyed were both frustrated with brands and more likely to choose another if they lacked an option to call. Some 33% of them are less likely to refer the brand on to others or even use it again in the future due to a lack of a call option.
It is only natural that a mobile searcher wants to make a call—after all, they are searching on a phone. However, mobile searchers cannot be expected to have done a large amount of research on their mobile device, so they may enter towards the beginning of the sales funnel.
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The moral of the story is that if you don't have a phone line, you'll be turning customers away. And if you already have a phone line, make it easy for customers to get in contact with you. The phone is still a vital part for making a sale.