Required phone fields cause abandonments

There are numerous legitimate reasons to request a customer’s phone number. You may want to be able to contact them in case of issues with their delivery or you may need it to validate their credit card information. However, customers will be reluctant to provide their phone numbers if you fail to explain why you need their phone numbers.

Required but unexplained phone fields were observed to be a direct cause of abandonments for the subgroup of users who are suspicious of a site’s motives. – Baymard

Yet 58% of brands don’t bother providing an explanation. Below is a poll done by Baymard on 2800 shoppers:

Shoppers will often pause when you request their phone numbers. Communication between the customer and the store usually takes place through email so asking for a phone number leads to them questioning your motives. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, they will jump to their own conclusions and they tend to assume the worst more often than not.

The most privacy-conscious shoppers will abandon your store immediately. Another subset of shoppers might fill in fake numbers to satisfy the technical requirement without risking their own privacy. This action can cause huge problems down the line in the event the number is actually required for a legitimate reason. Contacting a customer who filled in their number as (123) 456-7890 in the event of delivery trouble will obviously be impossible.


Do you need their number?


Three solutions

Baymard suggests 3 options to alleviate user concerns about giving away their phone number:

  1. Short inline description
  2. Tooltip
  3. Make the phone number requirement optional