There is a place and a time for asking for phone numbers. There are valid reasons to (and many sites ask). However, with all the privacy issues and concerns these days, unless mandatory (for reasons other then “I just want it in case”), I recommend leaving the telephone either off the form completely, or at the very least, make it NOT a required field.
Having said that, one draw back of Zen Cart was the inability (in an easy “admin interface”) to turn the phone number on or off, make it required or not. To test the difference in asking for it or not, and analyzing how it affected conversion rates, I determined that it all depends on the type of product you are selling, and to who you are selling it to whether or not you should ask for a telephone number.
As suspected, when the phone number was left out completely, conversion rose. Ok, so let’s cut to it. I created a free zen cart plug-in module that allows you to make the phone number a required field, not required field, or completely remove it from the checkout process — all from within the Administrative backend. This currently only works with 1.3.6 and has not yet been tested on anything higher (or lower).
If you have tested it, I’d like your feedback as to what platform versions it is compatible with in addition to 1.3.6. Post your finding here if you would.
Details of the Zen Cart Module are below:
This module enables you, from within the Admin, to show or hide the Telephone Number from the “sign-up” (Account Creation) form.
It also enables you to make the telephone NOT a required field from within the Admin.
NOTE: This is specific to v1.3.6
Download it here Hide Telephone Number On Sign-up / Checkout