Why Do Stores Ask For Your Phone Number?

Why Stores Ask For Your Phone Number (And What To Do About It)

Stores ask for your phone number because they know customers are overwhelmed with emails (and probably aren’t opening their promotional blasts), but texting is still an immediate way to get someone’s attention. They want to be about to text us about sales, send discount codes, update us on shipped orders, and keep track of our purchase history.

And it’s happened to us all. You’re at the checkout counter, mindlessly toying with the earring rack while the retail worker scans your items and places them in the bag.

They ask for a loyalty card. (Nah, you don’t carry a wallet these days.)

They ask for an email. (Hard pass, you can barely bring yourself to read work emails.)

And finally, they ask for your phone number

Your first instinct is to say “No, thank you.” I mean, you don’t want robocalls or spam texts, right? Sensing your hesitation, the employee counters with an enticing offer that has you on the hook. 

Fortunately, you have a Hushed online number, which means you can give them a phone number without giving away your real phone number — keeping your regular line private between you and your preferred contacts.

Here are 5 reasons that answer the question “Why do stores ask for your phone number, anyway?” plus why you might want to say “Yes” (with a Hushed number). 

Why do Stores Ask for Your Phone Number?

1. Loyalty Programs

Whether it’s points or virtual stamps, it’s common for companies to offer a reward for potential repeat customers to help ensure their return.

2. Marketing or Promotions

Semi-annual sales or seasonal clearances can be a great time to purchase items at a deep discount. Texting these promotions is how retail can get the word out directly.

3. Order Updates

Tracking a package? Sometimes companies provide shipping updates via phone, saving you the hassle of having to search your tracking number on Canada Post or other shipping service websites.  

4. Customer Service

Businesses can only improve by listening to feedback — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Complaints and compliments are easier to follow-up on with a direct line.

5. Consumer Research

Sometimes it’s as simple as replying Y/N to a question. Other times, there is the need for more fulsome surveys to get the important information regarding customer demographics like income, location, industry, and more. 

When to Say “Yes” When a Store Asks for Your Phone Number

Our personal data is the most valuable thing we own and, while it behoves us to protect it, sometimes the metaphorical carrot dangling in front of us is just too tempting to resist. There are times when it’s actually beneficial to hand over a phone number.

1. You’ll get a discount.

Who doesn’t like to save money? Depending on the amount you’re spending, a 15% discount (or more, when you’re lucky) can be an enticing offer. Using a Hushed online number can mean cash in your pocket when making that big purchase.

2. You might win something.

You don’t have to be a gambler to give in to the lure of a prize draw. Even if the odds are not in your favour, a Hushed online number means its low stakes to say yes to a chance at that iPad or vacation when a store asks for your phone number. 

3. You’re ordering something online.

We can all agree that the best part of online shopping is receiving a package in the mail. Keeping track of orders and shipping can be a helpful (and fun!) way to stay organized with purchases and be ready to receive them upon delivery.

Hand Over Your Hushed Number

While it’s not a good idea to give your real phone number to any store employee who asks for it, you don’t have to worry when you give someone your Hushed number. It’s safe and untraceable, and you can replace it anytime.

So the next time you’re shopping, instead of wondering ‘Why do stores ask for your phone number, anyhow?’ just give them your Hushed number to snag that incentive without a second thought.