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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 07, 2011

Survey: Area codes as important as zip codes for SMBs

In the 1980s and 1990s, businesses may have paid a premium for a physical or boxed address in certain areas of New York and California, today's businesses are looking for a more trendy area code. For a better business image, these businesses are looking to their phone numbers to impress potential clients and customers, because addresses - whether physical or just a PO Box - just aren't making the cut.

by Kristina Knight

The trendy zip code may have lost it's luster according to a recent survey of businesses. These businesses said having the right area code or 800 number prefix was more important than their actual address.

"Some things never change, like the importance of a first impression," said Mike Pugh, Vice President, Marketing of j2 Global Communications, Inc. "What's interesting about the survey findings is that it's an area code, not a physical address that now seems to have the most positive impact. eVoice enables a small business to be connected to the community - via a local area code - even though the business may be in another city or state. And for businesses that want to present a broader national image, eVoice offers toll-free numbers."

According to the survey:

  • 68% of respondents believe a specific area code gives them a competitive edge
  • 71% say their area code is more important than zip code
  • 70% use mobiles as their primary business phones
  • Most believe a 'recognizable' area code gives their business more 'legitimacy'
  • 8% of small businesses said trendy physical addresses were important
  • How are businesses getting the right area code? Through phone answering systems and routers, primarily. With many phone service providers, these numbers also come with unlimited extensions and conference calling options as well as texting and routing options.

    Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce trends, eVoice, J2 Global Communications, small business trends

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