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Click-to-call comrades

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday August 30, 2006 )

It appears that all both companies will be treading carefully with this new arrangement; click-to-call testing will begin in 2007 in specific countries, run for a few months and evaluated. eBay states that they expect no material impact on their financial results in 2006 or 2007.

The other interesting aspect in the text ad/click-to-call arrangement is that eBay and Yahoo announced an advertising partnership only a few months ago; not sure what the story is with that now.. I must have blinked and missed it :).

And so, The Google Gap widens yet again; accompanied by the sound of much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst its competitors.

Please excuse me while I refill my GoogleMug with Googlecino. Hmm.. I wonder what’s on Googlevision tonight?

Learn more about Click To Call

Learn more about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

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Google Inc. recently announced an exclusive partnership with eBay for the provision of contextual advertising on the auction giant, initially outside the United States. On top of that, a click-to-call advertising feature will be introduced on both eBay and Google, with the service operating via Skype (acquired by eBay in 2005) and Google Talk VoiP applications.

There’s some curious twists to this.

The click to call concept is basically a text/image ad with a button that allows consumers to connect via voice to the merchant. In an overview of click-to-call advertising I published earlier this year, I mentioned that Google has been experimenting with this feature in selected search results since late 2005.

If I’m understanding the press release correctly, if someone doesn’t have Skype or Google Talk, then they won’t be able to connect with an advertiser.

I find this a little puzzling as while Google Talk and Skype have huge coverage, will somebody without these applications go to the trouble of downloading and setting up either of them just to speak to a merchant? Skype is a hefty download, and although Google Talk is fairly lightweight, it seems a little odd that they’d put this block in front of a potential customer of a participating click-to-call merchant.

I’m sure there’s method behind the madness and if anything it will certainly raise awareness of both applications :).

This is a major deal between the companies, the financial terms of which haven’t been made clear except to state that it will be a revenue share arrangement. Skype, an eBay company, will also be offering its users a custom version the Google Toolbar which will include a Skype button.

It appears that all both companies will be treading carefully with this new arrangement; click-to-call testing will begin in 2007 in specific countries, run for a few months and evaluated. eBay states that they expect no material impact on their financial results in 2006 or 2007.

The other interesting aspect in the text ad/click-to-call arrangement is that eBay and Yahoo announced an advertising partnership only a few months ago; not sure what the story is with that now.. I must have blinked and missed it :).

And so, The Google Gap widens yet again; accompanied by the sound of much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst its competitors.

Please excuse me while I refill my GoogleMug with Googlecino. Hmm.. I wonder what’s on Googlevision tonight?

Learn more about Click To Call

Learn more about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)



 

 
3 comments for Click-to-call comrades
  1. While it remains to be seen exactly what kind of offering Google and Ebay will ultimately present to the market, it would be a big mistake to require consumers and merchants to have to download additional software in order to communicate with each other.

    It’s important to have options. Why create barriers between buyer and seller? Sure, some people will be perfectly comfortable using Skype, but everybody has a phone, and in order to make this model work for both the merchant and consumer, you have to allow a PC to Phone and Phone to Phone connection.

    Comment by Dan — August 30, 2006 @ 8:57 am

  2. Dan, thanks for your comments. I see that your company, Estara.com is also involved with the provision of click-to-call services and has some very prestigious clients.

    I notice that your company offers browsing customers a PC-to-phone or Phone-to-phone option on Estara enabled sites to connect to the merchant. Do your stats show that people have a preference for phone-to-phone?

    In regards to the third party software download – is it just a browser plugin or a stand-alone application?

    I believe that when Google was testing click to call late last year, the merchant was never given the customers’ phone number as a privacy measure – Google just connected the two parties. Does Estara provide the merchant with the customer’s phone number?

    I’m very curious about click-to-call as I believe it’s certainly one of the “NBT”‘s in marketing.

    Comment by Michael Bloch — August 31, 2006 @ 2:57 am

  3. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the response. To answer your questions…yes, eStara offers both PC to Phone and Phone to Phone connectivity. Our own usage statistics from a sampling of our global client base shows that, to date, about 10 to 15 percent of users use PC to Phone.

    eStara’s service requires no additional software or hardware installation. On the most basic level, all that is required on the part of the merchant is the inclusion of a few lines of HTML code to their website. With eStara’s service users have the option of either speaking through their PC (requires an ActiveX plugin) or entering in their phone number for a callback from their business (similar to what Google had been testing).

    The amount of information that is passed to the merchant really depends on the implementation. Always, eStara complies with the privacy and security policies of each company. However, information about the customer, such as phone number, shopping cart contents and history can be shared using eStara’s patent-pending cross-channel data passing.

    Comment by Dan — September 6, 2006 @ 9:25 am

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