Marchex: Click-to-Call Commerce Influences $1 Trillion in U.S. Spending

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Marchex released a new report today that pegs the overall impact on U.S. consumer spending from click-to-call to be $1 trillion. Known as 2015 Click-To-Call Commerce Mobile Performance Report, it analyzes data from 24 million phone calls to uncover some novel findings.

Though there are lots of granular data about call behavior and corresponding marketing implications, the $1 trillion figure is perhaps the most significant. It could have a huge impact on the click-to-call sector’s true valuation… and it’s accelerated adoption by marketers.

In the interest of brevity, I’ll drill down today on that $1 trillion figure and circle back later to the report’s many other findings.  To some, the figure — as should be the case with any market sizing that begins with a T — is a staggering amount.

But it holds up to scrutiny once you do the math. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve already vetted this figure at the request of the folks at Marchex, who were also nice enough to include me in the report in a few places.  Here’s my rough analysis in vetting the figure.

— U.S. retail spending is $3.7 trillion according to Deloitte. Adding consumer spending on services (professional services, home services, etc.), total consumer spending is more like $7 trillion.

— 93 percent of retail happens offline, and nearly 100 percent of services happen offline, making the average about 96 percent.

— Our research indicates that about 25 percent of offline commerce is influenced by phone calls.

— Our research indicates that about 60 percent of those calls are happening on mobile devices where the call is launched directly from a click to call button.

— Bringing that all together, the equation looks like this: ($7T *.96)*(.25*.60) = $1.008 Trillion

Coming at it from a different angle for the sake of validation:

— We’ve forecast calls to businesses from mobile click-to-call to be 93 billion annually.

— Our research indicates that the average conversion rate from these calls (where an offline sale results) is 12 percent.

— Our research indicates that the average “basket size” of these conversions is around $100.

— Bringing that all together, the equation looks like this: 93B*.12*100 = $1.116 Trillion

The rest of the report is worth reading, including lots of drill down into things like call behavior in different verticals. One key finding is that click-to-call from mobile ads have 4x likelihood of conversion when compared to online ad engagements.

Particulars aside, the impact of click-to-call commerce is huge, and isn’t proportionate to the attention and investment it gets from local advertisers. We believe this will change as the world catches on, and as call volume continues to rise with the growth of mobile itself.

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We’ll be doing a lot around this topic to continue the momentum of recent coverage and events. The next big project will be the annual installment of our seminal call monetization white paper. Research has already begun and the report will be ready in early Q4.

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