BIA/Kelsey Bytes: Dialing in to the ‘O2O’ Funnel

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BIA/Kelsey Bytes are excerpts from research reports. This is the latest installment from the recently launched report, Call Commerce: A $1 Trillion Economic Engine. It picks up where last week’s post left off.

The report can be downloaded for free here.

Beyond e-Commerce

Despite ample coverage in mainstream and tech press, e-commerce only accounts for seven percent of U.S. retail spending. The rest — about $3.7 trillion per year — happens offline in physical stores. If you add local services, total offline consumer spending is about $7 trillion per year.

This isn’t meant to diminish the impact of online and mobile consumer engagement. Though all these transactions are consummated in bricks-and-mortar venues, they are increasingly driven and influenced through digital means, such as search or local discovery apps like YP and Yelp.

The path to purchase — where attention, presence and marketing strategies should focus — resides in this progression from online engagement to offline conversion (O2O). BIA/Kelsey pegs O2O spending at roughly $4 trillion, while the mobile segment of that spend is just over $2 trillion.

Why do we mention this in a report about phone calls? Because calls are an influential occurrence within this consumer O2O sequence. That monetary influence is boosted by calls’ role in big-ticket offline categories like cars, as examined, due to their purchase complexity.

The Trillion-Dollar Question

Bringing the O2O analysis one level deeper, what is click-to-call’s influence on U.S. consumer spending? BIA/Kelsey estimates it to be greater than $1 trillion per year. This is a staggering figure to some, as should any market sizing beginning with a “t.”

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