This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

E-Commerce Doubles Down on Pay Per Call

Despite the huge growth that Internet search has shown this year, it still remains a cold, impersonal affair. That's why a lot of search-related companies are getting serious about a simple but increasingly accessible technology known as pay per call.

Unlike the pay-per-click model in many Internet searches -- in which an ad's cost is calculated by the number of people who click on it -- pay per call lets shoppers talk to retailers through a voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) program by clicking on a phone icon next to a search result. The retailer pays more for a call than for a click, since the likelihood of a sale is expected to be much higher. After all, any salesperson knows that a human voice capable of answering a question or warming up a consumer's cold feet can increase overall sales.

Nobody imagines that every Internet search is going to wind up in a phone call or that the online transaction that Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) have polished into a relatively painless process will go away. Instead, the promise of pay-per-call ads lies in opening up new areas of online advertising that have yet to reach their potential -- local and small businesses, high-end luxury retailers and service providers such as lawyers, restaurants and home repair businesses.

"Pay-per-call advertising and click-to-call solutions will become critical components of Web-based businesses downstream -- making them must-have offerings for leading Internet players," Marianne Wolk of Susquehanna Financial Group, wrote in a research note. "We believe Yahoo! (YHOO) and Google (GOOG) are positioning themselves to be leaders in pay-per-call advertising as local Internet search becomes more widely spread."

Wolk estimates that free PC-based phone calls combined with pay-per-call applications "should foster a $4 billion to $5 billion market in local and small business advertising over the next several years."

That compares with a market that is currently valued at $100 million, she says. (Susquehanna has no investment banking relationship with companies mentioned in this story.)

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs