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Report: Click-to-Talk is Risky

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Click-to-talk advertising, which Internet-based companies including Google and eBay are adopting as a customer service, could fail to take off with consumers because of potential technological constraints and concerns about privacy, Pike & Fischer, a telecom market research firm, concludes in a new report.

Click-to-talk (CTT) incorporates Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology into e-Commerce sites and Web portals, providing online shoppers with a way to immediately connect to sales or customer service representatives. Google and eBay, for example, plan to integrate "click-to-call" advertising features that leverage both Skype and Google Talk VoIP services.But consumers' comfort level with such services has yet to be demonstrated, P&F says in the report. In addition to consumer concerns about privacy and preferences for the anonymity of email, a lack of industry support and a common VoIP standard could inhibit customer confidence in CTT technology, the report points out.

"Click-to-talk technology could open up whole new areas of interactive broadband marketing by integrating popular forms of rich media advertising with a voice communications feature," the report states. "Despite this, consumer behavior is one of the most difficult metrics to gauge, and as with many consumer-focused technologies, innovation may quickly become relegated to obscurity should consumers not adopt it in significant numbers."

Pike & Fischer

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