Calls in Online Marketplaces

Iwen Kuhn
Mar 26, 2020 1:56:14 PM

Online marketplaces host the transaction and help sellers convert leads into sales. If we are talking about a higher priced product like a home, a car or a relocation service, the buyer often calls the seller. 

Around 65% of Fortune 500 companies report that phone calls are their highest quality lead source, in fact calls from mobile to business are growing ever since. 

So let’s talk about how the business works: The more and the easier the seller sells his offer, the more likely he is to remain a paying customer. Since most portals are not involved in the transaction itself, they need to prove their value in showing them as many leads they have generated for the seller as possible. The first thing portals did is tracking clicks on ads, which gives a basic understanding on how many people have seen the offer. The next steps were always measuring the contact forms, which are the way to go if one wants to contact the seller. 

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But what about calls?

Calls are not the prefered way to connect with sellers and prospects from the perspective of  platforms. They are offline - not “digital”, it’s impossible to brand this interaction and you don’t own the conversation anymore. That’s why some of them try to ban phone numbers or they hide them behind buttons to at least track the interest of a call. Most of the big platforms use another solution which is called “Call Tracking”. It allows the portal to treat calls like easy to manage online contact point.

Why is this important?

  • By promoting transparency and branding to get a higher trust level and a lower churn rate from sellers
  • Security improvements by providing sellers, particularly private sellers, anonymized phone numbers
  • Data capabilities are enhanced and online marketplaces understand what is happening on their own portal rather than having a vague idea of what is happening online overall.
  • Provides additional value by improving lead management, call messaging and CRM integration
  • Gives vital information on who is and isn’t answering phone calls
  • Retains more leads by offering time-based routing, for instance during lunch breaks, calls are forwarded to another number/ a voicemail/a servicer centre. In this scenario online marketplaces can sell lead nurturing services


Online marketplaces benefit from using call tracking systems to understand the best way to engage with customers and provide a transparent service customers trust and increase sales conversions.

How do call tracking systems work?

Call tracking systems show a summary of all calls, their duration, when they are placed, their origin and geographical distribution, including the number of calls to each location and if any were missed. This gives online marketplaces an opportunity to provide buyers and sellers with valuable data on where customers come from, how they reach you and when phones need to be covered. Buyers benefit from being presented with a seller that is a trusted source hosted on a transparent and secure marketplace.

How do they solve problems?

Call tracking software solves the problem of missed calls by automatically forwarding calls to a choice of options; voicemail, another number, a call centre or an automated announcement. This is followed by an email with lead details to be followed up. 

By integrating call tracking systems, online marketplaces can personalise the customer’s journey to your products.

The customer experience which usually starts through Google is transformed by introducing trust and transparency. The customer gets a phone number for a business from a marketplace and makes their first contact. If the call is not answered the call tracking system captures the caller data showing how they found the product.

Vital customer information provided by online marketplaces means the customer can be called back in an informed way. Online marketplaces can brand the initial contact so the customer, rather than receiving an anonymous call, sees it comes from a trusted source with a good reputation for connecting customers with buyers. The seller can also review the lead.

How do they increase trust, transparency and security?

Online marketplaces that use call tracking software receive accurate data about customers that allows tailored customer responses which enhances the customer experience, increases responses and promotes trust and transparency. 

It increases security for buyers and sellers who know their details and the transaction itself take place within a technically secure environment.

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What benefits do call tracking systems bring to online marketplaces?

By linking the offline call to an online process, online marketplaces brand each customer touch point, building confidence, trust and security.

Car dealers or real estate agents using online marketplaces receive each lead in a transparent way so they understand what they are paying you for. They can see how marketplaces convert more leads for them, where leads come from and why some leads don’t close. It’s easier to track which sales staff are most successful and help those who are struggling. In short words, online marketplaces can prove how valuable the use of their services is.

How do they achieve this?

Call tracking systems bring transparent reporting capability, customer brand integration, help manage leads and scale up sales. 

Advanced call tracking packages utilise Big Data for more relevant, targeted information about customers that transact through online marketplaces. They can track based on every level of listing or by individual dealers.

How do they help buyers, sellers and marketplaces?

Using a call tracking system helps all three parties. If the initial call gets through, the seller gets a lead from a marketplace and the buyer’s phone number is placed within their CRM. If the call is missed, the caller’s data is transferred as a lead into the sellers CRM.

By using call tracking, buyers and sellers connect through other options set up to deal with a missed call and the risk of losing the sale is reduced.

Which new products are impacting the market?

Call tracking systems are evolving. Initiatives like whisper sound enable portals to place their brand name within an audio message to a customer/realtor receiving a call. Private numbers for businesses give consistent branding, effective call screening and incoming call notifications, a professional voicemail service and can extend business hours and offer a range of call forwarding options.

Call messaging products enhance organic and paid search and letting customers click when they are ready to buy improves their experience. Tracking the lead improves understanding of the intent behind the customer’s behaviour.

Overall, call tracking systems help online marketplaces connect buyers and sellers by converting more leads, building better customer relationships and, ultimately, by increasing revenue and sales.

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