This is an interesting take about online2offline business which is suppose to be a Trillion Dollar opportunity. What are you thoughts?
Editor's note: With the growth of local commerce on the Web, the links between online and physical commerce are becoming stronger. In this guest post, Alex Rampell, the CEO and founder of TrialPay, explores the forces behind what he calls “online2offline” commerce.
Groupon's growth has been nothing short of extraordinary, but it's merely a small subset of an even larger category which I'd like to call online-to-offline commerce, or On2Off (O2O) commerce, in the vein of other commerce terms like B2C, B2B, and C2C.
Bear with me. The key to O2O is that it finds consumers online and brings them into real-world stores. It is a combination of payment model and foot traffic generator for merchants (as well as a “discovery” mechanism for consumers) that creates offline purchases. It is inherently measurable, since every transaction (or reservation, for things like OpenTable) happens online. This is distinctively different from the directory model (think: Yelp, CitySearch, etc) in that the addition of payment helps quantify performance and close the loop—more on that later.