Microsoft Gives Up On Bing Cashback

Program's end arranged

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Bribery, while useful, isn’t always an effective means of obtaining a large user base, Microsoft has discovered.  Microsoft announced today that it will retire the Bing cashback program because not enough people stuck around after taking advantage of it.

The program did work in some respects, helping Microsoft establish relationships with a lot of different businesses.  A post on the Bing Search Blog even stated, "[W]e had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns . . ."

Yusuf Mehdi, Senior Vice President of the Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft, admitted, though, "But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for."

So the last day individuals will be able to earn cashback by shopping with Bing will be July 30th (at 9:00 PM PST, to be exact).  Then users will have one year to claim their cashback sums before the whole program is terminated.

Bargain hunters can’t be expected to take this news well.  Still, Microsoft fans have reason to be pleased since Mehdi said the company will start to channel its energy (and money) into different and more effective approaches to attracting and retaining users.

Microsoft Gives Up On Bing Cashback
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  • http://www.lexolution.in/blog Maneet

    This is indeed bad news for shoppers! The Cash back feature was a great feather on Bing’s cap.. something that scored it over Google!

  • http://www.pickmygift.com Guest

    The cash back feature was good for consumers (or so they believe) – it only means the price of the item they were purchasing was ‘raised’ to cover the costs the merchants had to pay for participating in the cash-back program. Very similar to marking up a product so the consumer can buy one-get one free or half off. Perhaps the consumer likes it that way.

  • http://www.rentals365.com/blog/ Rob

    Well, there you go – another internet (microsoft) flop.

    I must admit though, this is the first time I have heard about the Bing cashback program, but as I don’t use any microsoft websites, it’s to be expected.

    Perhaps the only way that Microsoft can win users away from Google, is to go over to Google and entice them away. This reminds me of a summer job I had in my youth. I was working as a PR guy for a night club in Majorca, the season was coming to and end and punters were thin on the ground. I had a seemingly great idea to go into the night club of our main opposition, and give out my tickets right there. This was going great until my respective counterparts recognised me, and gave me short shrift. I soon got going, but did manage to take a few punters with me.

    Now, if Microsoft (bing) could somehow sneek into Google, and grab a few punters before getting caught…

  • http://briarpatchgiftshop.com Joe

    At the consumer side of this Bing missed on this one, consumers are lokking for one thing “the lowest price” for the item they are looking for. As a retailer I did not join this program for the same reason mentioned in other post, we would of had to raise our prices to be involved in this program, the same reason we do not do pay per click. Consumers are very smart when it comes to shopping they want the lowest price. I hope someday all the search engines will get back to the purpose of internet sales and that is to provide consumers goods with the lowest possible price. I just ordered parts for a vehicle, not long ago I would have found the lowest priced items on the first page, now I had to dig thru five pages to find the lowest price. My point is consumers are smart they see thru all these programs and dig for the lowest price.

  • Guest

    I really love it when people comment and they know nothing about what they are talking about. Sure in general this is how it works but not always. Having used FatWallet and Bing cashback extensively over the last year and a half I have to say that is not the case. All you have to do is shop a little and you will find the best deal. Even though TD offers 12% cash back, a lot of their prices are inline with NewEgg and other online stores.

    • http://kapcom.us/ David

      I love it when people reply when they know nothing about the subject but have to contradict someone.

      The prices were jacked up to make it look like a cash back, Microsoft themselves admitted this. This wasn’t a secret.

  • http://www.thecollectorshub.com Collectible Figurines

    We tried the cash back feature but it was complex and hard to implement. We would have had to increase our costs and discontinue our free shipping in order to break even on the discounted sales from Bing. That wasn’t something we were willing to do.

  • http://www.merlinsltd.com Guest

    I really had an idea this would take place! A great shame.

  • http://www.signature.eu.com Steve @ web design Kent

    This just goes to prove, you can’t compete on price alone. The key to business success is to build a better product. Gimmicks will get you noticed, but you can’t buy loyalty without adding value. Enough said!

  • David

    Just because a merchant offers an incentive doesn’t mean he raises his prices on his products to counter balance the incentive. We run close to a dozen incentive programs and we don’t increase the prices of our inventory of 3500 products at any time.

  • Guest

    This is unfortunate. As a cashback advertiser, we simply used the same advertising budget but with Bing we were able to share that money with our customers. If anything, it allowed us to lower our prices even further because we knew to the penny what each order was going to cost us in advertising funds. With our other forms of advertising, our costs can vary wildly, so our pricing has to have enough buffer to compensate for that. Hopefully, the founders of this advertising platform (Jellyfish) will bring it back from the grave.

  • http://www.godesi.com/coupons/ GoDesi.com

    Guys with options like cashback, you spend and then save.. Or money goes before it comes in your pkt.
    Its a wrong idea to begin with..
    Consumer who is looking to make money has to look at broader areas and work to create pipes so money comes to them, month after month, year after year..
    Its not a bad idea to think and appreciate concept like amway which trians brain to learn crating pipe for life then taking bucket every day to job and getting some water or going for cash back option where you spend and then get money..
    To save…you can save http://www.godesi.com/coupons/ here as well

  • http://www.publishingmediaprofessionals.com Media Publishing

    What a pity that this is being discontinued. It was a good service to those who liked bargain hunting, and quite fitting considering the global economic climate.

    Hopefully, MS will come back with something better in the future.


  • http://www.kitchenco.net Jay

    I hope they find a middle ground between free ( find and Google Merchant) and Paid (Price Grabber, bizrate and Shopzilla etc… )
    I never even tried cash-back it was not a good fit for our company.

  • Guest

    Sad when a massive corporation like Microsoft perceives that just because the “audience eats cake”, Microsoft have to bake cakes too.
    Over-commercialisation at it’s finest.
    It’s a case of greed, and self-inflated ego.

    Bing sounded ridiculous from the start.
    Like it or not, GOOGLE is no#1.

    Try reinventing the wheel…
    After you ask the audience if they don’t want to eat cake any more.

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