|Thu May 13 2010 21:46:04|
eBay Pulls Back on Bing Cashback Program
By: Ina Steiner
eBay has pulled back on its participation in the Bing Cashback program. eBay was shy about getting back to me by deadline, but a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that eBay was not currently available through the program, although it does remains a participant. eBay had used the program to drive shoppers to its site, giving them up to 30 percent cash back on eligible purchases.
The pullback is a serious concern - we've noted the year-over-year decline in traffic to eBay, and sellers have reported a decline in sales.
At one point eBay was paying shoppers to buy on the site through the Cashback program and an aggressive coupon program. However eBay can be fickle with its relationships - it jilted Google for Microsoft - who can forget the spectacular battle over the Boston Tea Party when Google tried to promote its Checkout payment service to eBay merchants.
eBay also reduced its coupon program spend in the fall of 2009 in favor of a marketing campaign that fell flat.
There's no question Bing works - it has a rabid following of shoppers. And according to Mercent's Eric Best, Bing Cashback was one of its merchants' top four drivers of transaction volume this year, helping same-seller sales grow 38% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2010.
Whatever the case, eBay is in dire need of traffic to its site. Nielsen data shows that eBay's traffic for the month of March was at a 6-year low compared to previous March numbers.
eBay received 49.6 million unique visitors in March 2010, down over 18% from 61 million in March 2007, the peak year for March data.
Note: See comments on page 2 from May 18th confirming eBay is again participating in the program.