EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2050 - June 03, 2009     1 of 4

Microsoft Live Cashback Becomes Bing Shopping

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Microsoft launched its new search engine last week and revamped its Shopping and Cashback sites, merging them into one. Microsoft calls Bing a "decision" engine rather than search engine to help users "overcome search overload and make faster, more informed decisions when searching online." Bing is focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision (Shopping), planning a trip (Travel), researching a health condition (Health) or finding a local business (Local). The homepage also displays sections for searching images, videos, news and maps.

Like eBay, Bing has a Best Match feature that is designed to make finding relevant information easier. Microsoft said Bing's Best Match results include customer service numbers for retail sites, the ability to track a package right from the search page, and deep links to common pages within the site.

Bing Shopping provides many product search refinement tools and also scans the Web for user and expert reviews, organizes them by product attribute, and then ranks the sentiment in the reviews as either positive or negative.

In Microsoft's FAQs on Bing, the company said the change from Live Search to Bing won't affect the cashback users have already earned. (eBay and PayPal participated in the Cashback program.) "Any cashback you've earned will be rewarded according to the original schedule at the time of purchase. In most cases, this will occur within 60 days. The cashback program will continue to help you save on the products you want most."

Bing Shopping features include the following:

  • Search results with filters. Searching for a specific product or type of product using Bing provides organized product listings that can be sorted by brand, category or price.
  • Comprehensive shopping results. Bing uses a proprietary database of product information and references millions of products in categories such as electronics, clothing, books and toys available from a vast array of retailers. Shoppers are able to compare product prices, reviews and specifications all in one place.
  • Opinion Ranking. Bing consolidates product reviews from across the Web in one place, helping you avoid having to spend time on multiple review sites. Bing provides filters on amateur reviewers as well as expert reviews in case you’re only interested in reviews from expert sources. Bing uses sentiment analysis technology to provide information on whether reviewer comments on a product's most discussed features are positive or negative.
  • Bing cashback. Bing cashback is Microsoft's shopping incentive program that lets you get savings on more than 17 million products from hundreds of participating merchants simply by sorting and clicking on cashback icons in Bing. You can request your cashback from Microsoft about 60 days after completing your purchase (period varies by store). Once you have at least $5 in your cashback account, you can receive cashback via PayPal, direct deposit to your bank account or via check mailed to your home.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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