Bing’s ‘no cashback’ letter to merchants

June 6, 2010

As reported earlier, Bing is canceling the cashback program.  They sent the following note to merchants.  A couple of interesting tidbits:

  • There were 1200 merchants in the program.
  • There are hints to a redesign for Bing shopping coming soon
  • There is a hint to a late 2010 program that will allow retailers to expand products (we are hearing it will be a Google shopping-like, no cpc/free program.
  • Bing/Microsoft remain committed to being the destination for commerce-related searches

 

Microsoft Advertising
Dear Merchant,

We are writing to let you know that Microsoft has decided to discontinue the Bing cashback program. After 9:00 P.M. PST on July 30, 2010, we will no longer offer this program on the Bing search results or Bing Shopping pages. This will also be the last day consumers will be able to buy through the Bing cashback program.

What this means for you
As we continue to evolve both the consumer and advertiser experiences for Bing, we will pursue different avenues in order to offer great shopping experiences to consumers and great advertising experiences for our advertisers. We’ve prepared some frequently asked questions about the program closure. Please keep these key points in mind in the coming months:

  • This is a great time to spend your cashback budget to drive mid-summer sales. You can increase sales payout rates to the maximum outlined in your merchant agreement to help use up the funds in your piggybank before July 30, 2010. Microsoft will continue to contribute to your piggybank until that date.
  • After July 30, Bing Shopping will continue to operate as it does today, but without the presence of cashback. We’re continually improving the Bing Shopping experience to help shoppers discover products, compare offers, and buy seamlessly online. In addition to current features like consumer reviews and ratings and Visual Search, we’ll also offer a more streamlined Bing Shopping experience and better shopping integration with Bing.com.
  • We are developing a new shopping program that will offer greater flexibility than you experienced with cashback. You’ll be able to provide a broader set of products in Bing Shopping searches, with little or no extra work. The program is scheduled to begin later in 2010, and we’ll provide more details soon.

What this means for your customers
Bing cashback consumers can continue to shop and earn cashback through 9:00 P.M. PST on July 30. They can redeem all of their acquired cashback earnings consistent with the cashback terms and conditions, as well as access the Bing cashback customer support system through July 30, 2011—a full 12 months after the program ends. Consumers can learn more about the discontinuation of cashback on the Bing web page.

Thank you
We would like to thank the more than 1200 cashback advertisers who joined us for this two-year journey. With over 82 million Bing searchers,* we are still strongly committed to being the destination for all commerce-related searches. Please stay tuned for more online shopping innovations from Microsoft, and again, check out the frequently asked questions to learn more about these changes.

Sincerely,

Microsoft Advertising Bing cashback Team