Bring In The Bling Via Bing Cashback
Moderator: Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster
Meagan Rochelle, Search Solutions Specialist, Microsoft
Nicholas Ward, Product Manager, Range Online Media
How many people are using Bing Cashback, Matt asks? About a quarter of the audience raises their hand. The rest are interested to find out how it might work for them. Matt is excited for Bing Cashback. The program gets to the heart of Bing’s problem. Bing is a good decision-making search engine, and the program gets people to at least try another engine. Empowered shoppers and advertisers are showing that Cashback is a great opportunity.
At yesterday’s keynote by Steve Ballmer, he said that he thinks Microsoft will continue to invest in the Bing Cashback program. So what’s the general feeling about it?
Analysis of Bing-related tweets shows about 40 percent positive and 60 percent negative.
In Bing forums, the comments are almost all neutral. Typically, the authors were playing it safe with their comments and are actually ambivalent. Though, these forum members are there because they believe their feedback will be taken by Microsoft. As far as Bing reps, a little more than half the sentiment is positive and the rest is negative. The reps are positive in their communications but they’re uncertain about the still-new product.
Meagan is now on the podium. She’s on the Cashback team. She’s going to talk high-level about why Microsoft is investing in shopping and Cashback. She’ll also go into detail about how this audience can use Cashback.
When Bing launched they wanted to focus on four core verticals, with one being shopping. They’ve tried to provide tools and resources to help shoppers find and purchase a product they want.
State of the Retail Economy
Consumers ranked what they use to help them shop:
- Search Engines
- Coupon Sites
- Comparison Sites
Shoppers employ numerous online resources. Retail e-mails and coupon sites are widely used by online shoppers. Social media, consumer reviews, blogs and discussion boards resonate with shoppers. Shoppers are doing a lot of research to get the best deal.
Bing Shopping Experience
The shopping vertical is meant to be research heavy and offers education around Cashback. When a product search is performed, they’ve laid it out to help refine search, given the option to look only at Cashback products, or browse related categories. On an individual product page there are reviews, price comparisons and details on the product.
Two Cashback Models
Bing Cashback Search:
- Advertisers participate in paid search ads (CPC) through adCenter
- Customers perform a product search on Bing, click the ad and are brought to the advertiser’s site
Bing Cashback Shopping:
- Advertisers participate in a comparison shopping (CPA)
- Customers search for a product in shopping Vertical Search and select to go to the advertiser’s site
The rest of the presentation will focus on the latter.
From the consumer side, the flow is cashback.com > compare prices > advertiser site
- Search for specific items
- Browse featured products and stores
- Highest ranked seller has the lowest total price
- Wait 60 days
- Receive money
From the advertiser side, the opportunities include:
- Cashback Search and search ads
- Cashback shopping CPA data feed
- Shopping CPC data feed
- Over 44 million offers in the product catalog
- Over 1200 active merchants
- Over $100 million of earned rewards
Seasonal promotional offers are another opportunity for participating merchants. They’re really working to market the program to the consumer. Bing Cashback users are heavy shoppers. Cashback users and Bing shopping users are heavy shoppers, averaging more shopping visits per month than a typical shopper.
Bing leads in driving conversions across categories
Bing users are equally or more likely to convert than other searchers
Bing users are significantly more likely to make an apparel, electronic and home décor purchase compared to Google and Yahoo users.
The higher the rebate offered, the higher the average order size.
Best Practices for Cashback Optimizations
- Use highest Rebate percentage your margin will allow for competitive net price to consumer
- Review the performance of your offers periodically and remove from your feed offers that do not perform up to your expectations
- Utilize information about Bing Cashback in your offline promotions
- Capitalize on Bing Cashback marketing promotions.
- Benefits of Cashback shopping CPA data feed
- Only pay for actual sales
- Shares back 100 percent of the advertising spend with the consumer
- Zero click fraud concerns
- No complicated web analytics necessary
- Sell all of your products at the ROI you set in the merchant center
- Set up merchant account/billing
- Implement order tracking via pixel/batch
- Upload product catalog (datafeed)
- Allocate resources for ongoing program management
Nicholas is up next to talk about Cashback from the advertiser’s side. Cashack traffic grew almost 500 percent YoY for his clients. It’s great because it’s a flat CPA and they know what to expect. Cashback has been a success for his early adopting clients.
- Stable traffic with consistent growth
- Predictable return
- The ability to scale Cashback percent
The two entry barriers:
Barrier 1: Is Cashback right for our brand?
- Many brands are already here
- Better integration = higher importance
- Program differences drive flexibility
If you move forward, plan to:
- Answer your users
- Monitor religiously, especially social
- Invest in proper integration
- Regularly audit results
Barrier 2: The documentation is a little (too) complicated
- 35: the number of pages of the implementation doc
- 5: the number of pages it should be
- 2: out of 5, the average difficulty of implementation