REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 13, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that since its launch in May, Microsoft Live Search cashback has seen positive traction in all three of the key metrics on which the company said it would report: number of offers in the system, advertiser return on investment (ROI), and percentage of commercial search queries as measured by comScore Inc. The company also announced that 20 of the top 50 online retailers in the U.S. and 140 of Internet Retailer’s Top 500 are now participating in the program, including new advertisers AT&T, Drugstore.com Inc., FTD, Gap Inc. properties (including Banana Republic and Old Navy), Kmart, RedEnvelope and Saks Fifth Avenue.
“We are pleased to report a 30 percent increase in the number of product offers available in Microsoft Live Search cashback, indicative of the strong advertiser interest in the program and early results on its ROI,” said Brad Goldberg, general manager of Microsoft Live Search. “We have seen an average of 4.5 million unique users per month visiting cashback who have conducted more than 68 million commercial queries. We believe this early traction speaks to the differentiated and unique value proposition of Microsoft Live Search cashback for both consumers and advertisers, especially in these tough economic times.”
On advertiser ROI for the program, according to Stephanie Tilenius, general manager of eBay North America, “Combined with eBay’s already great prices — frequently 30 percent below retail on the items people want — the Microsoft Live Search cashback program is bringing home holiday deals for eBay shoppers that can be an incredible 60 percent below retail. Beyond the great deals for buyers, Microsoft Live Search cashback (http://www.live.com) has improved our ROI on paid search by 50 percent, and based upon our shared success, eBay is increasing its search marketing spend with Microsoft Live Search by threefold.”*
Other advertisers are also reporting strong results. Sales at ShoeMall have increased over sixfold since it began participating in Microsoft Live Search cashback, prompting ShoeMall to devote even more marketing dollars to the cashback program for holiday and beyond.
In addition, according to a custom comScore study, in the second quarter of 2008, Microsoft Live Search referred almost 12 percent of total U.S. commercial online transactions and about 13 percent of total U.S. online spending among key retail categories. Microsoft Live Search placed among the top two U.S. engines in five of the 10 key commercial categories for conversion rate, including Computer Hardware, Movies & Videos, Home & Garden, Music, and Travel. Microsoft Live Search also shows a competitive advantage in attracting high-quality and high-spending buyers. Microsoft Live Search ranked as the top engine among the competitive set by a large margin in dollars spent per buyer, across the combined 10 key commercial categories.
Shopping Cart Providers Expand Program’s Reach
Microsoft also announced today that Microsoft Live Search cashback has entered into agreements with shopping cart providers Miva Merchant, Early Impact Inc. (ProductCart) and 3DCart. Under the agreements, retailers using these shopping carts on their sites are now eligible to become a part of the Microsoft Live Search cashback program. Each of the providers has implemented a set of tools to easily enable its retailer partners, mostly small to midsize merchants, to join Microsoft Live Search cashback. The addition of these merchants through the shopping cart providers is projected to greatly expand the set of product offers available to consumers through Microsoft Live Search cashback.
About Microsoft Live Search cashback
With Microsoft Live Search cashback, Microsoft helps merchants maximize their advertising investments and drive more sales by providing consumers with an added incentive to buy — a cash reward. Online advertising spend that participating merchants would otherwise pay to Microsoft is instead passed on to customers who complete sales under the Microsoft Live Search cashback program as cash rewards. A complete list of Microsoft Live Search cashback partners can be found at http://www.live.com/cashback.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
*1) Price comparisons based on the average selling price on eBay for 15 new and in-demand items during a three-month period from August 2008 to October 2008. Average selling price on eBay was compared to the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), and the difference was calculated to show the savings percentage. As this is based on average eBay selling price and suggested retail price, the price difference may vary at any time. Shipping and handling charges are not included in this calculation. No representation is made that any particular item will be available at any particular price. All items are subject to availability.
2) Full terms and conditions are available at http://pages.ebay.com/cashbackoffer/terms.html?_trksid=m38.
3) Price comparisons based on the average selling price on eBay for 15 new and in-demand items during a three-month period from August 2008 to October 2008. Average selling price on eBay was compared to the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), and the difference was calculated to show the savings percentage. Index of 15 items includes select new and in-season accessories, electronics, clothing, home appliances, shoes, sporting goods and video games.
4) Calculated as of Oct. 20, 2008.
5) eBay holiday coupons valid on any auction-style or fixed-price listing when PayPal is used as a payment method. See individual coupon for specific expiration date.
6) To receive more information about these categories, please submit an online request at http://news.ebay.com.
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