Bing Cashback offered shoppers cash back rewards when they bought merchandise from some partners and advertisers on Microsoft's search engine. Most of the time these cash-back offers ranged between 2% and 10% of the price of the product. Now, however, Microsoft has decided to retire this feature. According to a post on the Bing blog, Microsoft "did not see the broad adoption that [it] had hoped for."For the last few years,
The cash-back feature will remain in place until the end of July. Users will be able to redeem their cash-back earnings until July 2011.
In lots of ways, this was a great feature - we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for.
Yusuf Mehdi, senior VP, Online Audience Business Group
Bing Shopping, the price comparison section of Bing that featured the cash back rewards, grew rapidly since its launch. With Bing Cashback, Microsoft was able to give users a reason to return to Bing regularly and give monetary rewards to its frequent users. Last year, when Microsoft ran a "Double Cashback" promotion, traffic to Bing Shopping increased 169%between June and July. We don't have any recent data, but in August 2009, Bing Shopping was the fourth most popular price comparison shopping service in the U.S.
As Microsoft's senior VP of the Online Audience Business Group Yusuf Mehdi notes, Microsoft started offering this feature as a way to "help advertisers reach you with compelling offers, and to provide a new type of shopping experience that would changeuser behavior and attract a bunch of new users to Bing." He also points out that Microsoft was able to attract "over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns." Ultimately, though, these numbers did not live up to Microsoft's expectations.