Microsoft Live Search cashback

. November 14, 2008

Microsoft Corp. has 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.

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