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Microsoft Live Search Cashback Paying Up to 62.5% and Why It Could Still Be a Winner
When Microsoft launched their Live Search Cashback option back in May, all of the bloggers and reporters talked about how it was going to really boost Microsoft’s search market share. I took a different view, looking at it from the dealhunters point-of-view. In late June we talked to the deal hunters (me included) and they said that the Live Search Cashback was great, paying up to 35% rewards for shopping on eBay.
Today Techcrunch editor Erick Schonfeld has an article about how Microsoft hasn’t gained any market share with the new Live Search Cashback option and in fact the overall share dropped by a small percentage in July. Erick points to research by comScore and concludes with, "While two months worth of data is far from conclusive, it does suggest that in search you can’t buy market share. You have to earn it."
The issue that so many writers are missing is that this new cashback option will never get users who are looking for information to switch. Why would I switch from Google to Microsoft Live Search Cashback when I am looking for cat photos? Microsoft is sitting on a huge homerun if they could get their ducks in a row about how to market this tool properly.
For example, why would ANYONE not start a purchase on the Microsoft site? If you are buying items online and not getting cashback from Microsoft, Fatwallet or the other cashback services, you are simply throwing money away. Look at these cashback amounts:
- Zappos – 22.5%
- Footlocker – 45%
- Newegg – 3%
In the deal hunter segment, the Microsoft Live Search Cashback is doing well from my perspective. Fatwallet continues to be a discussion place for the cashback search and as of yesterday there are now merchants paying up to 62.5% back.
Will Live Search Cashback take away market share from Google or Yahoo in the informational searches? No. Could it dominate the product search/price comparison category? Yes. Microsoft needs to learn how to market the search as a product and purchase search – and then we will see those charts change direction.