Six months in, Live Search cashback is cashing in

When we launched cashback nearly six months ago, we mentioned that we’re going to use these three criteria to measure the program:

  1. Number of offers in the system
  2. Advertiser ROI
  3. Percentage of commercial searches as measured by ComScore

Well, we’ve been measuring, and today we can report that we’ve increased the number of product offers available in Live Search cashback by 30%, indicating strong advertiser interest in the program and early results on its ROI. Stephanie Tilenius, GM of eBay North America, has told us, “Microsoft Live Search cashback has improved our ROI on paid search by 50%, and based upon our shared success, eBay is increasing its search marketing spend with Microsoft Live Search by threefold.” ShoeMall, a cashback advertiser also mentioned that the cashback program has increased their sales 6x since it began participating, prompting ShoeMall to devote even more marketing dollars to the program. In addition, we’ve seen a monthly average of 4.5 million unique users participating in cashback — they’ve conducted more than 68 million commercial queries.

In these tough economic times this early traction speaks to the differentiated and unique value proposition of Microsoft Live Search cashback for both consumers and advertisers. According to a custom comScore study, in Q2 2008, Microsoft Live Search referred almost 12% of total commercial online transactions and 13% of total online spending among key retail categories.

We’re encouraged by cashback’s first six months, but this is just the beginning — we have more up our sleeves. Keep watching.

Kok Waii Wong, Group Product Manager, Live Search cashback

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