Bing Offers: where the fit in the coupon marketplace
In the competitive online coupon marketplace, Bing is still struggling to find its footing. Recently, Bing overhauled Bing Deals and replaced it with a revised version titled Bing Offers which features local deals, ranging from 20% – 60% off of retail prices, aggregated from a wide list of providers including Yelp, Groupon, Living Social, and others.
While the site is easy to navigate, the page is cluttered and visually overwhelming. Offers cover a wide range of areas including food, health and fitness, beauty, travel, and retail. Each offer allows easy social media sharing and clearly detailed specials. In terms of content presentation, Bing doesn’t exactly impress, but simply seems to underwhelm as yet another coupon offering site.
The only clear advantage Bing is offering is the ability to see coupons from a wide selection of sites without navigating to each one individually. Upon clicking the offer, the user is then redirected to the actual site where the special can be found. For users looking to minimize site hopping, this can be a good solution, but that’s it’s only obvious advantage over the sites themselves.
Can your business benefit?
Groupon, Living Social and Yelp each offer daily deals from local area businesses, generally with significant discounts. Small businesses can benefit from increased awareness of the brand, as well as an inexpensive opportunity for consumers to experience a new service or product. In a highly competitive marketplace, these deals can create a short term spike in customer traffic but businesses need to carefully be prepared for this increase. While offers have limits to the length of time and include minimum requirements, some business owners have reported difficulties as a result of the daily deals programs.
While Groupon boasts of “unbelievable customer service” and “no BS,” Groupon in particular has been the target of several RipOff reports, with claims that the provider is a “bait and switch”, retailers refuse to honor purchased deals, and merchant dissatisfaction with the contracts. Groupon has also had 1,142 Better Business Bureau complaints in the last three years. Living Social has had 1,275 Better Business Bureau complaints in the last three years but both businesses still maintain an A rating.
As the Latin saying goes, Caveat Emptor or “buyer beware.”