Microsoft’s Bing search engine is the latest addition to the burgeoning online marketplace landscape where third-party vendors can list, sell and deliver products to customers.
This week, Insider reported that Microsoft has quietly launched a new feature called Buy Direct, with a limited number of merchants in the US, including lesser-known brands like Yamay, Encolax, and Nachen among others. Buy Direct lets people buy products without having to go to another retailer’s website, turning Bing into a marketplace.
According to Insider, Microsoft is targeting $25 million in gross merchandise value by 2023. While the e-commerce site has managed to attract a slew of brands to the country, experts say Bing Shopping will likely struggle to pull significant market share to Google. , as well as Amazon, as it lacks robust search capabilities compared to its competitors.
When contacted by Modern Retail, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on Buy Direct.
“I don’t know if they [Microsoft] can afford to take market share from Google because it was their principle,” said Philip Masiello, founder and chief executive of the e-commerce agency. Crunch Growth. “I don’t think Bing can ever surpass Google’s search capabilities in the mind of the consumer,” Masiello added.
Bing, a search engine created in 2009, has failed to disrupt the internet search market. This market is dominated by Google, with a market share of over 92%, according to Statcounter. Bing is the second competitor after Google but it is far behind with a market share of 3%.
“What a market needs to be successful is liquidity. And liquidity comes from two places – ubiquity or distinction,” said Bryan Gildenberg, senior vice president of commerce at Omnicon Retail Group. ubiquity will be much more difficult for them via Bing than for Google because their market shares are radically different.”
Experts also said the company’s conservative sales target is a sign it’s not looking for instant success.
“Bing is projecting $25 million in sales for this year, which is pretty low for something of this magnitude, compared to Amazon or Google,” Masiello said.
“$25 million is little in the grand scheme of things. More than half of Amazon’s revenue, which amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars, comes from its third-party market. It’s important to remember that,” he added.
Microsoft is following in the footsteps of Google, which is following in the footsteps of Amazon, to gain prominence in online shopping. Google last year updated the look of its product search pages, to make them look more like a digital storefront, as the tech giant hopes to create a third-party marketplace that can rival Amazon. Google has also tried to appeal to more brands and retailers, with a variety of initiatives over the years, such as making its Marketplace free for sellers.
What Microsoft could offer sellers
Even if Buy Direct doesn’t become a huge program, for some sellers, any new tool that could help them gain exposure is a plus.
“I would say, in general, certainly for a seller, better access to consumers, especially when it’s ostensibly lower cost is not a bad thing. Especially when setup is really easy and painless. There’s no reason not to be there,” Gildenberg said.
Insider reported that Microsoft was trying to win over vendors by touting the audience data it has from 830 million users on its professional networking site LinkedIn. But analysts remained skeptical.
“Microsoft’s LinkedIn advertising isn’t really a huge business for consumer products, which is what most shopping platforms sell,” Masiello pointed out.
But other consumer offerings from Microsoft may also interest you. Gildenberg said the Redmond, Wash.-based company could use its gaming expertise to make the e-commerce platform a destination market and, in turn, gain a foothold in that segment. .
In January, Microsoft announced it would buy “Call of Duty” developer Activision Blizzard in an all-cash deal valued at nearly $69 billion. Microsoft will gain popular game titles, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush, from the deal.
“We are investing deeply in world-class content, community and cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to everyone,” said the Chairman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. , in a press release when the deal was announced.
“The other platform that Microsoft obviously has is gaming. Maybe they’re able to bring their little gaming expertise to life in a different way and use that as a destination market for that d ‘a way that helps them gain a foothold in the market and grow from there,” Gildenberg added.
Even though the odds are against Microsoft, another agency chief pointed out that if this new alternative is successful, it will lead to the democratization of this segment.
“Overall, I think it’s a nice surprise — but probably quite a small one,” said Ryan Craver, chief executive of the e-commerce agency. Trade channel. “Bing has always provided our customers with compelling feedback on a much smaller scale than Google or Facebook/Instagram.”
“Anything Microsoft does to evolve the Bing ecosystem and ease our dependence as marketers on Google is a push from me,” Craver added.