Microsoft Ventures Into Daily Deals With Bing Deals

“Calling all bargain hunters, deal lovers, Groupon groupies and Living Social fanatics! Things just got easier,” reads the blog announcing the launch of Bing Deals. Don’t mistake it to be another Groupon clone. Bing Deals is a deal aggregator and features deal from Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com and other daily deal and group buying websites. Bing has partnered with The Dealmap to bring Bing Deals to its users.

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Andy Chu, Director of Product Management at Bing explains:

Instead of creating our own program, we’ve partnered with The Dealmap, to launch Bing deals. Bing’s mission is to help you cut through the clutter of the Web to make decisions more quickly – whether that’s through our own innovations or by teaming up with industry experts. The Dealmap is a leading source for people to find and share the best local deals, so naturally it made sense for us to team up with them to bring you the best experience.

The only caveat is that, presently, the service is only available in the U.S. Still the news is enticing. Instead of more daily deal providers users need a service which aggregates these deals effectively and allows a user to skim through them. Bing promises to do just that. In India itself, the daily deals/group buying space is crowded with SnapDeal, MyDala, Taggle, Koovs, BuyThePrice, Ebay, Groupon and others. Subscribing to so many services causes the inbox of users to flood with messages. There are many websites which act as deal aggregators, but searching for deals through them is also a pain. A service like Bing’s is necessary.

Bing provides the following services:

  • Bing Deals will be available on both desktop and mobiles
  • Deals will be categorised according to best deals, nearby, local and interests
  • Deals found on phones can be saved, shared or claimed directly
  • Deals found on desktops will be accompanied by reviews, pictures, maps and other info
  • Bing also offers restaurant reservations through OpenTable

Bing is not the first web giant to tread in this new terrain. Yahoo also entered this domain with Local Offers in November 2010. Yahoo had announced that they have partnered with Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt City, BloomSpot, BuyWithMe and others to distribute relevant deals. So, like Bing, Yahoo had joined the space as an aggregator and not a deal provider.

Couple of months back we had also reported about a confidential fact sheet of Google Offers getting leaked. Offers is Google’s version of Groupon and is aimed at helping “potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily e-mail.” Google agreed to having created this product but did not share much info. But, the first to join this space was Facebook with its Deals platform. Facebook Deals allows businesses to setup customised deals which users can come across on Facebook Places and by visiting the Facebook Deals page. Like on Facebook Deals, businesses can also setup customised deals on Google Offers. So, both the platforms offered by Facebook and Google are self-served unlike the scores of other daily deal/group buying services.

So, Facebook and Google have entered the space as self-served deal providers, while Yahoo and Bing have entered as deal aggregators. It makes sense why each of them have selected the domain they have entered into. With their huge user base and scores of related services which complement Google Offers and Facebook Deals, the two web giants are formidable forces in the daily deal/group buying space. Bing and Yahoo, on the other hand, have a huge user base but lack the other services which Google and Facebook can provide.

Yahoo and Bing are not going to loose out being aggregators, rather they will have their hands full as everyone and their second cousin is starting a daily deal/group buying service. The latest addition to the list being, New York Times with its TimesLimited, a daily deal provider which offers deals on high-end goods and services and aligns closely to Gilt City.

Who do you think has made the right decision, Google and Facebook or Bing and Yahoo?

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