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Bing Brings Local Deals To Mobile, PC
Bing is introducing deals for mobile (m.bing.com) and the PC. Mobile deals are available for the HTML5 sites for the iPhone and Android. They aren’t yet in Bing’s mobile apps but will be integrated soon according to Microsoft’s Stefan Weitz.
The source of deals here is The Dealmap, which is also the principal source of offers for Citysearch’s recent Deals app. However Microsoft will probably include other deal sources later.
The Dealmap immediately provides Bing with “more than 200,000 offers in over 14,000 locales locations across the U.S.” It includes daily deals from a number of sources (e.g., Groupon and LivingSocial) as well as a range of more conventional coupons and offers.
Stefan Weitz told me that rather than try and build or aggregate local deals inventory itself, working with The Dealmap made more sense and is an extension of Bing’s larger philosophy around integrating third party content into Bing results.
On mobile devices, users can search for deals by category or keyword. They can also browse by category, daily deals or “nearby.” Once selected users may share deals with others or save them for later use.
Deals also will appear on the PC in Bing Local and on business profile pages. The presence of a deal will be indicated by a “green deal icon” that will appear in the cluster of name, address and phone number information at the top of the business profile page (I don’t have a screenshot).
Deals currently don’t appear in Bing.com search results. However I would speculate that over time, at least where local results are presented at the top of the page, we may see deal icons appear.
Yahoo has offered deals and coupons in the context of Yahoo Shopping for several years but hasn’t integrated them into search. The new Yahoo Local features deals. Google unsuccessfully tried to buy Groupon and is now readying its own “Offers” product. It does allow merchants to create coupons through Places, however the uptake there has been limited.
Bing’s injection of deals into mobile and local PC search results is a more direct and visible integration than Yahoo or Google offer today. Google is sure to make more aggressive moves around deals in the near future. But until it does so, Bing deals is a differentiated feature in both mobile and local online.