Microsoft Bing Confirms It Is Working On New Retail Marketplace

Microsoft Bing confirmed it is testing a retail marketplace in the United States, the company told Search and Performance Marketing Daily on Tuesday.

The name of the ecommerce service, Buy Direct, is a part of Microsoft Start Shopping. The new product experience recently launched with limited sellers to customers in the U.S.

"We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we explore new ways to serve our customers," according to a Microsoft spokesperson. 

A “couple of hundred U.S.-based online sellers” are participating in the beta. Sellers on Buy Direct are not sourced through Microsoft Advertising or Shopping Campaigns.

One ecommerce advertising company told Business Insider that Microsoft wants its “retail marketplace to achieve “$25 million in gross merchandising value -- a metric that shows the value of sales on an ecommerce platform, during its 2023 fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.



Search aims to support ecommerce sales. Bing search drives 689 million unique searchers and 14.5 billion global monthly searches, according to Comscore PC Search Market data.

Buy Direct allows consumers to click on products and purchase them within Bing’s platform. Microsoft handles the checkout, but it’s not yet clear which companies handle the payment transaction. Checkout requires signing into the consumer’s Microsoft account.

Microsoft handles the payment, similar to Google Shopping. Like Google, Bing charges sellers to set up a storefront.

One source told Insider that Bing integrated two ad tools, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn's audience data and a tool to help advertisers manage ad prices. 

Microsoft already has an ecommerce platform for retailers called Smart Shopping. Jonathan Kagan, VP of search at agency 9rooftops uses it sporadically. “We go back and forth between it and regular shopping in Bing,” he wrote in an email. “Does well at peak seasons, but iffy the rest of the year.”

The network of privacy compliant data will become enormous, allowing for a closed-loop ad system between Bing, Windows, LinkedIn, connected television and a network of third-party companies, all supported by Microsoft's targeting strategy, Parakeet

Bing also is testing a design for local results spotted and described on Twitter by Khushal Bherwani.

“When you click on local business its open with popup in same tab,” he wrote.

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