Microsoft Bing challenges the Google Places local business offering with the new Bing Business Portal. Merchants can build an online business listing complete with deals and promotions for Bing.
followed Google in showing the world it cares about the type of local
businesses that Groupon is enjoying so much success targeting by launching the
Bing Business Portal.
for businesses and in beta now, the portal lets business owners build an online
business listing complete with deals and promotions on the desktop and mobile
versions of Bing.
Bing Business Portal
the existing Bing Local Listing Center (LLC), just as Google's competing Places
offering supplanted the Google Local Business Center last April.
Google Places, the Bing Business Portal lets local businesses claim, verify and
modify business listings. However, Andy Chu, director of product management for
Bing for Mobile, said the service includes unique features its rival lacks.
example, Bing Business Portal lets merchants create a discount coupon,
promotion or rebate and promote the offer on not only their business listing
page, but also their Facebook page, Bing desktop search results, as well as the
deal tab from the Bing for Mobile browse home page.
can also create a mobile Website with custom mobile menus, and verified listing
owners can invite additional people from within the app, such as a supervisor
or direct report, to manage listings.
QR codes are automatically generated for each listing, so users can easily
access local listings on their mobile devices. Google has recently decided to
as it moves to offer near field communications solutions.
how Bing Business Portal works (also see the screenshots
A business can use a link on its local listing page or from the Bing portal to
claim its business link via phone or a PIN through snail mail.
a merchant has confirmed itself as the owner of the business listing, it can add
photos, logo and other details, including links to its Website, Facebook page
and Twitter URL.
and bars can include menus by creating one in the Bing Business Portal or by
providing a direct link to an existing menu or PDF file. Mobile menus are also
possible for the mobile app.
can also enter up to six additional categories and keywords, to paint a more
accurate picture of the business for prospective customers and enhance the
relevance of their Bing listing.
the Deal Editor, merchants can specify an offer category, the dollar amount,
dollars off and percentage off, as well as add information describing the offer
and promote the offer on Bing search, the business listing page and Facebook
and Google are both going after the burgeoning market for local business search
and deal-making, which has blossomed thanks to social commerce sites such as
Groupon and LivingSocial.
companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars by hosting coupons and
other discounts from local businesses to entice consumers. Google, which tried
to buy Groupon last year, has created a rival deals product called Google
, but the service is in test mode.
far, Bing appears content to relegate deals to its Business Portal listings,
but that could change if Google Offers proves a success.