Accurate numbers can nevertheless be misleading.
One of our Senior Analysts pointed out to me that the Bing Launch numbers look quite a bit different if a couple of factors are taken out of consideration. Eliminating data from trademark searches for our clients' brands for some reason paints a substantially different picture. Thankfully, I was able to re-run the numbers before speaking with the Wall Street Journal!
Here are the more carefully calculated numbers:
Clearly, the big motion from the pre-launch week beginning 5/25/09 to the first week post launch beginning 6/1/09 was in the share of impressions. MSN's share of impressions among the big three (excluding content ads) moved from 3.1% to 3.7%, a 22% increase. Lots of folks checking out the new kid on the block, not many actually clicking on the ads. The slight upticks in conversion rates and AOV may be a function of better targeting, or stealing quality traffic, or it may just be statistical noise.
Who's losing share of impressions to them? Yahoo indeed:
Pretty clearly, the industry junkies and others swayed by the media buzz are giving Bing a look. To succeed, Bing will need to do more than generate impressions. Bing needs to capture dedicated users and become the engine of choice for serious shoppers. That will take time, money for buzz creation, and ultimately a truly better search experience. Microsoft has the first two, but we'll see what conclusion users draw about the last.