MSN Shopping Offers Convenient, Helpful Shopping Tools in Time for Holiday Rush

, November 3, 1998 — With the holiday season quickly approaching, more and more people will be going online for quick and easy gift ideas. The new MSN Shopping site is a great place for last-minute shoppers to find well-known products from a variety of top retail merchants.

The MSN Shopping site is organized just like a real store, guiding customers through 16 departments to help them locate what they need quickly. Departments include home and garden, clothing and beauty, computers, electronics, groceries, books and gifts. With the new design of MSN Shopping, customers have easy access to the most popular and well-known retailers including, 1-800-FLOWERS, Eddie Bauer and the Gap Online Store.

“We’ve taken the feedback from customers and combined that with decades of retail experience to develop a shopping site that helps customers find and purchase products quickly and easily,” said Deborah Levinger, business manager, MSN Shopping. “Customers will now have more direct access to MSN Shopping, while retailers will gain widespread exposure for their products via direct links across the complete Microsoft network of products and services.”

Unlike the local shopping mall, MSN Shopping is open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Customers can order online, and the merchants will do the gift-wrapping and shipping for them. For those procrastinating holiday shoppers, many of the merchants will take online orders up to Dec. 23 for delivery before Christmas.

MSN Shopping offers a variety of features aimed at helping customers shop easily and save money. With the free Gift Reminder service, shoppers receive e-mail notices to remind them that a special date or occasion is approaching. To pinpoint the perfect present, the Gift Finder provides customers with a list of gift suggestions, based on age and gender, the occasion and the type of gift and cost desired.

For customers who would like to return items they have purchased, MSN Shopping features the PackageNet service, which lets customers send returns via UPS from more than 4,000 locations in supermarkets and other retailers nationwide.

MSN Shopping works with merchants that provide a number of security measures to ensure their customers can make safe purchases over the Internet. Many merchants use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security protocol, which is supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and other popular browsers for safe, secure electronic commerce for their customers.

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