Microsoft Announces New One-Stop MSN eShop In Time for Online Holiday Rush

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today launched MSN TM eShop, a completely new shopping site built with the specific goal of helping consumers easily find, decide on and buy the products that are right for them. The new site, located at , is a full-featured shopping service that combines leading-edge tools such as product finders and guides, a wide variety of top merchants and products, and integration with the entire MSN network of Internet services. This complete offering creates a shopping experience that addresses a key unmet need of consumers: the ability to easily find and buy exactly what they are looking for.

According to Forrester Research Inc., 8.6 million shoppers are expected to make purchases online this holiday season, spending approximately $4 billion between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. As online shopping continues to grow, MSN eShop expects shoppers to broaden the range of purchases made online, expanding into categories like electronics, home furnishings and sports equipment.

“Until now, consumers have primarily purchased low-risk items such as books and CDs on the Internet. With MSN eShop, we’ve introduced a whole new shopping experience, bringing together all the information and resources people need to feel good about buying on the Web,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft.
“The new MSN eShop service will help people make the most of their time this holiday season and beyond, delivering on our vision for the Everyday Web.”

Easily Find the Right Product

Shoppers can find exactly what they want by searching across multiple stores, categories and brands, utilizing finder tools, and watching for daily specials and offers. Consumers looking for a new stereo can use the Product Finder to easily find one from any of the leading merchants on MSN eShop. People who need gift ideas can use the Gift Finder to help locate that perfect gift or browse through one of the gift guides that include gift recommendations, daily specials and hot seasonal items.

MSN eShop also provides gift certificates, powered by ecount TM ( ), to make it easier to give last-minute gifts. An MSN eShop gift certificate can be used at any of the MSN eShop stores and is the perfect way to ensure that gift recipients get what they want.

Compare Products and Decide

MSN eShop takes the uncertainty out of online purchasing with step-ahead research and comparison tools. Complete product descriptions include images, prices, features and specifications that are searchable and comparable by consumers. Expert reviews and How-to-Buy guides provide shoppers with objective insight on potential purchases to help ensure satisfaction. Shoppers can go even one step deeper and compare warranties, return policies and more to help them make the right purchasing decision.

Buy With Confidence – Online or Offline

MSN eShop enables consumers to buy from leading merchants that are well-known and offer trusted brands with high-quality products and services. Each of the MSN eShop-affiliated merchants, including 1-800-FLOWERS.COM,, 800.COM, Eddie Bauer Online, TM ,,,,,, and, provide privacy policies to help ensure that customer information will not be shared without consent, and also offer individual customer service so consumers know where to go for help. In addition, MSN eShop-affiliated merchants supporting Microsoft® Passport
service makes it easier and faster for consumers to purchase online by eliminating the need to repeatedly type the same shipping and billing information when ordering products or services at different Web sites. Consumers can visit a special Express Purchase area of MSN eShop to create a Passport and check out special deals from eShop-affiliated merchants that support Passport’s wallet service. People who want to purchase an item at a local retail store can tap into the yellow pages on MSN eShop to find the nearest location.

One Stop: Network Integration

MSN eShop is integrated across the entire MSN network through contextual merchandising and MSN Search integration. Consumers visiting the CarPoint TM online automotive service, the MoneyCentral TM online personal finance service and other MSN services can view merchant offers that are relevant to their interests. For example, a visitor to CarPoint might see special offers from MSN eShop that highlight car stereos and car alarms. Further, when people query MSN Search, appropriate content from MSN eShop will be displayed prominently in the results. Because MSN eShop is integrated throughout MSN, consumers have easy access to a relevant and complete shopping experience.

Strong Solution for Merchants

MSN eShop is built using Microsoft’s state-of-the-art technology and e-commerce platform to help consumers find the right products easily and to provide retail partners with the tools they need to reach consumers. Several Microsoft technologies are integrated with MSN eShop, including Microsoft Passport and the BizTalk TM Framework, to help merchants deliver the best experience to their consumers. By allowing consumers to create a single wallet, sign-in name and password for use with a growing number of leading Web sites, Microsoft Passport streamlines the purchase process by reducing the amount of information they need to remember or retype, enabling consumers to save time online and shop securely. The BizTalk industry e-commerce framework makes it easier for companies to conduct transactions, integrate applications and exchange data such as product specifications with MSN eShop.

About MSN

MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts