REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 2, 1999 — Just one month after launching its new online shopping service, Microsoft Corp. today announced that the number of consumers visiting MSN TM eShop and clicking through to a merchant site increased over 600 percent from the same period last year. This information indicates that consumers are taking advantage of the easy-to-use buyer’s guides and product comparison tools on MSN eShop and are, in fact, finding what they are looking for. In addition to phenomenal growth in connecting shoppers to the right merchants, MSN eShop has seen a threefold increase in the number of unique visitors to the shopping service vs. the same period last year.
“The tremendous increase in consumers visiting MSN eShop to get help making holiday gift decisions is very gratifying,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft.
“We built MSN eShop with the specific goal of helping people find exactly what they’re looking for. Based on this phenomenal growth this holiday season, we are excited that MSN eShop is delivering a key part of the Everyday Web for consumers.”
Forrester Research Inc. predicts that 8.6 million shoppers will make purchases online between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, spending approximately $4 billion . Products ranging from consumer electronics to computer hardware and home furnishings are expected to generate nearly $2.2 billion in sales, while books, CDs, apparel and convenience items will produce $1.5 billion in holiday spending.
As online shopping continues to grow, MSN eShop expects shoppers to broaden the range of purchases made online, expanding into such categories as electronics, home furnishings and sports equipment. This trend has already begun; based on MSN eShop data from last weekend, DVD players were the second-most-visited buyer’s guide on the site.
“Given the range of new digital electronic devices such as DVD players and digital cameras that are widely available this season, we’re not surprised to see how popular our guide to these types of items has become,”
“Before making these types of major purchases, consumers want to research the products, check out reviews, compare features and prices, and understand the differences. MSN eShop really helps with that part of the shopping process.”
“The comparison tools in MSN eShop really help consumers make smart choices when purchasing electronic devices,”
said Greg Drew, president and CEO of 800.COM Inc.
“We have had a substantial number of qualified consumers come from eShop to our site to purchase everything – including digital cameras, televisions and DVD players – this holiday season. 800.COM is focused on customer service, and our customers appreciate that the comparison tools on MSN eShop include qualitative and quantitative measures.”
In addition to the complete buyer’s guides and comparison tools, Microsoft continues to offer free shipping for consumers on MSN eShop this holiday season. Participating merchants rotate weekly. Those for the week of Nov. 29 include 1-800-FLOWERS, Amazon.com*, barnesandnoble.com llc, Crutchfield.com, Eddie Bauer Online, Furniture.com, Godiva.com, ibeauty.com, iGo.com, PETsMART.com, RedEnvelope Gifts Online, ToyTime.com and wine.com. Merchants participating the week of Dec. 5 include 1-800-FLOWERS, Amazon.com*, AtYourOffice.com, BigEdge.com, Cooking.com, Eddie Bauer Online, eHobbies, Godiva.com, lifextension.com, Outpost.com, RedEnvelope Gifts Online, ToyTime.com, wine.com.
People can take advantage of the free shipping offers on qualifying purchases during the promotional period from Nov. 14 to Dec. 18. Offers vary by participating retailer, and certain restrictions apply.
MSN eShop customers can also purchase their holiday gifts faster and easier by entering their credit card and shipping information one time to create a Passport wallet and then use it across multiple Web sites. For added convenience, the Express Purchase area on MSN eShop highlights the eShop merchants that support the Passport wallet service.
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 MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people make smart and secure purchasing decisions, easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, 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.
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.
*Applies to most purchases.
Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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