Merchants Affiliated With MSN eShop Record E-Commerce Growth And Traffic Gains During 1999 Holiday Shopping Season

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 27, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that MSN TM eShop ( ) paid off for merchant members during the 1999 holiday season by delivering Web-savvy consumers who embrace e-commerce. According to traffic numbers compiled for the first week of December, MSN eShop recorded a 474 percent increase in shopping page views over last year’s MSN Shopping traffic. In addition, MSN eShop merchants, including, eBags, ephones, 800.COM and TooHome, reported attracting significant percentages of new customers via their eShop affiliations.

MSN eShop launched on Nov. 2, 1999, to give consumers the best technology tools to search for, find and buy exactly the products they want.

“We’re experiencing record sales this year and are very pleased with the new customers is receiving from our affiliation with MSN eShop,”
said Bill Newlands, president and CEO, ( ).

In November and December, approximately 80 percent of the customers reaching our site via TM were completely new customers.”

800.COM, a consumer electronics Internet retailer and a featured merchant in the MSN eShop Electronics department, recorded that 85 percent of customers who ordered from its site via MSN eShop were brand-new 800.COM customers.

“800.COM is the leading Internet retailer of consumer electronics, and we’re consistently ranked as a leader in customer satisfaction,”
said Greg Drew, founder and CEO of 800.COM.
“We’ve been very pleased with the new customers we’ve gained via MSN eShop during the holiday season. MSN eShop visitors embraced 800.COM’s answer to shopping for electronics: superior customer service, easily searchable products and a wide selection of consumer electronics merchandise.”

Another merchant pleased with its affiliation with MSN eShop this holiday season was eBags ( ). eBags utilized the MSN eShop merchant administrative technology tool developed by the eShop development team to promote its Bag-A-Day Giveaway promotion. The tool gave eBags the ability to feature a different bag every day and enabled the site to promote its huge selection of products, from fashion bags and luggage to backpacks and business cases. Eighty-five percent of the customers eBags has served since the launch of MSN eShop were new to eBags.

“We listen and respond to every inquiry we receive from customers, and we value MSN eShop for making our site available to hundreds of brand-new visitors each day,”
said Jon Nordmark, CEO at eBags.

ephones, an e-commerce site that offers the widest selection of communications services available online, recorded a 124 percent increase in site traffic after the launch of its MSN eShop affiliation.

“We have been very pleased with the immediate results from our relationship with MSN eShop,”
said ephones Chairman and CEO Michael F. Merrill.
“eShop was designed to provide customers with the best online experience by bringing together the information, tools and merchants people need to buy with confidence. And the holiday numbers clearly indicate the success of this relationship. We look forward to the continued benefit our customers will receive when using eShop to search for wireless services. It provides a great online shopping experience – not just for the holidays, but all year round.”

TooHome, a home-improvement e-commerce site and MSN eShop merchant, recorded a 50 percent increase in orders via MSN eShop customers.

“We at TooHome are very excited about MSN eShop and what we have accomplished since eShops’ debut on Nov. 2,”
said TooHome Chief Operating Officer Curtis Poling.
“MSN eShop has doubled our daily hits and increased our orders by 50 percent. This says a lot for an e-commerce site that offers specialty home-improvement products and averages $1,000 per sale. What makes this increase more impressive is the fact that sales of products such as sinks, baths, faucets and other home-improvement supplies are historically slow during the Christmas holiday.”

Not only has TooHome benefited from increased traffic via MSN eShop, but the site has also seen the same trend for other areas on MSN such as MSNBC and the MSN HomeAdvisor TM online real estate service, according to Poling.

The MSN eShop affiliation is only available to merchants through Before the holiday season, the MSN Sales and Marketing Division worked with a number of eShop merchants to create advertising and affiliation deals that combined not only real estate within MSN eShop but also online ad campaigns throughout the MSN network of Internet services.

For example,’s recent deal with MSN included not only its designation as the premier wine merchant in the MSN eShop Gourmet department, but also its placement on the Web Courier service. In addition, received advertising across the MSN network of Internet services, including MSNBC, the TM travel service, the MoneyCentral TM online personal finance service, MSN Health and Entertainment.

“The fact that our advertisers and affiliates received new customers via MSN eShop proves that we’re on exactly the right track,”
said Jim Kinsella, general manager of MSN Sales and Marketing.
“When we approach potential affiliates and advertisers, we talk to them about the Web-savvy audience at that has fully embraced shopping and buying online. We’re extremely pleased with the increase in holiday shopping traffic that many of our eShop merchants experienced.”

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 personal finance, travel, 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.

Microsoft, MSN,, HomeAdvisor and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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