MSN eShop Becomes No. 1 Shopping Portal on the Web

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 5, 2000 — The MSN® network of Internet services, the world’s most popular destination on the Internet, announced today that its one-stop online shopping site, MSN eShop, has become the No. 1 online shopping portal on the Web for consumers. According to Media Metrix Inc.’s October 2000 Custom Report, 2.84 million unique users in the United States visited MSN eShop in October, making it the top shopping portal on the Web. The number of unique users grew 33 percent from September 2000 to October 2000, making it the fastest growing online shopping portal heading into the holiday season. During the same period, the comparable unique users for Yahoo! Shopping increased 4 percent, and the number for Shopping declined 31 percent.

“We are excited that online shoppers are turning to MSN to find the perfect gift this holiday season,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN at Microsoft.
“MSN eShop continues to deliver what consumers have asked for — trusted stores, valuable advice and great deals.”

MSN eShop has experienced an average monthly growth of 12 percent in unique users between April 2000 and October 2000 and anticipates this growth will continue throughout the holiday shopping season. Over the past two weeks, the site has had an average of 1.1 million unique user visits per day, a 205 percent increase over the same period last year. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the number of transfers to merchants increased threefold, or 216 percent, over the same period last year. Overall, within the last year, the number of unique users of MSN eShop has increased more than 160 percent, and the number of times consumers have gone to merchant sites through MSN eShop has increased by more than 500 percent. This continuous growth demonstrates MSN eShop’s commitment to delivering qualified transfers to merchants and outstanding services that meet consumer needs.

“We’ve seen a significant traffic boost from expanded placements throughout the MSN network,”
said Joel Carter, vice president of marketing for
“The Daily Specials and other contextually relevant merchandising opportunities have increased traffic, increased click-through and increased conversions.”

“We’ve experienced an enormous net growth in revenue from MSN,”
said Justin Potts, director of online sales and marketing at, a leading online gift retailer.
“We have so many exceptional gifts and MSN has a unique ability to present them powerfully to visitors. It’s delivered way beyond our expectations.”

MSN attributes this growth to its continued commitment to putting more tools at users’ fingertips than any other shopping site online — meeting holiday shoppers’ needs for great stores, great advice and great deals. MSN eShop recently added more tools to help online shoppers easily find what they want, including the Bargain Center and Gift Concierge, which offer consumers around-the-clock access to live, online customer assistance representatives. On average, since Nov. 15 more than 1,300 people a day are using the Gift Concierge to pick the perfect present this holiday season.

The MSN Holiday Bonus offers consumers who use a Microsoft® Passport wallet one of two shopping incentives: a 20 percent discount on either their current purchase or a future purchase at a participating MSN eShop retailer, or free shipping from participating retailers featured on MSN eShop. On average, since Nov. 15 more than 4,500 new people each day are creating a Microsoft Passport wallet to take advantage of this holiday’s best value on MSN and simplify their online holiday shopping experience. The Microsoft Passport wallet allows consumers to sign in at any participating Passport site and then sign in to other participating sites with a single click. Consumers can store information in their Passport wallet to help make them faster, safer online purchases at any Passport Express purchase site. More than 50 merchants — a 90 percent increase from this time the last year — honor Microsoft Passport wallet for express purchases on their sites, including,, and Costco Online.

MSN eShop also offers online shoppers Gift Guides to help them more easily find and choose the perfect gift. The most popular guides this holiday season include Kid Gift-O-Matic, which helps shoppers easily select a toy based on age and budget, and Gadgeteria, which features gadgets in any price range from personal digital assistants (PDAs) to
“spy detectors.”

Overall, MSN eShop is providing consumers with a wealth of tools and resources to help them shop successfully online. These include power-searching capabilities, side-by-side comparison shopping, top 10 lists of the hottest-selling products, Epinions consumer reviews and in-house expert reviews, and a Bargain Center for easy access to sale items from MSN merchants. In conjunction with these features, MSN eShop also offers a Gift Center with resources such as occasion-based Gift Finders, Gift Guides, personalized reminders and the ability to mark products with a
“save for later”

About MSN

MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet — a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. With more than 210 million unique monthly visitors, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft .NET Platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with the most integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. MSN Internet Access and the recently introduced MSN Explorer offer quick, personal and exciting ways to get on to and take advantage of the Web. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, the world’s largest e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest growing instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search, the second most popular online search service; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. MSN is located on the Web at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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, Hotmail and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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.

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