REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 28, 2006 — Shoppers rang in the traditional start of the holiday gift-buying season with unprecedented traffic on MSN® Shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend.
From the day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday” in the retail industry, through “Cyber Monday,” the unofficial kickoff of the online holiday shopping season, MSN Shopping recorded 21 percent more visits compared with the same period in 2005. Site visits on “Cyber Monday” increased 63 percent from 2005 and consist of more than double the number visits to the site on “Black Friday” this year. Increase in traffic is believed to be due to MSN Shopping’s improved selection, handcrafted gift guides, popular Sales and Deals page, and tighter integration with MSN and Live Search
This year, visitors to MSN Shopping can consult an even broader selection of gift guides with recommendations for every person on their list, and save money with MSN Shopping online coupons. The site also offers expert buying advice provided by Consumer Reports and MSN’s own staff of editors to help shoppers find the best values.
“Gifts for Him,” “Gifts for Her,” and “Stocking Stuffers” were the popular MSN Shopping gift guides over the weekend. Jewelry, massagers, picture frames and beer-making equipment were among the most popular items. The most popular video game was “Madden NFL 07,” and the most popular toy was the Marshmallow Fun Company Marshmallow Shooter.
Also, MSN Shopping lets people compare more than 30 million products from over 8,000 stores to get the right gift at the lowest price. Shoppers could compare products from 26 percent more merchants this year than in 2005. The items that garnered the most price comparisons on “Cyber Monday” were the Garmin StreetPilot i3 GPS Receiver, The Marvel Comics Encyclopedia and Cannon PowerShot SD600 Digital ELPH. Shoppers’ top five most popular searches were for “Burt’s Bees,” “heart jewelry,” “Swarovski,” “Nintendo Wii,” and “hoodies.”
For online shoppers who begin their shopping with a Web search, MSN Shopping powers answers within Live.com. Shoppers can simply enter a term such as “digital cameras” or “perfume” in the Live Search tool to trigger instant answers that direct them to merchants featured on MSN Shopping.
“Online shoppers are always on the lookout for the perfect product, but they also want to find that item from the widest possible selection,” said Jim Barr, general manager for MSN Shopping at Microsoft. “Offering more than 30 million products from over 8,000 merchants in one place, MSN Shopping gives consumers the best of both worlds with easy access to our hand-picked collections, extensive reviews and comparison features that help them make sense of all of the choices we provide.”
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live™, a new set of personal Internet services and software,
is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
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