RealTime IT News

Microsoft Launches One-Stop E-Commerce Destination

Microsoft Corp. launched MSN eShop, a new shopping site built to be a one-stop shopping site that helps consumers find, decide on and buy retail merchandise.

The new site combines tools such as product finders and guides, a variety of merchants and products, and integration with the entire MSN network of Internet services.

Microsoft said the site was designed to "create a shopping experience that addresses a key unmet need of consumers: the ability to easily find and buy exactly what they are looking for."

Microsoft said it 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," said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for the consumer and commerce group at Microsoft.

"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."

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 insight on potential purchases. Shoppers can go even compare warranties and return policies, Microsoft said.

MSN eShop-affiliated merchants at launch include 1-800-Flowers.com, Amazon.com, 800.COM, Eddie Bauer Online, Expedia.com, Garden.com, PETsMART.com, sears.com, ShopSports.com, Toysrus.com, Bolt.com, Ingredients.com, ToyTime.com and wine.com, among others.

MSN eShop is integrated across the entire MSN network through contextual merchandising and MSN Search integration.

Consumers visiting the CarPoint online automotive service, the MoneyCentral online personal finance service and other MSN services can view merchant offers that are relevant to their interests.