Hold on to your credit cards, there’s a newly revised shopping portal in
After a two-week beta testing period, Microsoft has launched its revised MSN Shopping portal. The comparison shopping engine is now packed with more “stuff” and boasts a six-fold increase in items and a hundred times more merchants.
The new site has been rebuilt from the “ground up” according to
Microsoft. The new features include an RSS feed
function, which allows users to subscribe to an RSS feed from
any search results page. Users can now receive an update whenever a new item
or price is changed, via their subscribed RSS feeds.
MSN’s embrace of RSS comes as a recent Pew study found that 65 percent of Americans don’t know what RSS is. Forrester
Research has recently reported that only 2 percent of North American adults
currently use RSS.
Beyond RSS integration, MSN Shopping has also beefed up its search
capabilities, allowing users to search by price, features, name and user
rating. Ratings and reviews are another new feature, which now allows MSN
users to add their two cents about products.
A new “recently viewed” feature shows users
their last five viewed items. Scott Austin, MSN Shopping’s director of programming, said in the MSN shopping insider blog that this feature will help users have a more continuous shopping experience across sessions with recently viewed products, categories, searches and saved pages.
AOL, Shopzilla and Shopping.com.
Though the space is filling up, the stakes in the online comparison shopping
market are high. According to a March study from Shopzilla, 59 percent of
consumers begin their shopping search at a shopping site aggregator as
opposed to going directly to a merchant’s site.