Launches New Shopping Features

Share this content: recently unveiled seven shopping features at its eShop channel to better prepare its site for holiday season customers.

The enhancements include:

• A Bargain Center channel for on-sale retail items at

• A Return Center channel that explains the returns process for items purchased from each merchant at the site. For example, one channel offers local shipping locations and links to major shippers' sites so shoppers can see how and where to return their items.

• Four additional search options have been added at the site. For example, users who know exactly what they want to purchase can use a full-text search, which searches through all MSN merchants and finds a list of the item in various styles and prices. Another option, called a popular search, offers a list of products based on typical viewer requests. For example, a popular search for digital cameras can include the terms "cheap and reliable."

• Top 10 lists that allow viewers to see popular sellers in multiple retail categories.

• Gift guides have been added and are designed to help viewers select holiday gifts for friends and family. As examples, two of the guides are called Sexy Santa and Gadget-eria.

• A channel that allows viewers to compare two items from the same retail category by price and features.

• MSN Yellow Pages, a channel that allows viewers to find local merchants that may have items not available at the site.

MSN, property of Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, said it has experienced "phenomenal" sales growth at its Internet service provider portal. However, the firm declined to comment specifically on how the new features might increase revenue at the site.

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