Tag Archives: e-commerce

The New Microsoft Store launches with Windows 7

You’ve read the amazing reviews and now the day is finally here.  Without a doubt, one of the biggest launches of the year is Windows 7!

It’s available for immediate purchase where you can choose to either have it shipped to you or to download it direct from Microsoft.

imageIn addition to the availability of Windows 7, I’m happy ecstatic to announce the launch of the brand new Microsoft Store, which coincides with the opening of new Microsoft retail stores.  Our first retail location opens tomorrow at 10am in Scottsdale followed by our second store in Mission Viejo on October 29th.  In fact, we already had 4 fans standing in line at 4pm earlier this afternoon in anticipation of the opening!

On the new online Microsoft Store, we’ve added a bunch of new products, including Windows 7 PCs as well as select 3rd party software and accessories.  And let’s not forget a ton of gaming products that have been added including a bunch of the top selling Xbox 360 titles.

We initially launched the online store last November, and since then we have had nearly a years worth data coming in from usability studies, web analytics and direct customer feedback.  Based on all of this data, coupled with the newly expanded product catalog, one of the biggest goals we had in this release was to simplify site navigation for our customers.  With the new site, you’ll notice a re-designed categorization, navigation and filtering system aimed to make it easier and faster to navigate as well as help you find products you want more quickly.

Go check our new store out, find information about our new retail locations, and while you’re at it, get your copy of Windows 7!

We’d love to know what you think of the new site, so drop a comment here or send me a line on Twitter.

Windows 7 pre-order – available now on Microsoft Store!

Windows 7 is now available on Microsoft Store for pre-order!  

As mentioned earlier today, we have both Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade heavily discounted at $49 and $99 respectively.  This discounted pre-order is available in limited quantities and for a limited time. 

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Other information

  • When placing you’re pre-order on Microsoft Store, you’ll have 3 options for getting the product on October 22, 2009:
    1. Download – the quickest and easiest way.  We even store your product key so you don’t have to keep those pesky software boxes in your closet or silly stickers taped to your monitors.
    2. Download + Backup Disc – for those that want convenience of downloading, but also a physical disc to use later.
    3. Ship the package product – we’ll ship you the fully packaged product on or about October 22, 2009.   Arrival time will vary depending on actual shipping time.
  • All editions of Windows 7 available on Microsoft Store include both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.  If you choose to buy Windows 7 for download, you will get access to both downloads.
  • Discounted pre-orders are available starting June 26, 2009 and will continue while supplies last, or until July 11, 2009 whichever comes first.

Windows 7: Be first. Save half.

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Starting Friday, June 26, 2009 you will be able to pre-order Windows 7 on Microsoft Store!  By being first to pre-order, you’ll get it for at least half off and be one of the first to get it. Quantities will be limited.*

How?

Windows 7 is coming on October 22, 2009 and it’s easy to get it fast and save a bundle on upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional.

Pre-order either product at Microsoft Store starting tomorrow, and you’ll snag it for at least 50% off with Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade for $49.99 and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for $99.99!

You’ll have 3 options for getting the product on October 22, 2009:

  1. Download – the quickest and easiest way.
  2. Download + Backup Disc – for those that want convenience of downloading, but also a physical disc to use later.
  3. Ship the package product – we’ll ship you the fully packaged product on or about October 22, 2009.

All Windows 7 editions include both 32-bit and 64-bit regardless of whether you choose to download or the packaged product.  So techies, don’t worry, we have you covered :)

Want more info?

Go to the Windows team blog and find out all the details.

* The offer begins on June 26, 2009 and will continue while supplies last, or until July 11, 2009, whichever comes first.

Microsoft Store changes to checkout

Since launching Microsoft Store US last November, our team has been hard at work bringing new products to the site, updating the content and planning what our next release would cover.  After a mere 7 weeks of development, the team has done an incredible job at updating some fundamental parts of the site, both customer facing as well as on our back-end for tools and optimizations.

In terms of customer facing features, we’ve done a considerable amount of work to re-design our checkout flow based on usability studies, customer feedback and instrumentation data.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share 3 of the many changes we’ve made in this release, which helps make the shopping experience easier for our customers.

Easier shipping cost and tax calculation

Our first change was enabling customers to calculate shipping costs and tax from the summary page, after a customer added a product to the shopping cart.  Previously, customers only saw tax and shipping costs on our “confirmation” page, right before they agreed to commit the purchase. 

Customers now have the option of calculating shipping costs and tax without leaving the page, and before continuing down the checkout path.  If a customer is buying an ESD product, they will only have the option to calculate tax since shipping charges don’t apply.

Before

After

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Simplifying Windows Live ID

Another big change we made is how we handle Windows Live ID during checkout.  Despite having a Windows Live ID from another Microsoft online service (e.g. Messenger, Xbox Live, Hotmail), many of our customers don’t realize they have one.  When asked to either “Sign in” or “Sign up” with Windows Live ID, many of our customers were left scratching their heads.

To help this, we try to do a better job steering customers in the right direction from the start of the checkout process. 

If customers think they need to sign up for a new account, we just ask them to provide their email address.  If it is not an existing Windows Live ID, we proceed to the next step of checkout, and allow them to create an account by providing a password alongside their address and payment information.

If, however, a customer tries to sign up for a Windows Live ID with an email adddress that is already registered, we do the best job we can to steer them to sign in instead. 

Here is a screenshot of our sign in page:

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If a user enters a email address that is already a Windows Live ID, we show them this:

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Easier media type selection

When we shipped our initial release, we didn’t anticipate that customers would want to change the media type (download vs. shipping it) within the shopping cart and checkout process.  Since it turns out that many customers want to do this, we now enable easier switching, and avoid the step of removing the product from the cart, and re-adding the alternative media.

Before

After

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Let us know what you think!

On top of all these changes, we also had significant work on our back-end infrastructure as well as our tools we use for content and product management in our catalog.  However, those are much less glamorous and broadly interesting, so I’ll spare you the details :)

If you have any feedback on any of the changes from this new release, please feel free to hit me up in comments, in email or on Twitter.