Tag Archives: retail

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.

Microsoft Store Australia and Italy have opened

Over the past several months, the Microsoft Store team has been working hard at improving our stores.  2 notable areas we’re working on is getting ready for the big launch of image Windows 7 as well as expanding our global footprint. 

As we all anticipate Windows 7’s launch on October 22, we have some great news to share in the meantime.

Today, we opened up 2 new additional international stores – Microsoft Store Italy and Microsoft Store Australia!

Both of these new stores are currently offering Microsoft software by download, or download + backup media.  We are continually looking to expand our catalog in each of our international stores, so be patient with us 🙂

The past year has seen us open up several international stores, and with these 2 new stores, we now have presence in 12 countries world-wide.

If you’re a customer of one of our new stores, drop us a comment here, or on Twitter and let us know what you think!

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.

Microsoft Store launches in Netherlands, FPP now in UK and Germany

2 big announcements to unveil today:image

First, I’m happy to announce that we have added Fully Packaged Products (FPP) to our catalogs in our existing Microsoft Store in both the United Kingdom and Germany.  With this huge change, total number of available products nearly doubles in both stores.

Secondly, we have launched Microsoft Store to our 6th country today by launching Microsoft Store Netherlands!  With this launch, you’re able to buy Windows and Office products both in fully packaged products (FPP) as well as by ESD.  The catalog in our Netherlands store is admittedly smaller than the rest of our international Microsoft Stores, but as demonstrated with our other store instances, we’re committed to adding more and more products to our catalog over time.  So stay tuned for more products.

Microsoft Store Japan launches!

Hot on the heels of the launch of Microsoft Store US last Thursday, we’re happy to announce that Microsoft Store Japan is now available!

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This brings Microsoft Store to 5 countries (US, Korea, UK, Germany and now Japan).  We’re expecting to launch soon in Spain, Netherlands and France so stay tuned for those.