Last week I briefly introduced three of Microsoft's e-commerce initiatives: MSN Shopping, Windows Live Shopping, and Windows Live Product Search. This week I talked with Jim Barr, GM of Microsoft's Shopping and Marketplaces group for a little more insight.
Here's an excerpt:
Search is very important. Half of the shopping starts in search. 15-25% of all searches go to a shopping site. MSN search will not win unless we are good at commerce search. Thats a strong reason why we invested.
Windows Live Product Search goes on the presumption that the audience wants to see as much selection as possible. We crawl the web for everything out there. Were starting with a philosophy that people should be able to search for tail items.
Eventually we want to apply as many ways to go from a long list of whats available to a short list of whats right for you. We have our goals in mind [to match buyers and sellers] and we want to do whats right for users.