E commerce – now cleverer than Salesmen

A salesman can quote different prices to different clients / Customer; and it happens that way in many businesses. Your browser, shall now act as a clever salesman.

The internet was supposed to be the consumer’s friend. By making it easy to shop around, it would drive prices lower. But online sellers of all sorts of goods and services are taking a keen interest in new software that promises to help them spot customers who are well off. Different customer Different price

Online shoppers allows plenty of information to online portals about themselves that could be of use to clever salesmen. It’s the Cookies that reveal where else they have been browsing, allowing some guesses about their income bracket, age and sex. Their internet address can often be matched to their physical address: the richer the neighbourhood, the deeper the pockets, it may be assumed. Apple computer-owners are on average better-off than Windows PC users, and firms may offer them pricier options. Example Orbitz, a travel website.

Already searching about a product on Google? Why would retailer offer you a discount when you are all ready to buy it. Your mouse may also be squeaking on you: click too quickly from home-page to product page to checkout, and the seller can conclude that you have already decided to buy—so why offer you a discount?

Its all assumtions though, yet a bet worth playing. Sellers will eye up buyers arriving on their home-page, make some assumptions, then charge accordingly. This will be especially true for products whose pricing is complex, variable and therefore unpredictable to buyers, such as insurance, air travel, mobile-phone plans and hotel rooms. The makers of price-customisation software are eagerly promoting its potential for boosting profit margins; those firms trying it out are, perhaps unsurprisingly, less keen to talk about it. You can read more about it here http://www.economist.com/node/21557798 

Whats your opinion? Make your case in the comments section!

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam

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