If you buy something over the internet chances are you will pay less than some senior citizen who turns up at the counter with a credit card or wait for it ….. no, really, CASH!
Well, certainly, the general wisdom has it that e-buying is cheaper than more usual ways. There are perfectly reasonable arguments for thinking this was the case – still is in many (if not most), transactions.
BUT, be aware, it is not necessarily so. Evidence is emerging that, with the aid of new software, on-line retailers are charging as much, even more, than their normal list charges. The beauty of it all is that customers believe they have a bargain price, An article in The Economist of July 3, 2012 entitled:
“Personalising online prices. How deep are your pockets?
“Businesses are offered software that spots which customers will pay more)”
The Economist piece offers several examples. Travel companies, for example. Might charge Mac users more than those using PCs, because Mac users are generally perceived from a higher income bracket.
Or those from certain postal districts in large cities might have to pay more – or less – because crime figures vary so much within the city.
But it’s also much more refined. The internet retail selling has a lot more information available.
Such as: the potential buyer opens the (retailers) site. If he closes it almost immediately – almost certainly NOT a would-be buyer. But, if he comes back later that day, or the following day, it clearly indicates an interest in the product. To help him make up his mind on the third attempt to call up the site the retailer can offer a discount. (No point offering a discount to someone clearly ready, willing and able to buy at list price).
This writer suspects that this is precisely what has happened to him a time or two.
Subscribing to a number of product and retail outlets iNewsletters its becomes clear that if you fail to tick any product chances are you won’t hear again from that supplier with that product.
Next, that same web site then offers something very similar, but substantially cheaper …. Only to find myself bombarded with similar goods, but with a whole rash of similar products. Of these last the offer will be ‘Special, Special, Special ….. Offer closes Mid-Night to night”.