Online Shoppers Don't Like The Injustice Of Overpaying

from the just-like-the-real-world dept

For some time, online retailers have been charging different prices to different people, but apparently most online shoppers still haven't caught on. A new study by UPenn's Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that a majority of internet users believed the practice was illegal. Of course, it makes perfect business sense, maximizing what consumers will pay based on their known characteristics, as long as it's not unconsitutionally discriminatory or anticompetitive. It happens all the time in the brick-and-mortar world. For example, geographic considerations have long played into pricing (higher prices in richer areas) and have already carried over to e-commerce. More problematic for online retailers, however, is another finding in the Annenberg study: a large percentage of people -- 87 percent -- strongly object to these pricing practices. It strikes them as fundamentally unfair, and perhaps too invasive when they discover that their surfing habits are being tracked to enable it. Online retailers might want to be careful with these pricing practices, especially if customers get wind of them. Logical or not, the negative PR that ensues could do more harm to business than the profits gained.

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  1. identicon
    Tim, 2 Jun 2005 @ 5:48am

    No Subject Given

    Yes, pricing strategies have long-since followed the path of penalizing someone for their attributes. For example, selling software on a per-server per-CPU per-connection per-seat kind of basis: one soon asks exactly *why* e.g. the number of CPUs makes any difference to the price quoted, especially if the software performs just the same regardless.

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