Filed under: #mktgcloud, Behavioural Targeting, Datarati | Tags: Online Shopping
In its most brazen form, it works like this: Retailers read the cookies kept on your browser or glean information from your past purchase history when you are logged into a site. That gives them a sense of what you search for and buy, how much you paid for it, and whether you might be willing and able to spend more.
They alter their prices or offers accordingly. Consumers – in the few cases they recognize it is going on, by shopping in two browsers simultaneously, for instance – tend to go apoplectic. But the practice is perfectly legal, and increasingly common – pervasive, even, for some products.
Sellers of time-sensitive, highly price-variable goods (think airline tickets, hotel rooms, or car rentals) do it all the time, somewhat openly. If you have ever had the annoying experience of buying a plane ticket through a portal such as Kayak, then seeing the final price jump $10 or $40 at check out, you have probably found yourself on the receiving end of dynamic pricing.
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