Transparency is Key in Pricing

Price personalization is essential for retailers trying to sell to ever-changing customers. But when done in the wrong way, customization can seem shady, misleading, or exploitative. A recent study illustrated how sometimes pricing approaches can hurt consumer confidence.

Via RetailWire, the Northeastern research found:

Conducted this spring, experiences on 16 popular retail and travel e-commerce sites were tracked by conducting searches on a personal laptop or smartphone while doing the identical queries at the exact same time from clean accounts devoid of cookies and search and purchase history.

  • Of the 16, four general retailers and five travel sites showed some evidence of personalization, including cases where sites altered prices by hundreds of dollars.
  • Cheaptickets and Orbitz offered reduced prices on hotels to “members.”
  • Expedia and Hotels.com steered a subset of users toward more expensive hotels.
  • Home Depot and Travelocity showed different prices for those searching on mobile devices versus desktop computers.

But, as noted, the problem isn’t retails necessarily driving customers to a more expensive cart – it’s transparency. We know customers are looking for a new experience in-store – and p[art of that resolves around the shopping experience being personalized. Successful retailers will integrate¬†new pricing technologies in a way that make customers feel special, not slighted. How are your customers viewing your pricing policies?

Joe Shartzer

Cofounder at Nyopoly
Joe Shartzer is a co-founder of Nyopoly and loves startups, stats, sports, and alliterations. And bourbon.
Say hi: joe@nyopoly.com.

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