mfioretti: online shopping*

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  1. People have a mental model of shopping that is based on experiences from brick-and-mortar stores. We intuitively understand how this process works: all available products are displayed around the store and the prices are clearly marked. Many stores offer deals via coupons, membership cards, or to special classes of people such as students or AARP members. Typically, everyone is aware of these discounts and has an equal opportunity to use them.

    Many people assume this same mental model of shopping applies just as well to e-commerce websites. However, as we are discovering, this is not the case.

    In 2010, shoppers realized that Amazon was charging different users different prices for the same DVD, a practice known as price discrimination or price differentiation. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Staples was charging users different prices based on their geographic location. The paper also reported that travel retailer Orbitz was showing more expensive hotels to users browsing from Mac computers, a practice known as price steering.

    By comparing the search results shown to these automated controls and to the real users, we identified several cases of personalization. We saw price steering from Sears, with the order of search results varying from user to user. We saw price discrimination from Home Depot, Sears, Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity, with product prices varying from user to user.
    https://theconversation.com/buyer-bew...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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  2. “In our customers behavior, we can see how consumers are changing the way they shop online and in-store. And, the reality is that it’s not ‘or,’ but ‘and.’ They’re doing both,” said Monahan, speaking about the division between those who shop in-store and online. “This notion of the digital divide does not exist in the consumer’s mind.” Monahan says the company has geo-fenced all of its stores, and offers an in-store option in its mobile app that allows customers to compare prices online and even checkout using their devices.

    For years, the competition between online and brick-and-mortar sellers was framed as a zero-sum game, with certain industries falling to Amazon and others staying with local sellers. But Monahan says that the barrier between the two channels is dissolving, and that Walmart customers are increasingly using the two in tandem. In the baby category, for instance, Monahan says mothers often conduct extensive research on the retailer’s website and then go into the store to try out, and eventually buy, certain products.
    http://streetfightmag.com/2014/04/02/...ers-the-digital-divide-does-not-exist
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  3. "You might think that the country that has the fastest average home internet speeds would be a first adapter of modern browsers. Instead, as the Washington Post reports, a payment processing security standard forces most South Korean's to rely upon Internet Explorer for online shopping. Since the standard uses a unique encryption algorithm, an ActiveX control is required to complete online purchase. As a result, many internet users are in the habit of approving all AtivceX control prompts, potentially exposing them to malware."
    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/11/...ce=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
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