Most of us don't mind when an online store offers us a discount to buy before a deadline. We get that they know we may drift away and forget them. But ever-changing prices erode our confidence that we can find a fair deal. Jerry Useem has a great article about how it's growing and why. His article ends with an amazing interview with Executive Director of a nonprofit that works to protect consumers from deceptive marketing. This woman is also a mother who is responsible for buying things for her family. Do read the article, even if you're a consumer and not a business owner.
And finally, devious pricing games (or tests, as they are called) will actually drive loyalty toward more reliable and transparent companies. Good bye Amazon, hello Everlane.
The Atlantic: How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All, 2071-May by Jerry Useem
“I do not shop,” Patten said.
In what sense?, I asked, confused.
“I just gave up,” she said. “I just stopped shopping.”
I thought about this after we hung up. Maybe it was a function of her job, which let her see too much. Maybe she was a certain type—“survival shopper” was the label she used—who simply didn’t experience the thrill of finding a pair of $30 moccasins for $8. Such thoughts helped stay the alternative explanation, the one Gabriel Tarde called “the madness of doubt”: that there’s a finite amount of uncertainty we can absorb, a limit to how much we can check the ticker to see whether the Swiffer’s price is up or down this morning; that somewhere in us is a shut-off point, and that Patten had hit it.