Although points #3 and #5 seem to belong together in one point, the interesting matter is that potential customers have an opportunity to use data—more than would be available otherwise—in making their purchasing decisions. Companies still have the advantage of larger amounts of data and more sophisticated algorithms which they can use to implement solutions that more strongly compel people to become customers, so it would be even more interesting if potential customers had access to more advanced algorithms to help them in their purchase decision as well. One idea for a more advanced algorithm is one that considers the cost of complementary and substitute goods over time to predict the price of a given product at a certain time, kind of like a weather forecast. Of course, such information might give reason for companies to deliberately price their products in defiance of these forecasts; then again, Smith’s invisible hand might win in the end any way.
Going off of Nozomu Okuda’s comment, I also advocate providing customers with access to similar algorithms the retailer would use to “take control of the sale.” As noted in point #5, an increasingly larger number of shoppers are already becoming informed or smart shoppers on their own, but to take things one step further I can foresee where it might be beneficial, or possibly even necessary, for retailers to provide their user-base with this same information. This plays off of point #2 in providing a more personal interaction environment, where the company is now doing their users a favor by helping all of their customers be informed and smart shoppers. This can go a long way in developing good-will and loyalty in their customers, which often can far outweigh a potential lost dollar or two by pointing out more competitive prices. Several companies (for instance Esurance) are already starting to take this approach.
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