Beware price customisation

Over the weekend I read a frightening article about how websites use price customisation to adapt the price for varying customers. Although somewhat scary, there are a number of lessons for us salespeople and coaches.

Let me explain.

Various websites use the software to sting those who aren’t aware of lower prices. The software can track where the customer has been before, whether they’ve been shopping around other sites, using price comparison sites and generally browsing for many hours looking for a certain solution.

They spot these people and tempt them with special offers, discounts or just a lower price.

On the swap side, the software can tell if someone is straight to the shopping cart without any shopping around and charge them more for the same product. Some even charge more if the customer is using an iPad or Apple computer because surveys show they have deeper pockets.

So how can we benefit from this?

  • The quick win is to act in a cagey, non committal manner when surfing for a product, visit a price comparison website beforehand and browse the cheaper range first.
  • When negotiating, don’t make it out that we are desperate for a solution, hold back, play a reserved role, barter and don’t show that you are too keen.
  • Use this same non desperation mind set to approach selling. Invite a feeling of abundance, detach yourself from the sale, don’t appear to keen to sell, and you’ll appear more desirable.
  • Continue this scarcity principle to make your product or service emerge more in demand, scarce, only available until Friday at the special low price.

There’s some ideas to benefit us. I’m sure glad I use Amazon for most of my online shopping; they were caught out doing the price customisation spin in 2000 when they sold DVDs for differing prices according to the browser you used.  They received a bloody nose and swore not to do it ever again.