Online personalization means prices are tailored to you, too
Scientific American - 10/28/2014
“If you were to walk into a brick and mortar store and they were offering better prices for less affluent people there would be a revolt, right? No one would stand for this.” Christo Wilson, a computer scientist at Northeastern University. But on the Internet, he says, anything goes when it comes to pricing. “It is super subjective. Everything can be personalized.”
Wilson and his colleagues analyzed just how personal online shopping can get. They compared the search results of 300 real-world users to searches by cookie-free, fake accounts on 16 major e-commerce sites. Turns out half the sites personalized search results, based on who was searching. Especially travel sites. Expedia and Hotels.com prioritized more expensive hotels for certain users; and Priceline skewed search results based on past purchases.