On the other hand communications can take the form of electronic junk mail or

On the other hand communications can take the form of

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On the other hand, communications can take the form of electronic junk mail or unsolicited e-mail, called spam . In fact, 67 percent of e-mail messages in the world are spam. The prevalence of spam has prompted many online services to institute policies and procedures to prevent spammers from spamming their subscribers, and several states have anti spamming laws. The 2004 CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act restricts information collection and unsolicited e-mail promotions on the Internet. i. Cost/Control 609
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Consumer cost is a fifth reason for online shopping and buying. Many popular items bought online can be purchased at the same price or cheaper than in retail stores. Lower prices also result from sophisticated software that permits dynamic pricing , the practice of changing prices for products and services in real time in response to supply and demand conditions. As described in Chapter 14, dynamic pricing is a form of flexible pricing and can often result in lower prices. It is typically used for pricing time-sensitive items such as airline seats, scarce items found at art or collectible auctions, and out-of-date items such as last year's models of computer equipment and accessories. Ticketmaster has recently experimented with dynamic pricing to adjust the price of sports and concert tickets in response to demand. A consumer's cost of external information search, including time spent and often the hassle of shopping, is also reduced. Greater shopping convenience and lower external search costs are two major reasons for the popularity of online shopping and buying among women—particularly those who work outside the home. Control: The sixth reason consumers prefer to buy online is the control it gives them over their shopping and purchase decision process. Online shoppers and buyers are empowered consumers. They deftly use Internet technology to seek information, evaluate alternatives, and make purchase decisions on their own time, terms, and conditions. For example, studies show that automobile shoppers spend an average of eleven hours researching cars online before setting foot in a showroom. The result of these activities is a more informed and discerning shopper. j. Cookies 610: computer files that a marketer can download onto the computer and mobile phone of an online shopper who visits the marketer's website. Cookies allow the marketer's website to record a user's visit, track visits to other websites, and store and retrieve this information in the future. Cookies also contain visitor information such as expressed product preferences, personal data, passwords, and credit card numbers. Cookies make possible customized and personal content for online shoppers. They also make possible the practice of behavioral targeting for marketers. Behavioral targeting uses information provided by cookies for directing online advertising from marketers to those online shoppers whose behavioral profiles suggest they would be interested in such advertising. A controversy surrounding cookies is summed up by an authority on the technology: “At best
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