More and more webshops use obvious and sometimes seemingly arbitrary user data to adjust the prices for services or products that they ask of them. That means, for instance, the price may be higher if the customer is using an Apple product or mobile device to access the website or it may be lower if tracking cookies show that the user has visited competing stores or price comparison sites that would allow them to find a lower offer.

Such dynamic prices are actually very common in bazars and other physical markets, or used to be at least, but the customer would a) usually know about this and b) be able to offer a lower amount, i.e. haggling or bargaining. Years ago, Ebay has introduced the option for sellers to grant prospective buyers the possibility to suggest a price they would be willing to pay, which the merchant can then accept, refuse or propose an alternative for (“Best Offer” or private offer); this may go on for several rounds, each with a timeout window of two days.

Is there any UX research from studies or actual implementations that indicates whether retail users (B2C), especially in fashion and electronics segments, feel more empowered by such negotiation possibilities for either individual items or the whole shopping basket/cart? In other words, does it effectively counter the feeling of being ripped off by dynamic prices?

If there is such research, does it also show whether customers would accept or even expect a delay in the buying process, because a human would (seemingly) have to review the offer?

I also like to think that more dynamic haggling could effectively replace coupon codes etc.

  • 1
    We really can't predict what will happen, until we see it in reality. I don't know if there is relevant research about that. – Kristiyan Lukanov Apr 21 '16 at 9:34
  • 1
    Although very interesting, this does seem like speculation that can only result in opinion based answers. – Andrew Martin Apr 21 '16 at 9:45
  • Although I’m afraid that @AndrewMartin has a point, I sincerely hope that there’s someone around here who does have actual experience or research which Kristiyan Lukanov and I acknowledge to lack. – Crissov Apr 21 '16 at 11:25
  • 1
    I think this is very product specific. There is no general rule. Supermarkets reduce the price of their rapid perishables before closing because they won't be able to sell them tomorrow. In contrast, iPhones stay at their current price until the new model is released. Car models get reductions late in their model life, but command a premium earlier in their life. – Confused Apr 21 '16 at 12:46
  • So any discussion of this must require a deep consideration of the product category, its regional target market, and the time/timings and service expectations of the consumer, too. – Confused Apr 21 '16 at 12:47