OnDemand WTP Pricing Research

Facebook already owns social. Now it’s going after shopping | WIRED UK

At the core of Radinsky’s research is causality – understanding how events tie together to make something happen. Before she joined eBay, she created a system that brought together disparate data sources to try and discover the cause behind Ebola outbreaks in West Africa. She traced the line of causality back to gold mines, that lead to deforestation and forced Ebola-carrying bats to migrate closer to people. The infection was passed into humans when they ate contaminated bat meat.

Radinksky is now applying the same forensic approach to the retail industry. She’s working out how eBay can use dynamic pricing so items are pitched at a price that maximises sales and profits for sellers. When the time is right, she says a price drop of just $2 can quadruple sales – but knowing when to do that requires what Radinksky calls “perfect information”.

Dynamic pricing is just one example of how the pace of online retail is quickening. We’re now in the third era of retail, says Daniel Murray, co-founder of Grabble, a mobile fashion platform that’s designed to easily integrate with existing online stores. “In the past, the one guarantee was that you were almost always in one of two places – at home or work,” he says. In the smartphone era, people are ready to buy anywhere and at any time – in the last six months 62 per cent of US smartphone users bought something on their mobile device.

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Facebook already owns social. Now it’s going after shopping | WIRED UK.

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