NetTrax: What’s the fundamental difference between designer shoes and cars?

From an online retailing perspective it’s simple …

Once you buy a car you’re probably out of the market for awhile

… but once you buy a pair of designer shoes, you’re probably going to buy more of them.

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Why does that matter to an online retailer?

You’ve probably noticed that if you do some web-searching on a product, ads start popping up whenever you visit a web site … virtually any web site.

If you’re still in the market for the product, the ads may be useful.

If you’ve already bought the product, the ads may get to be a bit annoying …  maybe very annoying depending on the product.

For example, if you’re a designer shoes aficionado, the continuing flow of ads is probably OK with you … and the advertiser probably derives some benefit from the advertising.

But, if the product is a one-time purchase – think, a specific DVD – or a long-cycle durable such as a car – the ads’ effectiveness instantaneously diminishes when you make a purchase.

In fact, ads after a purchase may have a negative effect … say, if a lower price is flashed that creates buyer dissonance.

Bottom line  advertisers are probably wasting their money advertising to folks who have already purchased the product they’ve shown prior interest in.

Which begs a bigger question …

If you buy a book on Amazon, Amazon knows you bought the book and can stop the “people who bought that bought this, too” emails.

But, what if you search car info on, say Yahoo … how does Yahoo know that you’ve bought a car and stop the auto pop=up ads when you check your email?

Stay tuned … we’ll explain in subsequent posts.

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Inspired by: Minelli, Chambers & Dhiraj,  Big Data, Big Analytics:, Wiley. Kindle Edition, p. 102.

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