Fixed price models were a thing of the last 100 years – now we all thought that auction platforms like ebay would revert to variable price models. Not so. Even worse: ebay might have been a fad, argues Nick Carr, citing an article of business week.
Auctions were once a pillar of e-commerce. People didn’t simply shop on eBay. They hunted, they fought, they sweated, they won. These days, consumers are less enamored of the hassle of auctions, preferring to buy stuff quickly at a fixed price.
In fact, fixed price is gaining ground:
At the current pace, this may be the first year that eBay generates more revenue from fixed-price sales than from auctions, analysts say. „The bloom is well off the rose with regard to the online-auction thing,“ says Tim Boyd, an analyst with American Technology Research. „Auctions are losing a ton of share, and fixed price has been gaining pretty steadily.“
With users increasingly being able to research prices online, the need for speculating at an auction site decreases. At some point it’s pretty clear what a gadget should cost – so why bother bidding in an auction in which probably everyone has the same knowledge about the likely price ceiling? Why not buy it right away somewhere else?
Interesting thought: decreasing information assymetry will lead to an increase in fixed price deals (online, where things are comparable within a mouse click). Make sense, somehow.
[update: ReadWriteWeb has some more background to this.]
James Cherkoff tells us a nice little story about how tight marketing programs, the nice shop in a nice part of town, well trained sales people, the glossy leaflets and the good reputation of certain type of kitchen brand has been made obsolete by one single search on the web about what other customers of this brand had to say. The opinions were mostly negative and James ended up cancelling his order.
Of course, you would always have consulted other sources – most of all your closest peers – about opinions on any high involvement product or service. But the chances that you find many sources with the same brand of kitchen (car, dishwasher, etc.) in your closest range of peers was and is rather limited.
With todays possibilities to find opinions on anything on the web (even stuff you didn’t want to know about), it is ever more important for brands to keep their promises. People are fearing the moment of the totally transparent consumer, but hey, brands already face this complete transparency!
Robert Passikoff writes about seven brand and marketing trends for 2007
He starts of with a nice quote:
Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr once noted that â€œprediction is very difficult, especially about the future,â€?
And then continues pitching his company USP:
but then he didnâ€™t have access to predictive loyalty metrics. Happily, we at Brand Keys do.
The 7 trends are (*drumroll here*):
- An ongoing emphasis on â€œengagement.â€?
- More reliance on consumer-generated content.
- More, more branded entertainment.
- Media planning will become more â€œtouch pointâ€? focused.
- Using technology and engagement to better communicate with consumer expectations.
- Expanding the potential of Websites, blogs, and the digital world.
- Innovation and loyalty will matter more.
Sounds good. But there is nothing really new in this. The only difference being, that these trends will probably now reach a certain visibility among marketers so that we’ll see a lot more campaigns, tactics, etc. around these 7 points. I am certainly looking forward to that.