Hear me out, all you online marketers happily skating on razor-thin margins: The future of Internet shopping lies in value and fulfillment – not pricing.
The hype on shopping bots and price-comparison services ignores a fundamental market shift: most of the millions of products available on the Internet have already become commodities. What matters is reference and implementation!
That is, they can be obtained by many vendors without much or any market friction-differentiated entirely by price, and moderated by the speed of availability.
With commoditization on the Net, price friction has mostly evaporated; the difference in daily prices among most items is ignored because it’s too slight or perceived as too slight. Are you really going to cancel the book order you made yesterday because you found Hannibal selling for a buck less today on another site? Doubtful.
Though we have to be aware that more and more customers are mathematically better trained and increasingly conscious of availability and pricing (online education options, such as math education for GED applicants) have brought about increasing awareness of those factors as well.