The Economist takes a walk on the dark side of commerce

In modern business there's a lot of talk about putting customers first but not all, is as it seems.

On just one page in the June 30th 2012 issue of the fabulously insightful 'The Economist' magazine we are shown how old techniques and new are still being honed to hoodwink or exploit customers' purchasing behaviour.

The lead article explains how businesses can now be offered new software that analyses on-line shopping behaviour, highlighting browsers who potentially will pay more for something and then allowing the business to personalise its on-line prices accordingly - are businesses really still 'up' for this sort of behaviour?

The other article highlights the age-old practice of playing on customers' innumeracy. Is 33 per cent extra, better than 33 per cent off. And if that's a no-brainer, look at the double discounting scenario in the article....old techniques exploiting mental arithmetic not suitable for new businesses who claim to be on the customers side!

Do click through to read these articles but better still, subscribe to The Ecomomist - we certainly need to thank the magazine for highlighting how we can save money by adding a few extra clicks when on-line shopping or by taking a calculator to the also check-out my blog on supermarket package deals!

Do please let me know of any other 'new' techniques for ripping-off the customer.

.....and just moving off-piste for a moment, take a look below at some of the award winning ads from The Economist and AMV BBDO the ad that's really how to use customer thought processes and emotional precision for the good. Clever stuff!