Amazon has secured a patent for technology which prevents shoppers price checking items via the internet while in a store.
It appears to be an attempt to quash what retailers call “showrooming”, where shoppers look at products in store then buy it online, by intercepting shoppers using store WiFi.
By analysing network requests issued by customers, the retailer can determine if they are viewing a competitor’s site, then coax them back in with a coupons and discounts.
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“(A) negative scenario may exist for a physical store retailer when a consumer evaluates items at the physical store, leverages physical store sales representatives, and then reviews pricing information online in order to purchase the same item from an online retailer,” Amazon’s patent reads.
“The physical store retailer pays for floor space, sales representative time, product inventory management, and other costs while not being able to complete a sales transaction.”
This is thought to be a defensive move, as Amazon stands as one of the key beneficiaries of “showrooming”.