Sunday, March 23, 2014

Do online retailers respond to your choice of browser?

I noticed some unusual behaviour today. It appears that Amazon frames choices based on your browser. My default browser is Chrome, and looks like this.

Now and again I'll check if there is good value in "Today's Deals", the link to which I have highlighted.

However this afternoon I was using Firefox instead of Chrome. I visited Amazon and saw this:

Gone was the option for "Today's Deals", replaced with a link to buying a Kindle.

That was when I opened Chrome and took the first screenshot above. The usual link was there. I then checked Internet Explorer and wget (a fancy way of downloading a webpage), and again the usual links appeared. Thinking it was random chance, I refreshed the browsers. Still, Firefox did not offer the "Today's Deals" link. To clear my cache, I closed the browsers and re-launched them but got the same result: there was a "Today's Deals" link for every browser except for Firefox.

I always thought that price discrimination based on this sort of thing was frowned upon. What is it about Firefox users that makes Amazon want to obscure their daily discounts from them?


Liam Delaney said...

Not sure what we can infer from a sample size of one Enda. Why they are marketing "Best dresses" to you is another mystery.

Tsvetelina Yordanova said...

Interesting. I have not noticed that although I have been using Hrome for years. Maybe it has something to do with the previous customer's preferences.

Michael99 said...

As long as they can tailor the best dresses to one's preferences regardless of browser that's the main thing...

Anonymous said...

The swapping of "tax help" and "April Fools" ads on the right is probably more sinister!