Following the disclosure that online shoppers are facing higher prices for electrical goods due to hikes in wholesale prices to online traders, confusion reigned today about whether prices are really going up.
Mark Guymer, managing director at shopping comparison site Shopping.com, said that his comparison of prices did not reveal any noticeable rises, and that any rises would be unlikely to have any effect on web shopping.
"In our research we found that only 20 per cent of shoppers choose on price anyway, and they are well equipped to look around and find good prices from those vendors that are not putting up prices," he said. "It will therefore be counterproductive for those that do."
Today the Financial Times named Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Hitachi and Sharp as the companies identified in a report from the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) as operating a dual pricing strategy with higher prices to online retailers.
"There are plenty of other vendors selling online that buyers can consider," said Guymer. "I do not know about the strategy of those vendors, but it will not change the reasons that people have for buying online, such as the convenience factor."
The Financial Times also said that the Royal National Institute for the Blind had weighed into the debate suggesting that dual pricing is discriminatory to the blind and partially sighted, many of whom rely on shopping websites as their only viable outlet.
IMRG, which held a meeting on the topic yesterday, was unavailable for comment.
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