Latest Issue

The future of shopping: pricing gets personal

Big Data means retailers can figure out exactly what you’re willing to pay—and they’re starting to charge it

By James Plunkett   January 2018

In future, pricing will be personalised to our shopping habits. Photo: PA

Imagine strolling with a neighbour to the corner shop, only to be charged 50p more than her for buying the same box of cornflakes. You’d better get used to that feeling of unfairness because “price discrimination” could be a big part of the future of retail. In fact, it’s already here. On some websites, online prices now bounce up and down in ways that are specific to you—depending on what you’ve bought before, what you paid for…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect