Tech UPTechnologyDo you want to go to a concert? You...

Do you want to go to a concert? You can be beaten by a robot in line

The case of the influencer who shared having resold more than 100 tickets for the Corona Capital festival opened a controversial conversation among the public: ‘how do you get so many tickets?’ Many people complained through social networks and although the response in this specific case is unknown, the bots have a participation in the purchase of items with high resale value.

Several years ago, scenes of people lining up at the box office of a music venue or at specialty stores to buy a concert ticket were common. They are now occupied by the virtual line, where several bots may be formed.

What are shopping bots?

Shopping bots are software that have the ability to detect a product on pages to buy them automatically. Anyone can access them through browser extensions, which are configured to monitor the sites of your choice.

Its operation, the software engineering expert at the Open University of Catalonia, Jordi Abot, explains on his blog, is based on searching for the data fields for the purchase on a page and filling them in based on the instructions given by the person in charge.

“They have no knowledge of what they do,” Abot details. “If a page changes the name of the ‘buy’ button to ‘keep it’, the vast majority of bots would stop working. You have to adapt the bot to each page and to each evolution of that page”.

The implementation of these systems has not only become a problem for the music industry, but has also had an impact on other sectors such as gaming, where they are used to hoard computer components or even next-generation consoles so that they do not reach consumers. and in the end they have to pay more.

Another market that has been affected by bots is that of collectible sneakers. Antonio Martínez, agency partner manager of Shopify Mexico, said that the people behind these systems are not improvised, since they know the markets and know which products will have a higher resale price in the future.

It is worth mentioning that in the case of concert tickets, the pages indicate that consumers can only buy a certain number of tickets, but social network users do not believe this and have been suspicious of the companies, especially Ticketmaster.

Faced with this situation, measures have been taken within the company. A person with knowledge of the matter commented to the reporter Mara Echeverría, from Expansión, that they have carried out audits to detect if there are employees involved in the resale of tickets, although the results are not yet known.

Likewise, the source explained that there is a group of collaborators dedicated to monitoring the sale outside the company’s system to investigate how resellers acquire these tickets.

Bots are not illegal, but they impact trust

The experts emphasize that using these digital tools is not illegal, but it does represent a negative impact for consumers in their shopping experience, whose claims are transferred to social networks.

A vicious circle is generated that threatens sellers, Martínez shared, because the quality of experience is decisive for electronic commerce and if someone does not find products because someone else bought them in seconds, those real customers will not return and no one can ensure that the bots return to that online store.

The disadvantage between real clients and bots is undeniable. Given this, in some countries such as the United Kingdom, initiatives have been proposed to ban online bots, as they represent a strategy that resellers take advantage of.

On the other hand, some sites are implementing strategies such as incorporating captcha codes, where a mathematical operation must be solved or indicate in which images certain elements appear, however, the programming of the bots is increasingly efficient and they have learned to circumvent these filters. .

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