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# Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers

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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 04 Mar 2019, 05:54
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95% (hard)

Question Stats:

35% (01:57) correct 65% (02:25) wrong based on 1096 sessions

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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

(A) are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop

(B) would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own

(C) do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts

(D) would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others

(E) prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores

Hi,

I got this question in MGMAT CAT's. And i am quite perplexed at the answer choice.Can someone tell me how to arrrive at the asnwer choice.I didnt understand the solution.Thanks

Originally posted by radioguy on 20 Dec 2013, 00:51.
Last edited by Bunuel on 04 Mar 2019, 05:54, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2013, 06:14
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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer. In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

(A) are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop Familiarity of the customers with all the items in the stock is not relevant to the success of the new plan.
(B) would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own The plan is not concerned with the items that are unlike those they own.
(C) do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts Yes. If customers do not use online websites to purchase gifts their plan will most likely not succeed.
(D) would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others Whether they are concerned or not, the new plan is not going to reveal the puschase history of any customer to others.
(E) prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores Close enough. But talks about shopping in general. C is more straight forward since it tells about purchasing of gifts.

O.K I've highlighted the two key flaws in the retailers logic. The wish list if for person X to highlight what they would like to receive as gifts. However the plan assumes that what person X buys is for herself and therefore you use what person X buys to website to suggest what they should get as a gift.

A:not relevant.
B:wrong assumption. The idea of the logic of the suggestion is that buying looking at purchase history you can see what they would like.
C: Correct: highlights the weakness of Joanne's logic. She assumes all website purchases are for person X. however she might be on the website buying a gift for her great uncle. Therefore person X purchase history might have no link to their purchases.
D: Person X could have a privacy concern with data being shared by others. However not key weakness of idea.
E: not relevant;
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2013, 01:13
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I am convinced with the OA.

Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer. In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

(A) are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop Familiarity of the customers with all the items in the stock is not relevant to the success of the new plan.
(B) would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own The plan is not concerned with the items that are unlike those they own.
(C) do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts Yes. If customers do not use online websites to purchase gifts their plan will most likely not succeed.
(D) would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others Whether they are concerned or not, the new plan is not going to reveal the puschase history of any customer to others.
(E) prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores Close enough. But talks about shopping in general. C is more straight forward since it tells about purchasing of gifts.
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2013, 03:13
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Here C is certainly the right answer.

However, in my opinion the stimulus is too long and redundant for a gmat question. As such, an official question could say the same thing with 2 sentences less.

Quote:
and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer

and what about if I have not specified this list and I want to keep it private ??
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2013, 04:33
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I marked (C) " customers do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts."
If we reverse C, i.e., "customers use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts", then the argument falls apart.

So, C is the correct answer
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2014, 06:55
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C,
Pretty simple, the entire argument evolves around the fact that the customer purchases the item he/she likes from online portal and is likely to shop for similar items.

Now the entire argument depends upon the fact that whether the purchases made by the customer are for his/her own use or for someone else's. If the latter reason holds, it would mean that the shopping done by the customer is not for himself and hence gifting him the goods from such a selection is not a good idea, on the other hand, if the list is what customer purchases, our conclusion holds.
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2014, 23:34
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Hi,

I got this question in MGMAT CAT's. And i am quite perplexed at the answer choice.Can someone tell me how to arrrive at the asnwer choice.I didnt understand the solution.Thanks

Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer. In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

(A) are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop
(B) would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own
(C) do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts
(D) would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others
(E) prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores

Responding to a pm:

Quote:
I guess if the option B here were "not prefer", then it would have been correct.

No. Changing option (B)
(B) would not prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own.

Joanne does not assume that people do not like novel gifts. She clearly says "Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases ". She gives this method as one of the methods to suggest gift purchases. She agrees that the lists that customers prepare are useful. The list could have novel gifts.

(C) do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts
This option is an assumption since she assumes that what people purchase from online stores is what they like for themselves. A case can certainly be made against this option that a customer would purchase, even when she is gifting others, what she likes. A customer is very unlikely to put in money in what she doesn't like. But then a question of utility of the gift to the customer comes into picture. What she may gift others may be something they require but the customer herself does not. So anyway, given the question as it is, we would have to go with (C)
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2014, 00:22
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Got Bumped by this question:

Posting official explanation for all

1) Identify the Question Type
The problem asks what is assumed by Joanne, so this is a Find Assumption question.

(2) Deconstruct the Argument
Joanne sees the introduction of “wish lists” on retail websites as a positive development. As an additional way to suggest gifts for customers, she says, retail websites should analyze those customers' previous purchases and generate gift ideas that are similar to those purchases. Because these items would be similar to things that the customer has already bought, Joanne reasons, they would be ideal gifts.

(3) State the Goal
We need to find what is taken for granted by Joanne in the argument. Her fundamental point is that a list of items similar to the customer's prior purchases should accurately reflect things that the customer would like for himself or herself (and would therefore make good gift ideas). To justify the premise that a customer's purchase history should reflect what that customer wants for himself or herself, Joanne must assume that the purchase history does not consist mostly of items bought for other people. It must also assume that a customer wants things similar to what they already own. If a person bought a toaster, does that necessarily mean that they want another toaster? As there are a few assumptions made, we will have to see how the answer choices are phrased before making a decision.

(4) Work from Wrong to Right

(A) Whether the customer is familiar with most of a retailer's inventory is irrelevant to Joanne's suggestion. Her proposed system would scan a retailer's entire catalog, whether the target customer is familiar with most of the products or not.

(B) In fact, Joanne assumes precisely the opposite: Her system is based on the idea that things similar to what a customer already owns will make good gifts.

(C) CORRECT: For the argument to work, Joanne must assume that customers use retail websites primarily to purchase things for themselves. More specifically, Joanne must assume that customers do not use these websites primarily to purchase items for other people, such as gifts or resale items. Therefore, this statement is an assumption.

We can also use the negation method. If this statement is false, then the hypothetical customer uses retail websites primarily to purchase gifts for other people. In that case, the customer's purchase history will reflect the desires of the people to whom the customer gives gifts, rather than those of the customer him- or herself -- thus destroying the effectiveness of Joanne's argument.

(D) Joanne's proposed system would not reveal customers' purchase histories, so this consideration is irrelevant.

(E) While Joanne does assume that customers have built up a purchase history with online retailers, she makes no assumptions about their preferences between online shopping and shopping in stores.

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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2015, 10:38
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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts.

Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers.

In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer.

Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop...........even if they are not familiar it does not matter as they can get familiar of the gift after receiving it. Did not think of while selecting this option.

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own............argument considers similar items. this weakens the argument and cannot be assumed.

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts............they purchase items and get gifts. true

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others.........out of scope since this need not be assumed as its negation will not affect the argument. Even if they are concerned, website as per the argument does the task without revelation of their info.

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores..............preference in comparison does not matter
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2015, 02:23
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Choice A, out of scope, Choice B and D, weaken the argument.
Choice E, preference of customers does not influence to the conclusion, because the purpose of this list is to appeal to the customer. The argument told nothing about purchase items in the future.
Choice C: the customers purchase items not for gifts, we can deduce that they buy for themselves. It strengthens the argument. But if they buy items for others, this list will be no appeal them, because they cannot give others 1 items two times.
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2017, 00:18
I understood from previous comments that the assumption here is - the customers who are receiving the gift lists does not purchase gifts from the online retailer.

However, I was confused by two things .

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"
- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.

So , when I saw "retail websites" in option C, I was confused ! Is this the website itself from where you are purchasing such as amazon or the retailers such as the sellers in the amazon. Or are they same ?
If they are same then why would the author write this ?

2. Negating the option C, denotes that as the customer already buys items from the online retailer ( considering the retailer and the website are the same) , he or she would not be interested in buying gifts from the same online retailer.
- Does this have to be true always ?

To me, option C does not qualify for the best option here because of these confusions.

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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2017, 01:44
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urhowig wrote:
I understood from previous comments that the assumption here is - the customers who are receiving the gift lists does not purchase gifts from the online retailer.

However, I was confused by two things .

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"
- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.

So , when I saw "retail websites" in option C, I was confused ! Is this the website itself from where you are purchasing such as amazon or the retailers such as the sellers in the amazon. Or are they same ?
If they are same then why would the author write this ?

2. Negating the option C, denotes that as the customer already buys items from the online retailer ( considering the retailer and the website are the same) , he or she would not be interested in buying gifts from the same online retailer.
- Does this have to be true always ?

To me, option C does not qualify for the best option here because of these confusions.

Don't bring in outside knowledge while answering GMAT questions. Use the information in the question stem to arrive at the answer.
The only exceptions are universal truths such as Moon revolving around the Earth.

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"

- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.
Even if they are two different entities how does it affect out argument. A website is just a platform to offer things.

As to the 2nd point:

The conclusion is : Such a system would suggest gifts that would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.
Premise :Because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases.
This is all we are concerned with.
Option c states that : People do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts .
what if everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves.
This would shatter the conclusion .

Let me know if you have more doubts.
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2017, 09:10
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souvik101990 wrote:
Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores

(1) Identify the Question Type
The problem asks what is assumed by Joanne, so this is a Find Assumption question.

(2) Deconstruct the Argument
Joanne sees the introduction of “wish lists” on retail websites as a positive development. As an additional way to suggest gifts for customers, she says, retail websites should analyze those customers' previous purchases and generate gift ideas that are similar to those purchases. Because these items would be similar to things that the customer has already bought, Joanne reasons, they would be ideal gifts.

(3) State the Goal
We need to find what is taken for granted by Joanne in the argument. Her fundamental point is that a list of items similar to the customer's prior purchases should accurately reflect things that the customer would like for himself or herself (and would therefore make good gift ideas). To justify the premise that a customer's purchase history should reflect what that customer wants for himself or herself, Joanne must assume that the purchase history does not consist mostly of items bought for other people. It must also assume that a customer wants things similar to what they already own. If a person bought a toaster, does that necessarily mean that they want another toaster? As there are a few assumptions made, we will have to see how the answer choices are phrased before making a decision.

(4) Work from Wrong to Right

(A) Whether the customer is familiar with most of a retailer's inventory is irrelevant to Joanne's suggestion. Her proposed system would scan a retailer's entire catalog, whether the target customer is familiar with most of the products or not.

(B) In fact, Joanne assumes precisely the opposite: Her system is based on the idea that things similar to what a customer already owns will make good gifts.

(C) CORRECT: For the argument to work, Joanne must assume that customers use retail websites primarily to purchase things for themselves. More specifically, Joanne must assume that customers do not use these websites primarily to purchase items for other people, such as gifts or resale items. Therefore, this statement is an assumption.

We can also use the negation method. If this statement is false, then the hypothetical customer uses retail websites primarily to purchase gifts for other people. In that case, the customer's purchase history will reflect the desires of the people to whom the customer gives gifts, rather than those of the customer him- or herself -- thus destroying the effectiveness of Joanne's argument.

(D) Joanne's proposed system would not reveal customers' purchase histories, so this consideration is irrelevant.

(E) While Joanne does assume that customers have built up a purchase history with online retailers, she makes no assumptions about their preferences between online shopping and shopping in stores.
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Re: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2018, 08:37
Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop -Doesn't matter since the gift will be for them.

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own -Ownership is not mentioned in the argument. Besides I don't own a Bugatti and certainly won't mind receiving one as a gift.

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts -Correct. If the customers use these sites to purchase gifts then their shopping history won't be representative of their choice.

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others -The argument specifically states that the company will secretly access the list.

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores -Out of scope
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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers  [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2019, 14:16

d is tempting, but incorrect!
Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2019, 14:16
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