Online Retailer Implements IE7 Tax

Kogan Adds Taxes For IE7 Users

Kogan (an online retail website where online shoppers can browse and buy tech-related products) has recently implemented a new process of getting its users to view their website with more up-to-date web browsers, so that their website can be viewed with the best productivity without running into design conflicts. The way that Kogan is deterring users from browsing their website with the commonly used older browser of Internet Explorer 7 is by implementing a tax.

On June 13th 2012, the online retailer announced the following statement on their blog:

Today at Kogan we’ve implemented the world’s first “Internet Explorer 7 Tax”. The new 6.8% tax comes into effect today on all products purchased from Kogan.com by anyone still insistent on using the antique browser. But don’t worry, unlike other taxes, we’re making it easy to get around this one with a simple upgrade away from IE7 :).

Kogan suggests that if you would like to avoid this tax, all that you have to do is to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer (which can be downloaded here), or use another up-to-date version of any other browser (e.g. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari).

The tax will be added to your purchase order when ordering things from this quality online retailer under the “Additional Taxes” section.

The online retailer concludes their announcement with the following statement:

“As Internet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit. This will help us increase our efficiency, help keep prices for all smart shoppers down, and hopefully help eradicate the world of the pain in the rear that is IE7!”

What do you think about this new implementation from Kogan? Is this harsh, or a better way to get users to upgrade their web browsers? Let us know in this post’s comments section.

There are 14 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. Joe Giavanni

    Adding a tax for browsers? Not only is this technological snobbery to the nth degree, it’s foolish. Unless they are the only ones in the universe offering what they do, they are driving away customers.

    Maybe they can invest the tax money in improving their code so that it works with more browsers.

  2. This is an interesting marketing tactic. I don’t think it has anything to do with “getting users to upgrade their web browsers”, though. I imagine they are thinking this could get picked up on blogs, by news outlets, etc. It feels controversial, despite affecting just a very very small number of people.

    So few people use IE7. From what I can tell, its 3% usage share at the most. (IE is around 30% overall, IE7 comprising about 1/10 of that)

    Meanwhile, traffic is driven to their site (which I had previously never heard of).

    • A big chunk of my business is hosting small business accounts. Your comments about IE being around 30% overall sent me scurrying through several different types of sites we host, ecommerce, general information, blogging and “clubs”. Of 8 sites I scanned, only 2 had IE as the top browser used in unique visits. Even more interesting is that Windows is down at near bottom for OS used by the browsers, only consistantly beating linux.

      • The 30% and 3% figures were from two or so online sources (I think W3C was one of them). I can’t speak to their research methods, but they were based on overall internet traffic I believe.

        I certainly don’t doubt your stats, though. Our company owns or manages a number of websites and, only after reading your comment did it occur to me to look at some of our stats.

        After looking at three or four different kinds of sites, there seems to be some evidence that the type of browser used correlates with the subject matter of the website. I don’t have enough information to really offer anything conclusive on that, though.

        Looking at 6 sites that could all be loosely described as being for businesses who provide “professional services”, IE was used about 36% of the time over a period of 1 year back from today. Compared with the same period of time one year prior, IE use had declined in every instance.

        As far as OS, Windows was the most popular by a significant amount for all 6 of those sites. But, as I said before with regard to browsers, I also think the type of site correlates with the popularity of each OS as well. Windows is a lot more popular in business environments overall than other OSes, and these 6 sites are primarily B2B services oriented.

        There’s a lot of interesting statistics. I certainly plan on spending some more time going through this.

  3. I think it is a wonderful idea. Not only are they working to help eliminate a real PITA browser, they are helping computer users keep their systems more secure since XP users can use IE 8, which is fully supported by MS, or some other even more standards-compliant browser.

  4. I think this is brilliant. It not only gives them a bit of quirky PR, it also encourages people to step away from the distant past and move forward to a better online experience. You go Kogan!

  5. I am the digital marketing manager for a large online booking website and the amount of traffic we have that STILL use IE 6 & 7 is around 8% of our total traffic, which is still a significant chunk of users that our developers have to waste a huge amount of time catering to. It’s compounded by the fact that banks, insurance companies etc. that we integrate with have all their systems based around IE6 – which was released in 2001 for God’s sake – to the point where we’d love to do something similar ourselves.

    Hats off to Kogan, not only a great publicity tactic but a valid stance to take considering how many security holes and flaws there are with the software.

  6. Damn cool!!
    1. Today’s my first visit to kogan.com :)
    2. The sensation of it will drive lots of traffic, and probably customers
    3. As a web designer, I always have problems with browser compatibility, especially CSS3 styling when it comes to IE. So, like he said, “As nternet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place.”
    4. It makes me smile today! :D

  7. mike

    From a business standpoint, possible bad idea, but relatively light impact. any regular online shopper, especially a techy shopper, will be running the latest browsers anyway. If a tech shopper is still running an old browser, I seriously question their need to actually buy tech items.

    From a marketing standpoint / creating buzz, novel idea.

    I have an equivalent idea for brick and morter retailers, malls and grocery stores. They should impose a special tax on anyone with an older car visiting their store / parking in thier lot. This would encourage people to scrap those smoggy gas suckers and massive SUVs. I’d be more pleased to see incentive to drive newer green cars than using a newer browser.

  8. Darrell

    Many XP users tried IE 8 and went back to IE 7 because of all the bugs. No one here has mentioned this, and I think that this whole thing is not so COOL as it seems.

  9. It’s a great way of getting people up to speed, they should have different tax bands for each older version :)

  10. If anything, this is a great PR move, and a great way to generate link bait and pick up on some new links.

    Kudos to whomever thought of this; it’s a brilliant idea.

  11. I hope they remit those “Taxes” to their local, state and federal gov as ALL Tax money collect is required to be. I think a more appropriate word would be Fee…another frikin Fee :(

  12. I think this is brilliant. It not only gives them a bit of quirky PR, it also encourages people to step away from the distant past and move forward to a better online experience.

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