If you’re booking a hotel room through Orbitz on your new MacBook Pro, expect to see the more expensive hotels first.
A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that Orbitz is displaying more luxurious hotels first because Mac users tend to spend more money. Users can still organize hotel search results from lowest-to-highest price no matter what computer they’re using.
“Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee told the Journal. Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Mr. Yee said, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.”
According to Forrester Research, the average household income for adult Mac owners is about $98,500, while the average adult PC owner is just under $75,000.
Orbitz’s “predictive analytics” strategy causes Mac users to be tempted by the more luxurious hotels, according to the travel company.
Compared to the PC market, Apple’s iMac and MacBook lineup could be considered a luxury item, being that they are more expensive. But luxury tends to be restricted to an exclusive group, which is by no means the case for Apple.
Is Orbitz just the start for this type of strategy? What could we see next?
Maybe more travel sites, such as Expedia and Kayak, will show first-class airfare rates before economy class. Maybe online clothing boutiques will start with the $300 pair of jeans, compared to the $80 pair. It’s an interesting strategy that could pay off.
But is it fair?
“I would think Apple users probably aren’t cheapskates,” one online commenter said. “Logic could be used by many retailers across categories, and they’d mostly be right. I want to save money as much as the next person, but I’m also not going to seek out a less convenient hotel just to save a few bucks.”
Orbitz concludes that Apple users could spend as much as 30 percent more on hotels than Windows users.