Skip to comments.Here Come The OS Class Wars: Orbitz Finds Mac Users Spend More On Hotels Than Their PC Counterparts
Posted on 06/25/2012 6:21:49 PM PDT by randita
Here Come The OS Class Wars: Orbitz Finds Mac Users Spend More On Hotels Than Their PC Counterparts
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/25/2012 20:45 -0400
In a finding that many have subliminally known about for years, but never been actually proven, yet is still quite shocking, the WSJ is reporting that tourism portal Orbitz "has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see." Which is not really surprising: after all Mac users tend to "see" far pricier computers too, not to mention "buy." As a result, Orbitz has decided to automatically redirect Mac users: aka the rich, but gullible ones, to seeing hotel offers that are more expensive than those seen by PC users by on average $20-$30. Call it OS screening, and call it perfectly acceptable: because it appears, empirically, that Mac users are perfectly ok with spending more than they have to for virtually anything.
From the WSJ:
Orbitz executives confirmed that the company is experimenting with showing different hotel offers to Mac and PC visitors, but said the company isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price.
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 said. 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.
"We had the intuition, and we were able to confirm it based on the data," Orbitz Chief Technology Officer Roger Liew said.
As predictive analytics becomes more entrenched, soon phone companies will be charging iPhone users an additional 50% per call, "just because."
The effort underscores how retailers are becoming bigger users of so-called predictive analytics, crunching reams of data to guess the future shopping habits of customers. The goal is to tailor offerings to people believed to have the highest "lifetime value" to the retailer.
Orbitz first confirmed Mac users' preferences in October and began working them into the complicated mix of factors that determine its search results. The effect isn't always obvious. In tests performed by The Wall Street Journal, search results for hotels in cities including Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia and Boston were the same for both Macs and PCs. A New York search turned up more expensive hotels for Mac users, but only after the first 20 listed.
So far this type of order prejudice appears to have only impacted Orbitz.
Rival travel sites Expedia Inc., Priceline.com Inc. and Travelocity, which is a unit of Sabre Holdings Corp., don't use a person's computer operating system when suggesting hotels, spokesmen said. Apple declined to comment.
Of course, now that Orbitz' "platform targetting" has been exposed, the company can say goodbye to its Mac user base. However, this will hardly be the last time that the "aspiration" consumer segment known as the Macerati is targeted:
Apple users already stand out as big spenders. Nearly half of retailers in a recent study by Forrester Research and Shop.org said users of tabletsa large majority of which are iPadstend to place bigger online orders than users of laptops or desktops. Shoppers on Apple devices like iPhones also outspend shoppers using Android or BlackBerry devices, accounting for half of all mobile purchases, according to International Business Machines, which tracks data from retailers.
Fashion site Rue La La pays close attention to iPhone and iPad users, who account for 75% of all of its mobile orders, said CEO Ben Fischman.
Which of course means one last thing: soon some journalist will discover that credit card companies targeted Mac users almost exclusively, and that the average Apple buyer is either to their neck in student loans (federally funded of course), or has $25,000 more in credit card debt than the guy next door running PC... and $50,000 more than the guy around the block still slaving under (a far more nimble version of) Linux.
Step aside class, gender and religion wars: here come the OS wars, or who can outspend everyone else, still have the "coolest gadgets", and merely live month to month.
But hey: if one must impress people one doesn't like, and whose operating systems one has no idea how to use, with stuff that makes one spend more money by default, so be it. One doesn't become an aspirational upper-class poseur by not having a Retina screen.
Avoid Orbitz ping.
Of course, if they have money to way overpay for a computer, they can afford more.
Ridiculous. I have Apple everything, but I don’t spend money on motels anymore... I tow an Airstream trailer. LOL
You don’t understand.
When an Apple user rents a motel room, all the furniture is nailed to the floor and the sheets are stapled to the bed.
It looks very pretty and the furniture is arranged just perfectly, so they don’t mind paying the extra price.
However, when a PC user rents a motel room, he sometimes has to do the extra work of moving the chair and table around so he can watch tv just the way he wants and occasionally has to make his bed. This is why he gets a bit of a discount.
And Linux users? They get some boards and nails and get to work.
They probably spend more time coiffing their hair, selecting shirt color, and picking out shoes as well. Bunch of self-obsessed metrosexuals.
Flame away, fanboix.
I’m just tryin’ to figurte out who got into my office and took that pitcher of my desktop wire knot!
Yep, and the guys who look at the right spend a lot of time asking the guys on the left how to get their POS from crashing.
(Disclosure: I’ve been a Mac user for over 20 years.)
Now I’ll have to use Orbitz through a Windows emulator.
The POS Dell.
1) It’s a Dell
2) It runs Windows
3) Did I mention it was a Dell?
I use both, BTW.
I’ve got bad news for you if you like the one on the right. You like lots of long, round things getting plugged into your stuff.
I’ve run into similar situation several times with other websites such as Southwest and Newegg.
I’ve literally had the price of a ticket or an item go up as I refresh the browser. Obviously they mean to nudge the price up a little each time you go back to check on the price so as to get you to lock in. They don’t expect you to sit there and just refresh the browser time after time.
So I usually just use a clean browser in a virtual machine. Private browsing my work just as well as long as the browser is closed before visiting the website the next time.
Recenly Southwest had a killer price on a ticket from Orlando to New Hampshire but I had to buy it before midnight. I logged on too late and no matter what I tried it would not let me get the “pre-midnight” sale price that I saw earlier in the evening.
I have servers on the West Coast so I figured that I could probably get the deal if I logged in through them. Worked like a charm :-)
There is a sort of history for this. Long ago, cross-platform shareware authors found that their Mac users paid for the software far more than the Windows users. IIRC, one of them said even with the lopsided marketshares of the platforms (less than 10% Macs), he had more registered Mac users.
Mac users are just more willing to pay to get good stuff. It’s obvious, since that’s what they did when buying their computers.
wow he looks like he’s wearing more makeup than a drag queen!
Liking the Surface must mean you’re Richard Simmons, then.
GW with his PowerBook
That's Rev Harry Jackson, crusader against gay marriage and abortion.
Rove loved his iPhone
We get nails? Since when?
Notice Judas with the Mac. :)
Maybe that’s why I get good hotel prices from Orbitz when I use my Commodore 64.
The rich people vote also went for Obama.
Apple customers are price insensitive. They know what they want and are willing to pay more for it. They do not care about specs and data that do not affirm their purchase decisions.
THESE ARE THE BEST PEOPLE TO SELL TO.
If I sold a product, I’d want to sell to people like this. I’m not like this, but it’s easy for me to figure out why Orbitz would rather sell to an Apple person than to me.
The price differential for comparably equipped systems has all but evaporated over the past decade at retail.
Where a price differential still survives is with the hobbyist builders of Windows computers, dying breed though they are, with even Microsoft beginning to offer out of the box, closed systems.
These are the skinflints who couldn’t give a rat’s patootie about aesthetics and go to extremes in pursuit of cheap, the sort who empty out condiment bins in restaurants and strip hotel rooms of toilet paper, towels, soap and shampoo.
I don’t blame Orbitz at all for sending these people where they’d cause the least embarassment, lol.
“The price differential for comparably equipped systems has all but evaporated over the past decade at retail.”
I beg to differ...I don’t know what computer mags you look at or stores you go to but Apple computers are always easily some 300 to 500 hundred dollars or more for hardware comparably equipped PC based system and lets not go there on the phone side.
There is more variety in terms of lesser powered PC’s desktops, netbooks, ultra books, and laptops. The big key differences especially with desktops are configurability. And yes, one can still build one’s own system if desired and find that Windows will make all the parts work like one bought “it that way from the dept. store” in the first place!
Apple users will often pay more for better (or the perception of better) products. PC users will not.
Not a bad thing for either group, but it does open up niche markets targeting Apple users.
No kidding. That's because 93.5% of Mac users are spending other people's money.
Sure, if I was selling I would love that audience, it is what I do partly base my service business on although I offer something that justifies all of the added price.
I was merely pointing out that the wealthy also chose Obama as their preferred candidate to lead the nation.
If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.
When a PC user gets a room, it’s full of bugs and viruses.
Obama: “Michelle honey, my teleprompter is acting up again! The touching thing on the screen isn’t doing anything.”
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